Dhaka: Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Bangladesh Chapter has carried out an analysis determining the loss each sector of the country's travel trade industry is facing due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The association has also appealed to the ministry and presented possible solutions based on the analysis to overcome the coronavirus crisis the industry is going through.
The Bangladesh wing of the association presented the insights through an audio visual released on April 16 in the first session of the weeklong video conference titled PATA Talk During Lockdown to be held till April 22.
The coronavirus outbreak has caused the aviation industry of Bangladesh to count BDT 6 billion in losses and left 2000 people jobless, the association said.
Moreover, the hotel/resort/inn industry, from two to five-star, are facing a loss of BDT 15 billion while one lac people are jobless.
The audio visual also stated that the travel agents are having to face a loss of BDT 30 billion while 15000 are jobless.
Also, the domestic travel sector has been harmed by BDT 10 billion loss and 15000 loss of jobs over the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In inbound travel, a loss of BDT 1 billion and 1000 jobs has been witnessed so far while in outbound, the loss is BDT 25 billion and 15000 are jobless and Umrah travel (land packages only) has been hit by BDT 4.5 billion losses and 5000 loss of jobs.
The F&B sector could not escape from the shattering effects of the coronavirus pandemic as well as restaurants, coffee shops, fast food joints, bars and others are counting a loss of BDT 4.5 in revenue while 150000 are jobless.
The association further mentioned the crisis the sector that deals with tourist vessels is facing - BDT 15 billion loss in revenue and 15500 loss of jobs while those deal with vehicles used for tourism are harmed by BDT 0.4 billion loss in revenue and 1000 jobs respectively.
PATA BD Chapter accumulated the losses altogether till June 2020 which account to a total of BDT 97.5 billion loss in revenue and 309500 loss of jobs.
Appeal to stakeholders
PATA Bangladesh Chapter has appealed to the owners of various establishments of the industry to retain possible amount of staff with reduced salary and assure the workers to be hired back once operations are resumed.
Appeal to govt
The association has appealed to the government of the country and provided possible solutions that may help the industry overcome the current circumstances.
These include: immediate support from government to save the industry with BDT 30 billion interest free loans for next three years for hotel, motel, resort, restaurant, tour operator, travel agency, tourist vehicle and vessel, private airlines and others.
PATA BD Chapter has also urged the government to have sufficient allocation for tourism in the national budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021.
A high power fact finding team should also be formed on COVID-19 aftermath which must include public and private stakeholders, another suggestion the association has made to the government, it said.
Furthermore, the association said it has requested the government to allocate BDT 5 billion for overseas promotion and product development during the post-crisis period.
Other appeals to the government by the association include: waiving utility bills until resumption of operation and reducing income tax for establishments and employees for at least two years, it concluded.
The first session of the weeklong video conference where above mentioned points were presented was presided by Shahid Hamid FIH, Chairman, PATA Bangladesh Chapter and Executive Board Member, PATA HQ while Taufiq Rahman, Secretary General, PATA BD Chapter moderated the event.
Dr Khandaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director of CPD attended the programme as the guest speaker and Md Rafeeuzzaman, President of TOAB the guest of honour while Additional Secretary Jabed Ahmed, CEO of Bangladesh Tourism Board was present as the chief guest. Other industry elites were also present on the occasion.
The findings of the weeklong discussion between the industry stakeholders and concerned government officials will be compiled and proposed as recommendations to the ministry to overcome the unfortunate crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.