Challenges faced by Travel industry in times of Corona

In the wake of this pandemic different sector and constituents of the travel and tourism industry have been hit hard. But are these mere threats or business opportunities in disguise? For a better understanding let’s take a look at the major challenges faced by various sectors:

1. Restaurants/ Cafes: 🥘 ☕

• Isn’t Food business the only recession-proof business cause people won’t suddenly stop eating, right?

• But COVID proved us wrong as restaurants are left with just 15-20% of pre-COVID business due to social distancing measures, strict curfews, high rentals and low sales.

#Lockdown period losses

• Restaurants now face the challenge of paying up for losses that occurred during the shutdown period. They may have to pay their employees for the lockdown period despite no business being done.

• The National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) has sent an open letter to mall owners and landlords, seeking a temporary waiver of rentals for six months.

Shift to delivery & takeouts

• Did you know that dine-ins account for 75% of the sales for restaurants & shifting to just delivery & takeouts hasn’t been easy on them? Socializing days are long gone now and it's all about social distancing. Restaurants face an increase in customers who rely on online food delivery services such as Zomato & Swiggy.

• Restaurants will have to switch to cloud kitchens with no dine-in options. Menus will have to be revamped to attract customers. Organic food and homemade food may gain more customers post COVID.

Prioritizing food quality and #hygiene

• People are going to be more vigilant & cautious about what they eat and how it is prepared. So restaurants & cafes can be revived only by implementing precautionary measures by increasing hygiene & food safety practices.

• #Restaurants have to show that food is prepared in clean and sanitized places by trained chefs. Hand washing has always been a strict standard to achieve food safety compliance, but now workers need to be trained of the importance of regular hand washing and the effect it has in maintaining the health & #safety of food and customers.

2. Hotels & Resorts 🏨 ⛺

• COVID has severely devastated the occupancy levels at #hotels across 11 major cities. Just January-March this year, there was a decline of up to 29% in revenue per available room.

Increased costs & Declining revenue

• Travel bans, border closures and quarantine measures later the hospitality sector is looking at pan-India bankruptcies, closure of businesses & mass #unemployment.

Change in expectations & consumption patterns

• With consumers turning more health-conscious, hygiene protocols at restaurants and supply chain need to improve immensely, which will increase operating cost.

Operating #Challenges

• Automated contactless mobile check-ins & check-outs, cashless payments, intense room cleaning processes like frequent sanitization with UV light disinfectant, a la carte menus & reduced banqueting perhaps is the only way forward for hotels and resorts post-COVID.

No more gym, spas & pools for a long time for sure! 😭

3. Travel agents & Tour Consultants 👩💼👨💼 🗺

• Covid19 catapulted all of us into a future we were totally unprepared for. With increasing cancellations, tour consultants & #travelagents have been in deep trouble as well.

• The holiday season of April to July 2020 has reduced drastically up to 80-100 % as the progression of the virus increased.

Increased cancellations

• Travel agents are feeling the harsh impact with increased #cancellations, demand for refunds & shortage of funds. This has resulted in a salary cut-offs & unemployment.

Marketing Constraints

• Even as borders open, there is a low demand for travel across the world. #Museums and amusement parks are still closed in most places.

• Tour operators now face the challenge of motivating people to pack their bags and travel again once the #COVID situation eases. Some of them are trying out various Social media avenues.

4. Travel Planners

• Travel Planners are among those struggling to find work during these times due to the low and nearly negligible demand for travel.

• The loss of income incurred during this season has had a heavy impact.

• Most travel planners and travel startups are taking up this opportunity to diversify their digital presence.

• Re-inventing itineraries become the need of the hour as “Staycations” and domestic travel gains popularity post-COVID.

5. Travellers

With all that’s been going on for the past few months, COVID and the lockdown have had its heaviest impact on us, travellers.

• Travellers flourish in moving from place to place and not being able to do so, has affected #mentalhealth.

• On the other, this has been an opportunity for vagabonds to finally take a breather.

• Moreover this has provided travellers with the opportunity to save up for future trips. With job insecurity looming large, saving up for #travel and #planning our bucket lists have kept morale high.

Adversity is an opportunity to become better. So this is an opportunity for all of us to evaluate the issues at hand, ranging from sanitation to shifting to online platforms to environmental concerns & come up with sustainable travel solutions for a renewed wave of tourism.

Let’s survive and thrive this pandemic together!


Mckinsey, Economic Times, Livemint, FirstPost, TheWeek, Yourstory, TimesNow and Travel Report Market.


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