Tours and Travels Association of Andhra (TTAA) State President K. Vijaya Mohan on Tuesday stated that the tourism sector in the State had suffered a loss of business to the tune of nearly ₹2,000 by the end of August due to the pandemic-induced lockdown.
The TTAA members led by Konaseema Chapter President Ravi Kumar Jayavarpu on Tuesday staged a protest in Rajamahendravaram city in East Godavari district, appealing the State government to consider tourism as an important industry to come to the rescue of the stakeholders affected during the lockdown. The Konaseema Chapter comprises of at least 70 travel agents operating from East and West Godavari districts.
“The State government needs to initiate measures to promote tourism in the State. At least one more year is required for the stakeholders to recover from the losses witnessed since early this year due to the lockdown. The prime stakeholders including travel agencies, hotels, resorts and tour operators have been badly affected due to lockdown”, said Mr. Ravi Kumar.
The TTAA members have appealed the Central government to offer a bailout package based on the GST paid by the respective travel agencies from Andhra Pradesh to revive their operations. At least 1,000 travel agencies are members of the TTAA and 30 per cent of them come under the GST purview, given their scale of annual turnover (₹40 lakh business per annum). The TTAA members offer various services including VISA guidance for those arriving Andhra Pradesh from different foreign countries for tourism and those visiting abroad tourism destinations.
“Many agencies are on the verge of closing down their operations as they could not continue, leading to lose of many employment opportunities in the tourism sector in coming months”, opined Mr. Vijaya Kumar.