Organised by The Department of Commerce (UG & PG) in collaboration with the IQAC Organising Secretaries : Sayan Roy and Barnasree Chatterjee Platform : Video-conferencing through Google meet Date : July 29, 2020 (Wednesday) from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm A panel discussion on “Survival strategies of Tourism and Hospitality Industries amid Global Pandemic: The Indian Scenario” was organised on July 29, 2020 (Wednesday) from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm by the Department of Commerce of The Bhawanipur Education Society on an online platform. The students of Post-graduation Commerce and the faculty members of The Bhawanipur Education Society participated in the webinar. There were panellists from the tourism and hospitality industry as well as there were erudite academicians from the hotel management institutes who had enlightened us regarding how the hospitality industry is coping up with the loss of footfall which is the lifeline of revenue for the industry. Sayan Roy delivered the introductory note. Saspo Chakraborty Head of the Department of Commerce (Afternoon & Evening) delivered the welcome speech, followed by the introduction of the guests by Prof. Barnasree Chatterjee. Watch the Webinar The panel discussion became highly interactive with the moderation by Paramita Chakravarty. Mr.Kaushik Banerjee, Chapter Chairman, Eastern Region, ETAA started the session with the concern that since the travel and tourism industry contributes to 10% of the GDP, there was an estimation of a loss of five lakh crores of rupees for the on-going pandemic. He had given an insight as to what should be the revival strategies for the travel and tourism industries. His PowerPoint presentation had pointed out their concerns and what the industry wants from the government to revive it post pandemic. Some of the major points in the charter are:- While the industry received a moratorium of 3 months, it should be a minimum of one yea on all working capital, interest payments etc. Collateral and Interest free loans up to a period of five years for the industry to develop its property and survive in the midst of such huge financial crisis Deferment of all statutory dues, including license fees, property tax, excise duties etc. Deferment in increase of premiums – fire, insurance etc. Incentivise all corporates to hold meetings in the hotels in India so that it can boost the industry It also emphasizes the government to provide short term loans to all tour operators as they may be cash trapped being out of business for a substantial period of time It also discussed on how the government at this trying times should lower the GST. Mr. Banerjee’s discussion focussed on the wide spectrum of the industry. He also highlighted about the safety and hygiene that is to be maintained post covid period. He spoke about virtual tours, guided by the local host a new concept that has been conceived after the breakout of COVID 19. The second panellist was an academician Ms.NabanitaKar, Director of IIHM. She has started the session by addressing the questions from the moderator Prof. Paramita Chakravarty regarding the students’ view on taking up Hotel management as a career as there has been a lot of retrenchment in the industry in the past few months across the country. Ms Kar discussed how they impart knowledge to the students as how to survive when people talk about hospitality industry. She also discussed about the different industries are also a part of hospitality industry like tourism, hotel, airlines, retail, banking etc. which are basically associated with hospitality industry as client servicing industry. She discussed about the upcoming trends in the tourism industry and as a student, how they should adapt to the new concepts like health care tourism, ecological tourism etc. which can be seen as an opportunities in future keeping in mind the hygiene and safety of the customers. She has stressed that as a student if somebody learns to provide hospitality, survive in the business and maximise the profitability, he/she can prosper in any professions in future. The third panellist was Mr.Amaan Khan, Sales and Marketing Head, Hospitality Division, Beeu Group. He focused on practical aspects that the standalone hotels and budget hotels are facing amid this pandemic. His speech started with a concern that in the past few months there has been almost 3.8 crore Indians in this industry who had lost their jobs. His discussion focussed on how these budget hotels has been planning to associate themselves with the government and hospitals which are facing shortage of beds on one hand, and there are budget hotels, which are facing loss of footfalls, thus these hotels are providing rooms to asymptomatic patients for isolation, thus creating a win-win situation for both the sectors.Mr. Khan had mentioned that most of the budget hotels have been covering their fixed costs in this manner thus protecting the jobs of the staffs as well. The fourth panellist was Mr. Atanu Banerjee, Associate Director of Sales, The Fern Hotels and Resorts- Concept Hospitality.Mr. Banerjee brought to the light how the brand or concept hotels in India are doing businesses even in states which have been in news for COVID 19 cases only. He discussed that these hotels are not only surviving but they are generating revenue since the un-lockdown phase 1 has started. He stressed on some very catchy words like “Aas pass travelling”, “Dar ke agey bhi jeet hai”. While addressing the strategies, he mentioned that in cities like Mumbai, which is a business hub, hotels are being rented as office space for the time being. He also mentioned how standalone hotels are associating themselves with the brand hotels for their survival. The session was very enlightening. The Question and Answer session was conducted by Dr .Dyuti Sinha, where queries of participants were addressed by the resource persons. The session concluded with a Vote of Thanks by Sayan Roy, the organising secretary of the panel discussion There were around one-hundred and twenty-six participants who were enlightened by the valuable inputs in the panel discussion.