Travel agencies struggle to make ends meet amid the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic as state-imposed travel restrictions bring down bookings.
Bengaluru: The Karnataka state government has imposed travel and movement restrictions to help curb the spread of Coronavirus. After which, there has been a decline in bookings for travel agencies and bus operators. According to the issued guidelines, the government has imposed a 50 per cent cap on the seat occupancy of busses, cabs, and other modes of public transport. According to Jamshed Ali, founder of Keerthi Tours and Travels, “We are dealing with severe losses as buses are not leaving the borders. We have lost 90 per cent of our bookings as people are not even willing to travel within the state.”
Regular travellers from states like Kerala said that the fear of contracting the virus keeps them from travelling even if the restrictions did not exist. According to M. Rohan, a resident of Bangalore whose parents have settled in Kerala, “Due to the restrictions at the border, I have stopped visiting my parents as often as I once did. I am also apprehensive about these buses as they do not guarantee regular sanitization, and the possibility of contracting the virus in them is high.”
Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has issued notices to travel agencies and bus operators to regulate safe covid-19 protocols in buses and other modes of transport. They also suggest mandating negative RT-PCR certificates for those who wish to travel. According to Mohammed Zakaudin, Secretary of TAAI, “Currently even we are writing to the government asking them to ease the travel restrictions for organizations that strictly follow all the Covid-19 protocols.” He further added that unless the caseload decreases and the situation returns to normalcy, the problem will continue to exist.