The Travel Agents Association of India has sought the Centre's intervention to overcome challenges faced by the industry as tour operators have witnessed 70-80 per cent cancellation of bookings following the coronavirus outbreak, an official said.
The industry body also urged the government to create a corpus for survival of the industry, the official said. "Travel industry is facing severe trouble due to coronavirus outbreak as cancellations have already touched as high as 70-80 per cent.
We have written to the tourism ministry for its intervention to resolve issues and concerns dealing with cancellations," Travel Agents Association of India president Jyoti Mayal told PTI.
In a letter to Director General (Tourism) Meenakshi Sharma, with the outbreak of coronavirus, tavellers are refraining from undertaking travel while many countries have released travel advisories, the association said in the letter.
Events are being cancelled, flights curtailed and hotels and immigration authorities are scanning passengers, Mayal said.ALSO READ: Coronavirus LIVE: 43 cases in India, govt issues new health guidelines
"Due to the sharp drop in business into and out of India, it shall become difficult for the trade to survive, as the most peak season for travellers is between April to July. Corporates are also putting their travel plans on hold," she said.
Almost 50 per cent of the annual business on tourism takes place during this period, she said.
"We have requested the ministry to bring out a relief for travel agents or tour operators on income taxes or loan repayments and urged to allocate funds so as to create a corpus for the survival of the travel trade," Mayal said.
The TAAI has requested the Centre to issue a circular to airlines operating domestic and international flights for waiving rescheduling and cancellation charges on compassionate ground.
Some travellers, who have cancelled bookings, are seeking refunds while airlines are not providing such waiver and this has put the travel agents and tour operators in a spot, Mayal added.