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Hospitality Industry Faces the Brunt Of Coronavirus Outbreak February bookings dropped by as much as 60 per cent in states where patients tested positive for the virus. On a year-over-year basis, Maharashtra, which currently has the most cases among all states in India saw a dip of 42 per cent; in Kerala, they fell by 54 per cent.

By Debroop Roy

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The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the subsequent lockdown in India has perhaps hit the hospitality industry the hardest. According to a report by RateGain, a software provider for the hospitality and travel market, 15 of the 17 Indian states that it has data on, have seen a significant drop in bookings.

February bookings dropped by as much as 60 per cent in states where patients tested positive for the virus. On a year-over-year basis, Maharashtra, which currently has the most cases among all states in India saw a dip of 42 per cent; in Kerala, they fell by 54 per cent.

Uttar Pradesh was an outlier which saw a growth of 37 per cent from a year ago. Even so, the growth was lower than what was seen during November and December.

Pilgrimage

As per the report, 80 per cent of pilgrimage sites saw a drop in books for the months of January and February compared to the same time a year earlier. Some of the worst affected include the city of Puri in Odisha, which is home to the famous Jagannath Temple, which saw an 85 per cent drop in February, and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

Amritsar, Haridwar and Belgaum saw an increase in numbers from a year earlier during the period.

Apart from putting a stopper on almost all modes of travel, India has currently put a hold on all religious gatherings. Last week, Yogi Adityanath's government called off the widely visited Ram Navami Mela, which was to be held from March 25 in Ayodhya.

Other Tourist Sites

Nearly all other locations that see a large number of tourists throughout the year have seen a drop. From bird sanctuaries and national parks such as Shimoga in Karnataka and Thekkady in Kerala, to hill stations such as Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and Siliguri in West Bengal, the drops have been across states.

The trend is similar to cities which have forts and heritage places including Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan as well as backwater locations as Alleppey in Kerala.

The report added that budget and mid-tier hotels and luxury boutique hotels have shown a sharp decline post-December while upscale hotels and multinational chains have maintained numbers over the November-February period.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.
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