Bengaluru, Aug 27 : About 30 lakh people in the tourism sector lost their jobs across Karnataka due to the Covid-19 pandemic since mid-March, state Tourism Minister C.T. Ravi said on Thursday.
“The coronavirus spread has taken away the livelihood of about 30 lakh people since it broke out in the state in mid-March and rendered them jobless, as the Covid-induced lockdown and its extension with restrictions crippled the tourism sector,” Ravi told reporters here.
Sudden enforcement of lockdown since March 25 and its extension till May 31 and continued restrictions on travel, transport and gatherings in public places to contain the disease plunged the flow of domestic and overseas tourists to the southern state for the first time in many years.
“As one of the largest sectors to provide the highest number of direct and indirect jobs after agriculture and construction across the country, tourism has suffered the most due to the pandemic,” lamented Ravi.
Among those who suffered mounting losses are hundreds of tourist operators, taxi drivers, hotel owners, tourist guides and all those in the supply chain, as tourist spots and destinations remained out of bounds.
The minister hoped once the new normalcy is restored with road, rail and flight services resuming fully, the tourism sector would bounce back and those who are in distress would get back their jobs.
“Once the industry recovers in the post-Covid situation, I am sure those who lost their jobs temporarily will get back to work as tourism will revive gradually,” said Ravi.
Admitting that the pace of revival was slow, the minister said that though jungle lodges and resorts of the state tourism department have been attracting guests since Unlock 2.0 began on July 1, the state tourism development corporation and private hotels have seen only 10 per cent business over the last two months.
“As there is no let-up in Covid spread and people are wary of the virus infecting them, travelling and tourism will pick up after normal life is restored fully,” said Ravi.
The state government is framing a new tourism policy to increase the footfalls by four times the number in the pre-Covid times.
“The draft of the new tourism policy will be tabled for approval in the ensuing Assembly session starting September 21,” added Ravi.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.