The CEO of Le Passage to India, Amit Prasad, is a much-respected leader with 40 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry.
- Not much is being done by the Government of India to revive travel and tourism in the country.
- From the perspective of a seasoned professional, the industry is on the verge of collapse.
- Those who are still able to survive in the industry have had to let workers go and cut wages just to stay afloat.
Today, despite 4 decades of a successful business, he said there is much to be worried about for the future of travel and tourism.
Soft spoken and articulate, Prasad regrets that not much is being done to revive the industry, which provides jobs to millions of people in the country. Not one to mince words, Amit said that the tourism industry is on the verge of collapse. Prasad said:
“The government continues to be a moot spectator with no plans or policies in place to revive it [tourism]. I am not sure the role [the] Ministry of Tourism serves in this situation. There are no constructive discussions, plans, campaigns on the revival and image of India.
“Suddenly the focus is only on domestic tourism… not realizing the value and foreign exchange the foreign clientele bring. We had to slash our workforce and cut expenses/salaries. Leave aside any support, there is not even clarity from the government if and when the confirmed scripts for 18/19 be paid. This has created a huge cash-flow problem.
“With over forty years in the industry, I have never felt so helpless. I feel for the young work force who have either lost their jobs or [are] managing to survive on slashed salaries. The government continues to see this as an elite industry, not realizing the kind of job opportunities it provided a cross-section of the population, from hotel staff to guides, drivers and artisans across India.
“I am sure things will finally turn around. Not sure how many travel companies will survive to see that day.”
These comments are a sure sign of frustration from a top professional who has played important roles in various agencies in the country. Because of the severity of the situation due to the impact of COVID-19, the Government of India has to step in to breathe life back into travel and tourism.