The travel and tourism industry in India accounts for more than nine percent of the country's GDP
The travel and tourism sector is a big contributor to employment in India, making it an important industry for the government to focus on in Budget 2019.
According to Nishant Pitti, co-founder and CEO, EaseMyTrip, "there should be fund allotment for infrastructural developments, be it the airports and railway stations, tourist places or other facilities."
"In fact, major initiative should be taken to promote heritage destinations on a global level. There must be no delay in refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) since this would block the working capital and create stress for the industry," he added.
The travel and tourism industry in India accounts for more than nine percent of the GDP and Sandeep Gupta, Executive Director, Asian Hotels West, believes that higher budgetary allocation would allow the sector to expand by 2.5 percent.
Yet, luxury hotels in Indian cities are the most taxed in the world as they fall under the highest GST slab of 28 percent.
Hence, Gupta believes, "by rationalised changes, one may standardise the luxury segment and make India competition ready with an increase in demand. This would also result in India being positioned as one of the chosen destinations, enabling the foreign exchange value for the nation."
In addition, industry players expect uniform taxes. Indroneel Dutt, CFO, Cleartrip expects the government to bring necessary provisions to accommodate four different slabs under ‘One GST Rate’ in this Budget.
"Simplifying input credit mechanism on air and accommodation services including big-ticket transactions like travel bookings, along with processes like GST filing, will provide a fillip to the sector," Dutt added.
FICCI in its Budget 2019 recommendation to the government for the travel tourism sector said that if specific tourist destinations are developed they further can help attract many more domestic and foreign tourists.“Be it Hampi in Karnataka, Fatehpur Sikri and Chitrakoot in UP, Desert Circuit in Rajasthan (Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Barmer, Jodhpur), Shamuka beach and Chillika lake in Odisha, Haridwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand or Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, India can be in an enviable position if such locations can be further developed with all the needed facilities – stay, connectivity, and guides," said FICCI. The Great Diwali Discount!
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