New Delhi, Mar 8 (PTI) Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India on Tuesday welcomed the restarting of international scheduled commercial flights, saying it will give a ray of hope to the pandemic-hit hospitality segment and its employees.  “The resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services from March 27 is a welcome relief. We thank the Govt and Civil Aviation Ministry for it,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI).

FHRAI was following up with the government to restart international travel, especially because most countries have already thrown open their gates for international travellers, he added.  “The industry was anxiously awaiting an announcement on this since early bird gets the worm. Foreign Exchange earnings for the last two Financial Years have been entirely wiped out due to restrictions, which also forced approx 30 per cent of hotels & restaurants to shut business and millions lost their jobs,” Kohli said.  He informed that the hospitality industry’s total revenue in FY 2019-20 stood at Rs 1.82 lakh crore, and it employed over 50 million people.  “During the period, the tourism and hospitality industry reported forex earnings of USD 30 billion, making it India’s third-largest foreign exchange earner. The latest announcement has come as a ray of hope for hospitality businesses and those employed in the sector,” Kohli noted. PTI RSN BAL BAL