April 2020 was the craziest month in Hari Ganapathy’s entrepreneurial journey. Ganapathy is the co-founder of Indian travel planning firm PickYourTrail. With airlines grounded and hotels shut due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic, his company’s cancellations went from 2% to 100%, with revenues sinking to zero.
It’s a story that has played out across all companies in the travel sector, from online travel aggregators (OTAs) to hotels to airlines, across India and Southeast Asia. And that will spill over to hit economic growth as well, especially in countries that are heavily dependent on tourism.