Tag Archives: FAITH

FAITH elects new team

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has elected its new team with Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC, as the Chairman, who was nominated by Hotel Association of India (HAI). The Vice Chairman is Akshay Kumar, CEO, Mercury Himalayan Explorations, who was nominated by Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). The association also created an additional position of Vice Chairman, for which they have elected Sunil Kumar R, CEO, Travel World, who was nominated by Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI).  Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC Travel Group, who was nominated by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), is the new Honorary Secretary, while Garish Oberoi, Partner, Hotel Uberoi Anand, has been declared as the Treasurer. Aashish Gupta continues as the Consulting CEO of FAITH. All the above positions have been unanimously elected by the FAITH Board.

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4th MPTM to be held in Bhopal from Oct 27-29

The 4th edition of Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart (MPTM) will be held from October 27-29, 2017 in Bhopal, informed Hari Ranjan Rao, Secretary, Tourism and Public Service Management and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. Over 200 national and international buyers and around 100 exhibitors of distinct Indian markets are expected to participate in the mart.According to Surendra Patwa, State Minister, Tourism and Culture (I/C), Kisan Kalyavan and Agriculture Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh, “I am hopeful that this year’s MPTM will open way for more investment in tourism sector in the state. This event will give us the opportunity to create a new tourism policy, water tourism policy, heritage policy, policy of providing accommodation facility centres and home state schemes.” With the theme, Seek-Discover-Explore, the mart will offer a B2B platform to bring together tourism stakeholders and representatives from heritage hotels, conference venues, tour operators and wildlife parks etc. The mart is supported by various trade organisations, like ADTOI, ATTOI, IATO, FAITH, TAAI and TAFI. Rao informed that this year, the number of attendees to the mart is expected to cross over 9 crore. International participants attending the show include representatives from Singapore, Spain, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Thailand, Poland, Austria, Australia, France etc. Rao said, “The travel mart is an opportunity in which the tourism aspects of the state and the policies ad schemes are conveyed to the investors. In the last three years of the Travel mart in Bhopal, it has been experienced that through this one-to-one discussion with tourists, tourism, hospitality and participants of the hotel industry, the efforts being made for the expansion of the area are also being …

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Government needs to rethink on taxes: FAITH

The 28 per cent tax on hotels is going to affect not only the hotel industry, but other businesses as well, said Sarab Jit Singh, Vice-Chairman, FAITH. He added, “It is a clear way to kill the travel and hospitality industry. Secondly, GST of 5 per cent on tour operators, which was already there. However, the government should look at if they want to promote tourism or their purpose is to earn tax money from tourism instead of generating employment and earn foreign exchange from this sector. They should decide if they want the tourism industry to perish or flourish. We are tired of knee-jerk reactions that we get from the government now and then. I think the government needs to rethink the decisions on taxes. We are having a meeting with FAITH and work on a consolidated approach to talk to the government on this.”

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FAITH recommends 12% GST to Finance Ministry

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has suggested an upper GST rate of 12 per cent for the tourism and hospitality industry and handed its detailed recommendations to the Ministry of Finance. The industry comprises of air travel agents, business exhibition services, hotel and hospitality services, tour operators, rent a cab and vacation ownership. The representation has been made considering strategic forex, employment, economic and GST rationale and rates for tourism, travel and hospitality sector of India. An upper limit of 12 per cent has been suggested for hotels and hospitality and vacation ownership segment. For the air travel agents the recommendation was given to continue presumptive rate on all income and keep GST at 1 per cent or less. For the tour operators, FAITH requested to introduce a presumptive rates mechanism of GST at 1.2 per cent considering difficulty of getting GST input credits from unorganised sector and the burden of compliance of registration with different states. It has been requested to exempt outbound tour operators and business exhibitions selling outbound from India from GST since provision of services are out of India. In the case of rent a car, a GST rate of 5 per cent has been suggested failing which, maximum 12 per cent has been deemed acceptable. FAITH has urged for a special GST exemption on forex income for tour operators, hotels and businesses earning forex if it can be a criteria with MoF for GST. Addressing the adventure tourism industry, FAIH has requested MoF to consider special GST exemption based on J&K and a very high component of local, unorganised labour involved.

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Allocate more funds for commerce ministry

Sarab Jit Singh, Vice-Chairman, FAITH, appreciated the Finance Minister for taking cognizance of FAITH’s recommendations. “The positive in today’s budget is acceptance and announcement by the Finance Minister of creating five special tourism zones, which was FAITH’s recommendation. Secondly, the announcement for Incredible India branding to be relaunched internationally and 35 per cent increase for its allocation is also a positive from our perspective,” he says. He goes on to explain the flip side. “The negative point according to me is the fact that the government is saying that exports are going down. However, tourism is the only industry which can now bring foreign exchange and generate employment, and the only incentives we were getting from were from the Ministry of Commerce, whose total allocation in the budget has now been reduced. Thus, it is a counterproductive feature. If the government wants to increase imports and wants growth, they cannot have lesser allocation for commerce ministry.” He contemplates on the status of tourism industry post this budget and says, “Tourism in the country is not growing for many years. We have lost for decades together; we have lost marketplace completely internationally; as well as we have lost to competing countries. Until the government moves all the aspects together with full force, we will not have results. I agree that the Prime Minister should talk to the industry directly.”

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Some benefit for inbound tour operators likely

Sarab Jit Singh, Vice Chairman, FAITH, says, “While the service tax would increase to 60 per cent, the government has allowed input credit, which might neutralise the effect of service tax. However, I feel that inbound tourism might not be affected much because of this rule. In fact, there might be some benefit for inbound tour operators in the long run. It will be outbound tour operators, which will see the impact of this announcement. I feel that this ruling is part of government’s move towards GST. Such measures would force people to do business legitimately.

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Service charge row: FAITH seeks retraction from Consumer Affairs ministry

FAITH believes that levying of service charge on invoices is a healthy, cashless practice designed to motivate staff through an additional financial incentive. Levy & proportionate distribution of ‘service charges’ enable enhanced financial support to staff from lower economic groups. FAITH has requested ‘urgent’ intervention of Secretary-Tourism, Government of India, Secretary-Consumer Affairs, Deputy Secretary-Consumer Affairs, & Tourism Secretaries of all state governments, on the issue. The association has recommended a retraction to be released from MCA to secretaries – food, civil supplies & consumer protection. FAITH has opined, that service charges wherever they are levied on invoices, are pre-disclosed on the menu, where it normally says that ‘service charges & government taxes as applicable are extras’. Whenever consumers order, it is implied that they are legally aware of that food service establishment’s disclosed commercial policies and offer of sale. Service tax is thereafter, levied on service charge which is remitted to department of revenue and adds to our country’s indirect tax collections. Once they are disclosed and thereafter accepted by the consumer, it is thus not an unfair consumer practice. FAITH has voiced concern that the ‘letter ‘ by Ministry of Consumer Affairs may create confusion in the minds of diners when they eat out. Additionally, it has the potential to create an unhealthy distrust towards food service establishments among those diners who may not be able to discern distinction between service charge & service tax. Furthermore, if service charges start getting disputed by consumers, it may create unwanted litigation hotel / restaurants & department of revenue, since service tax is levied on all service charges on invoices. All in all, there is scope for large scale litigation & a …

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FAITH proposes ‘Holiday in India’

At a recent pre-budget meeting with the Finance Ministry, FAITH proposed a tourism strategy — Holiday in India — on the lines of ‘Make in India’. FAITH has done a scenario analysis, which shows that under this strategy, Indian tourism can impact up to an estimated 12-16 crore jobs directly or indirectly from the current levels of approximately 4-5 crores. The tourism GDP can get impacted directly or indirectly up to 40 lakh crores from the current levels of around 7- 8 lakh crores. In a document released to its industry members, FAITH has said that the objective behind ‘Holiday in India’ is to make India a multi- season, multi-product, highly preferred tourist / business / conference destination for both the global and domestic tourists.

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Make some relaxations until normalcy returns

Sarabjit Singh, Vice Chairman, FAITH, reveals that tour operators are facing problems everywhere they need to pay higher amount, especially at interstate tolls, which has now been relaxed till Nov 11. “The denominations for 50 and 100 is not available in large numbers as of now. Paying monument fee turned out to be a big problem for tourists. Jaipur has made the entry complimentary for the monuments, and the same should be followed at other places. Either there should be alternate arrangements to deal with this problem, or there should be some relaxation until normalcy returns,” he adds.

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FAITH seeks amendments in GST law

The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has sought amendments to the draft Goods and Services Tax law that include making an exception for tourism and hospitality businesses, and classifying them under 6-8 per cent tax slab. FAITH has asked the GST commissionerate and the revenue secretary to provide an amendment under Section 2 (44)c to the tourism & hospitality industry. According to a letter from FAITH, Section 2(44)c, under the draft GST model law describes an export service as one which is rendered abroad. FAITH has put forwarded the rationale that tourism services to foreign exchange paying tourists can’t be rendered abroad as all our destinations are within India and it is an intangible product & hence an exception needs to be provided in the law itself to the tourism & hospitality industry. Once tourism & hospitality is classified as an export service, FAITH will request the GST council for a 0% rating of GST on tourism & hospitality exports. This will make our tourism industry extremely competitive globally & remove the uncompetitive 18-25% indirect taxation. FAITH will also ask the GST council for a below 10% GST rating on domestic tourism. This is in line with global practices where the introduction of GST has seen tourism GST kept at less than half the standard rate of GST. Implementation of both of these recommendations have the potential to spur our tourism forex earnings to $30-$35 billion from 13-15 million foreign tourists & has our domestic tourism to 1.8- 2 billion domestic visitations. This could double the employment induced by tourism to 9 crore jobs from 4.5 crore jobs. They have also shared their concerns with the …

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