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“American Travel Advisory to India reflects negativity, must be addressed” – FAITH Associations

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality, the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI) and cause partner AIRDA has urgently requested the negative travel advisory from the USA to India to be addressed. 

The United States of America currently has a travel advisory, rated level 4 for India (as on Aug 23, 2020). On a scale of 1-4 this is the highest level of risk rating, carrying with it the advice of ‘do not travel‘. As stated, reasons for the same, apart from restrictive COVID-19 protocols, the rating highlights terrorism, crimes against women and insurgency among others as concerns. 

FAITH Associations have highlighted that the USA is the most important long haul source market for India for most segments of travel. Over the past 10 years, it would have probably brought in between 10- 15 million tourists who could have been instrumental in creating an estimated 40 million foreign tourist visits across Indian states. The travelers from the USA also have one of the highest average stays in India of 29+ days as against the average of 22 + days for all source markets. This is a very strategic source of economic and job multiplier for India. 

Some of the few countries that were reflecting in this category as on Aug 23, include Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen etc. This is perceptually extremely poor for India.

As India has begun the process of opening up its air corridors, such an advisory for India is detrimental to kickstarting all leisure, business and mice tourists from the USA. Additionally, travel advisory as such from the United States of America tends to send a wrong signal for the rest of the developed countries as they start opening up their international air travel.

This advisory appears to have been last updated on August 6, 2020.  FAITH Associations have requested the tourism minister to urgently take it up with Minister of External Affairs, for him to take up with his American counterpart for an immediate revision.

The favourable revision of the travel advisory would be a big boost in beginning the process of creating a positive sentiment for travel, which will slowly put in motion revival for the inbound tourism industry.