President & Vice President of IATO along with Presidents of ATOAI and ADTOI met Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog today to seek government’s support for the survival and revival of tour operators and other stakeholders of the industry. During the meeting financial support was sought along with long term loans and a hike in SEIS incentive from 7% to 10%. The NITI Aayog CEO gave a patient hearing and has assured full support.
During the meeting, Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO emphasised that Inbound Tour Operators who bring in foreign tourists and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country are on the verge of collapsing due to Covid-19 pandemic and need urgent help to survive as there is zero billing and consequently zero cash flow. Apart from Sarkar, Rajiv Mehra, Vice President was representing IATO. Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and PP Khanna, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators Association of India (ADTOI) were also present.
The delegation sought financial support to tour operators so that tour operators do not close down and continue their business with their experienced staff after the COVID – 19 is controlled and tourism is back to business, under MSME Special Non-collateral and interest-free long term loans (5-10 years) to be provided to the tour operators for the survival of the business and aggressive marketing once tourism is back to business. In addition, IATO sought an increase in incentive offered in Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS) from 7% to 10 % which will allow them to offer competitive packages vis a vis neighbouring countries.
Kant gave a very patient hearing and assured the delegation full support to the tourism industry. IATO and other tourism bodies sincerely hope and believe that the government would soon provide measures to mitigate the pain of the tourism industry.