Shahid Hamid FIH, Chairman, PATA Bangladesh Chapter says

Policy, financial support required to navigate through COVID-19's socio-economic impact

- A Monitor Desk Report 23 Apr, 2020 | 1376 Views|-+
Dhaka: The world economy has virtually collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the hardest hit sector is the global tourism industry. Bangladesh is no exception. The COVID-19 outbreak has cost the hotels of the country to lose about 90-95 per cent revenue while a number of hotels have been partially shut down. This has also resulted in the threat of 300 thousand staff losing their jobs.

Nevertheless, the entire tourism industry has the proven capacity to turn back and nullify the impact of the outbreak in other sectors as well. For this purpose, the sector need strong support, both policy and finance wise, navigating the unprecedented social and economic impact of the coronavirus.

Shahid Hamid FIH, Chairman, PATA Bangladesh Chapter and Executive Director, Dhaka Regency Hotel and Resort said this on April 21 during the sixth session of the weeklong video conference titled PATA Talk During Lockdown organised by Pacific Asia Travel Association Bangladesh Chapter.

According to IATA and ICAO's survey published three weeks ago, globally 297 airlines have grounded 90 per cent of their aircraft. The loss of this particular sector amounts to almost USD 314 billion. It is a decline of 67 per cent while 25 million people are threatened to be jobless, Hamid added.

The global hospitality data company STR's survey states 68 thousand hotels around the world with 91 million rooms are running between 5 to 15 per cent occupancy, knowing that China is the biggest outbound supplier and hence they are of high rate business.

He further mentioned worldwide the cruise line stopped taking bookings losing billions of dollars. The industries affected are tour operators, travel agents, restaurants, limousine, bus companies, water, rail and highways, casinos, bars, pubs, clubs, live entertainment lounge, health clubs, spa and many others.

WTTC, UNWTO and WHO have made initial survey to confirm the global losses. "However, the losses will only increase since it is uncertain when the pandemic will end, if not completely but largely," said the Chairman of PATA BD Chapter. State of emergency, curfew, lockdown, isolation and social distance are now proven measures to tackle this virus as there is no antivirus or vaccine detected as of yet.

About three weeks ago, PATA Bangladesh Chapter has formed a research team to accumulate the initial and preliminary impact of the pandemic in the entire industry. It has sent a letter to the ministry of civil aviation and tourism of the country specifying the losses, unemployment crisis and recovery measures.

The findings which came up through discussion between the industry stakeholders and concerned government officials via this video conference will be later compiled and proposed as further recommendations to the ministry to overcome the unfortunate crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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