1.5 lakh people lost jobs
Staff Correspondent: The country’s hospitality and tourism sector has suffered a loss of Tk 60,000 crore due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Besides, about 1 lakh 41 thousand people in this sector have lost their jobs.
This information was given in the research report titled ‘The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Hospitality and Tourism Sector in Bangladesh’ in the auditorium of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) in the capital on Sunday (April 10).
Mohammad Yunus, Senior Research Fellow, BIDS, presented the report. BIDS Director General Binayak Sen and Bangladesh Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer (Additional Secretary) Jabed Ahmed were also present on the occasion. According to the report, Covid-19 caused a total loss of Tk 600 billion in this sector. Of the total losses, 40 per cent were in transport, 29 per cent in hotels and 25 per cent in resorts and restaurants. The transport sector has suffered the most in Corona.
Tourism lost Tk26,490cr in 2020
Bangladesh’s travel and tourism sector – one of the industries hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic – suffered a massive loss of Tk26,490 crore ($3.1 billion) last year, says a latest World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report.
The WTTC’s 2021 Economic Impact Report estimated that the country’s travel and tourism sector accumulated a gross domestic product (GDP) of Tk53,960 crore in 2020, which was Tk80,450 crore in 2019.
Hence, Bangladesh experienced a 32.9% decrease to the sector’s contribution to the economy. Besides, over 4 lakh people involved in the country’s tourism sector lost their jobs last year amid the crisis.
According to the report, Bangladesh’s travel and tourism industry was responsible for more than 1.86 million jobs (2.9% of total employment) in 2019. But in 2020, the number of jobs declined 21.9% to 1.45 million (2.3% of total employment).
The country’s domestic travel spending saw a decrease of 33.9% – declining from Tk68,650 crore in 2019 to Tk45,380 crore in 2020. Meanwhile, international visitor spending in Bangladesh dropped by 59.7% in 2020 – decreasing from Tk3,030 crore in 2019 to just Tk1,220 crore in 2020.
On the issue, Secretary General of Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) Bangladesh Chapter Taufiq Rahman said, “We had presented some demands to the government in a bid to revive this ailing industry, but no action has been taken and no allocation has been made for us.”
“The pandemic has left us in a lurch and businesses have slowed to a crawl. We need support from the government to recover from this crisis,” said Taufiq – who is also the founder chief executive of Journey Plus.
Earlier this month, the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) sought an allocation of Tk20,000 crore exclusively for the tourism sector, excluding aviation, in the budget for the Fiscal Year 2021-22.
At the same time, the organisation demanded that all the tourist centres across the country be opened on condition of maintaining strict health guidelines and operating on 50% capacity.
Each year, the WTTC and Oxford Economics produce reports covering the economic contribution of our sector in 185 countries. The global travel & tourism sector suffered a loss of almost $4.5 trillion last year and the sector lost nearly 62 million jobs, according to the 2021 report.
The tourism industry has collapsed. Those involved in the tourism industry are facing this loss.
In December 2019, the first coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China. Tourist centres have suffered the most from the effects of the coronavirus, which quickly spread to most countries in the world. All the world’s tourism industries were shut down after travel was banned from one country to another.
After the first corona outbreak in Bangladesh was identified on March 6, 2020 and its rapid increase in impact, the government declared a general holiday from March 26, 2020 to May 30, 2020 and all tourist centres, hotels, motels, restaurants, leisure centers, waterways in the country. Roads, railways and airplanes were declared closed. As a result, all classes of people involved in the tourism industry faced losses. The 4 million workers involved in this industry have become unemployed and more than one and a half crore people dependent on them are plunged into deep uncertainty.
The beginning of 2020 was a good time for tourism. According to the World Tourism Organization, In January 2020, the number of tourists was 2 percent more than last year. However, the coronavirus caused a massive downward trend in February and March.
According to the report, tourist arrivals in February were 9 percent lower than last year and 56 percent lower in March. As a result, Asia and the Pacific region suffered the most. Tourism contributed 2.9 trillion to the world economy’s GDP in 2019, accounting for 11 percent of total GDP. Corona has so far cost the tourism sector 2.1 trillion. In 2019, the number of tourists in the world was 1.5 billion.
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) estimates that the number of tourists will increase by another 4 to 5 percent that year. But coronavirus has reduced its rate. As a result of the loss of about $400 million, the impact is going to be huge in the future.
Even if the effects of the coronavirus are gone, it will take some time for the earth to return to its former state. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during the Corona outbreak, with people running out of savings, limited livelihoods, and reduced health risks. So even if the Corona effect is gone, it may take another two to three years for the tourism industry to regain its former momentum. Countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Americas, Spain, Italy, and France have been hit hard by the corona.
The tourism industry of Bangladesh is an emerging industry. The industry has made great strides in recent years. But the coronavirus has now collapsed in the industry. All types of tourist centers, hotels, motels and restaurants in the country have been closed for a long time and this industry is facing huge losses. The contribution of tourism to the GDP of Bangladesh is about 3 percent.
According to a study in the Bangladesh chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), a total of Tk 9,605 crore was lost in the overall tourism industry in the five months from January to May, 2020 and about 3,09,500 people are in danger of losing their jobs. About Tk 2,000 crore in hotels, various resorts and restaurants and about 250,000 unemployed, Tk 3,000 crore in travel agencies and about 15,000 unemployed, Tk 4,050 crore in tour operations (Inbound, outbound and domestic) 41,000 unemployed, Tk 55 crore in tourist transport and cargo ships and 1,500 unemployed.
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