The Israel-Hamas War Is Taking A Toll On India’s Tourism Season

The Israel-Hamas War Is Taking A Toll On India's Tourism Season

The war, in addition to the conflict between India and Canada, affects all aspects of travel as the Indian tourism industry seeks to recover from the changing effects of Covid.

The Israel-Hamas conflict is another blow to India’s tourism sector, which is recovering from the consequences of the recent pandemic, the suspension of visa services for Canadians. Travel between Israel and India will be affected on both sides as a result of the war, the Indian Travel Association said.

“Flights from India to Tel Aviv have now been suspended, so travel will not take place. This war (Israel-Hamas war) worries us more than (India) because a large number of Israeli youth, after completing their military training, will go to India for entertainment,” said Rajiv Mehra, CEO Chair of Indian Association of Tour Operators.. Financial Management.

Today, that opportunity has been lost, he said. Israeli youth often travel to the upper regions of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

“Now this will affect the entire ecosystem, including hotels, restaurants and travel agencies. Young people and backpackers make up a large part of people from Israel to India. Although there are business and leisure travelers, their numbers are very small,” Mehra said. Air India has canceled its flights to Tel Aviv until October 14. The full-service carrier operates five flights a week to Tel Aviv from the country’s capital and is the only flight to Israel. . “The crisis will affect travel during the peak season, this is the first year after 2019-20 after the disease year. But first the Canada issue and now this – it has broken our spirit,” Mehra added.

People from Israel reached a peak of 73,137 in 2019, according to data from India Tourism Statistics for 2022. Although visitors from Israel to India dropped significantly to 4,601 in 2021, about 53 percent of them came during the peak period of October to December, the Business Standard report said.

Foreign tourists to India fell 44 percent to 1.5 million in 2021. “Air India flies non-stop between India and Israel, and recently Israel has become a popular destination for Indians due to good connectivity and no Schengen visa requirements. We have also seen a lot of business traffic in Israel. Since the war, restrictions have increased and Indians are not traveling. Regarding the entry, now they stop,” said Mohak Nahta, the founder of Atlys, an online visa application. October is the beginning of the peak tourist season in India.

As the conflict worsens, it will have an increasing impact on travel to the Middle East region for entertainment, meetings, conferences and exhibitions, tourism and business, said Aashish Gupta, who oversees the head of the Federation of Tourism and Hospitality Associations. The conflict between India and Canada and now the war between Israel and Hamas have affected all aspects of travel, as Indian tourism needs to recover from the negative effects of Covid.

“The increase in oil prices resulting from this conflict, which has already increased due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the resulting inflationary pressure will have an impact on the airline,” said Gupta. According to the International Air Transport Association, the cost of aviation fuel has increased by almost 150% in the past year.

A study by the International Airport trade group said that the cost of flights to India increased the most in the Asia-Pacific region in 2023, with a 41% increase in the first quarter of 2023. Gupta said that due to the ongoing conflict, it is important to focus on attracting visitors from other markets.

“It is now very important that India’s tourism marketing efforts expand to other markets to support tourism,” he said.

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