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Delhi, Mumbai bouncing back from COVID tourism slowdown: Report

The London-based WTTC said it found positive signs of recovery for the sector as travellers head back to major cities as part of its ‘Cities Economic Impact Report’

Published Date – 07:00 AM, Wed – 8 February 23

Delhi, Mumbai bouncing back from COVID tourism slowdown: Report

London: India’s travel and tourism sector is bouncing back from a coronavirus-induced slowdown with key indicators for Delhi and Mumbai showing signs of growth, according to a new travel industry update revealed here on Tuesday.

The London-based World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said it found positive signs of recovery for the sector as travellers head back to major cities as part of its ‘Cities Economic Impact Report’ analysing 82 cities around the world.

The report, sponsored by American multinational financial services corporation Visa and researched in partnership with forecaster Oxford Economics, analysed key indicators such as travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP, employment and traveller spend.

“The analysis of key indicators in Delhi and Mumbai shows that travel and tourism’s direct contribution to both cities’ GDP, jobs and visitor spending are all bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels,” notes a WTTC statement.

“Over the last two years, since the border reopened, both cities have witnessed a significant recovery,” it said.

The WTTC ‘Cities Economic Impact Report’ shows that in 2019, the city’s travel and tourism sector contributed almost Rs 36,200 crore to Delhi’s economy and more than Rs 25,000 crore to Mumbai’s.

But then the pandemic hit and borders closed down due to international lockdowns. In 2020, travel and tourism GDP contribution for both cities dropped by almost half, falling to Rs 19,000 crore in Delhi, and more than Rs 13,500 crore in Mumbai.

However, in 2022, Delhi’s sector is expected to have grown to Rs 32,400 crore, while Mumbai’s is forecast to be worth just under Rs 22,500 crore, just 10 per cent below 2019 levels.

“India is an increasingly popular global tourist destination and following more than two years of disruption, it’s great to see tourists are heading to the country once again,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO.

“Our recent ‘Economic Impact Research’ showed that we expect India to overtake Germany to become the world’s third most powerful travel and tourism market by 2032, and that its sector will outpace the overall economy every year for the next decade.

“But it’s crucial that the government and local decision makers in individual cities continue to recognise the economic importance of travel and tourism for the local and national economies, jobs and businesses,” she said.

On the jobs front, in 2019 there were reportedly more than 10 lakh people employed by the travel and tourism sector in Delhi – a figure which dropped to just over 6.6 lakh in 2020.

But in 2021, employment grew by more than 12 per cent and is expected to have grown at a similar rate in 2022 to reach more than 8.4 lakh in 2022.

Mumbai also shows a similar picture with almost 3.6 lakh travel and tourism jobs pre-pandemic and an 11 per cent rise in 2021 to almost 2.7 lakh.

WTTC, a membership-based worldwide forum for the travel and tourism industry, is forecasting a similar growth in 2022 to reach more than 3 lakh jobs – just 15 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Its report also shows that the sector’s contribution to both cities will more than double over the next decade – with Delhi’s travel and tourism sector expected to contribute almost Rs 80,000 crore, while Mumbai’s will provide an annual boost of more than Rs 54,000 crore by 2032.

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