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NEW DELHI: The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), on Thursday urged the Centre to designate all tourism, travel and hospitality staff as frontline workers and ensure their vaccination irrespective of age.

It has requested the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and health ministry to take up the matter, and issue advisories to state governments accordingly.

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FAITH said Indian tourism is entering the peak holiday season of 2021 for domestic travel which has historically generated more than 60% domestic tourism business. Meanwhile, October-March is the peak season for inbound travel accounting for more than 70% of an estimated tourism business.

“This (vaccination) will send a strong message of Indian Tourism getting ready to receive visitors in a safe and responsible manner. This can also be the cornerstone of Indian Tourism’s tactical communication strategy and will be a big competitive advantage and a key selling point for revival for all segments," FAITH said in a statement.

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, India’s hospitality and tourism sector has suffered three washout quarters estimated to cost up to Rs15 lakh crore, and the industry is desperately looking forward to government support to survive and recover in 2021.

The second wave of coronavirus and subsequent night curfews and restrictions imposed by various state governments have pushed the tourism industry in deeper trouble. With international borders shut, domestic tourism is one of the key segments that hospitality players have pinned their hopes on. The vaccination drive is expected to revive the demand in the domestic segment as more people feel confident to restart taking holidays and short breaks.

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