The demonetisation has put all aspects of the economy under a cloud and the tourism industry isn't any different. Though travel agencies are providing the option of online transactions, the sector on the whole has been hit very hard with a significant dip in bookings.
“It was so sudden. Agencies couldn't even come up with a contingency plan. Very few customers are coming in to buy tour packages. We had busy days earlier, now business is very bad. No matter how much you depend on online transactions at the end of the day, you do need cash. People are lined up outside ATMs the whole time, when will they go on a holiday,” asked Ms Nikita Vinay, an employee of Thomas Cook.
Pilgrimage tourism is down to zero, complained Mr K. Radhakrishna Holla, president, Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners’ Association. “Just a week earlier, people would go to Tirupathi, Kukke Subramanya and other places nearby every single day. Now literally no one is going.”
Overall bookings have gone down by about 50 percent, he said. “We didn’t deal with online transactions earlier and that hit us very badly. Now we are trying to convert all our transactions online, so that we will stay afloat. Right now, we have bookings only from corporates and people going to Mr Janardhana Reddy’s daughter’s wedding!”
“Bookings have gone down by almost 70 percent and there isn't much we can do about it,” said Mr Ansar, Manager, KPN Travels, Bengaluru. “We used to make bookings of up to Rs 20 lakh every day, but after the demonetisation it has dropped to only Rs 4 lakh. Only those who have online accounts are booking and we have absolutely no booking done through cash at our offices.”...