Indian Tourism Industry feels left out yet again in the union budget and terms it disappointing

The tourism and travel industry of India was among the worst-hit industries since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The industry has pinned great hopes on the union budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.

Soon after the budget presentation, the tourism industry was more or less unanimous in saying that the budget has not lived up to the expectations of the industry. While some appreciated the steps to strengthen infrastructure, the majority was disappointed for the fact that no immediate relief was provided for the revival of the ailing industry.

Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH, said that it is the lack of immediate direct support in the budget that has disappointed the industry.  “The union budget laid out budget proposals for enhancing rail, road, ports, metro lite infrastructure & PPP in buses, airports, and ports including vista coaches in tourist routes. These infrastructure measures may boost tourism over the long term but only once they are implemented. The measures to change the small companies’ capitalization and turnover and support to the single-person company may boost the micro and small tourism entrepreneurs in boosting their organized state. However, the new agri-infra cess will be a further dampener.” he added.

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), a leading trade body representing over 1700 inbound tour operators said it was expecting some relief measures like tourism being treated at par with the IT sector or enhancement of the Service Export from India Scheme from the current 7%.
IATO said that none of these measures have found a mention in the budget proposal when the pandemic hit tourism the hardest with inbound tour operators staring at almost nil income till date with no immediate revival insight.

Pronab Sarkar, president, IATO said  “We express our deep disappointment with the budget as we had high expectations for some relief being given to the pandemic hit tourism sector, but not even one of our requests has been acceded.”

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