Tag Archives: Union Budget

Inbound sector completely ignored

Rajan Sehgal, Chairman, TAAI- Northern Chapter, has a stern opinion on Union Budget. “For the last so many years, there has been no mention of tourism. This time as well, tourism was mentioned only for two minutes. We cannot think of growth and promotion of tourism internationally without having our house in order. No monument in India is of international standard, and people only know of the Taj Mahal, which is the only monument we can sell, which too is not tourism friendly.” On how the Budget ignored the inbound sector, Sehgal says, “Tourism brings in foreign exchange as well as creates employment. Very cleverly, the government has seen outbound tourism where they have seen two crore people are travelling, and thus they should come in the tax bracket. But they have not emphasised on inbound, which would bring the foreign exchange. They are just trying to collect tax, but they have not understood the potential of tourism. We have to have direct interaction with the Prime Minister’s Office. Tourism needs to be a very easy industry, and the tax should be simplified in this sector. Other countries follow this and are booming.”

Read More »

Hotel industry let down by Budget

On hospitality failing to find a mention in Union Budget, Rajindera Kumar, EC Member-FHRAI, Former President FHRAI & HRANI, Working Director, Vivanta by Taj Ambassador, says, “The Budget spoke about every other sector except tourism which I feel is very upsetting as the matter of the fact is that anyone who comes to India or goes out from India, spends their maximum time under the ambit of tourism. The hotel industry too is very disappointed with this Union Budget. I have to say that running a hotel in not a joy anymore in today’s time.” Kumar raises some valid questions on FDI. “In case of FDI when the government can offer a single window clearance then why can’t the same be done for the hospitality industry? We can just hope to be an active part of the five Ts, with tourism being one of them under this government,” he asks.

Read More »

5 special tourism zones announced in Union Budget 2017-18

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting Budget 2017-18 announced that the government will establish five special tourism zones in the next financial year. “Tourism is a big employment generator and has a multiplier impact on the economy. Five special tourism zones anchored on SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) will be set up in partnership with the states,” Jaitley said on Wednesday. Other key takeaways for the tourism industry with respect to the Railway Budget are dedicated tourism/pilgrimage trains, 500 stations to be made differently-abled friendly, Coach Mitra facility to be introduced and bio-toilets for all coaches by 2019, offer competitive ticket-booking facility and no service charge for tickets booked on IRCTC, and new metro rail policy to be announced soon. In a boost to infrastructure development, Jaitley announced allocation of Rs 64,000 crore for national highways. He also announced Rs 2 trillion for transport sector. Jaitley has also announced that Head Post Offices will now be used as the front office for passport services.

Read More »

PNR data to be submitted to Indian Customs

Albert Tjoeng, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications, Asia Pacific at International Air Transport Association (IATA),  takes heart from the Union Budget. “The Finance bill 2017 has added new provisions for the future introduction of submission of PNR data by airlines to the Indian Customs, he says. He adds that IATA hopes that the established global standards for transmission of PNRGOV data would be adhered to. “We would also urge that stakeholder consultations precede the development of any regulations detailing the form and data elements for this information,” he concludes.

Read More »

Not much to help the industry

Vikram Madhok, Managing Director, Abercrombie & Kent India, says that the budget really has not taken tourism into much consideration. “Yes, a lot has been said about the railways in the budget and we welcome any other infrastructure investment, but there is not much that is going to help the industry directly. This year’s budget has nothing much for tourism,” he added.

Read More »

Key tourism issues omitted

IATO President Pronab Sarkar says budget did not give any encouragement to the tourism industry. “There was no mention of the tourism industry, and no benefits or plus points were announced. Apart from speaking about five tourism circuits and second phase of the Incredible India campaign, nothing else was mentioned.” Detailing their expectations and the disappointment that followed, Sarkar says, “We were expecting e-visa changes to be applicable, which were announced in December. The Prime Minister is talking about branding India and mentioning tourism amongst the five pillars, but no one has looked into the prospects of this Industry. Thus, the government needs to be sensitised. As association, we tried seeking appointment with him and did write to him on Twitter, but haven’t heard from anyone as yet.”

Read More »

Tourism left to fend for itself

Homa Mistry, CEO, Trail Blazer Tours India, takes a very despair outlook to the omission of tourism and hospitality from the Union Budget 2017-18. “Tourism has been going through very tough times and we have realized we are on our own. I did not have any expectations from the government and as always the Budget did not have anything for the tourism and hospitality industry. I am just not surprised,” he says. Mistry remains cautious about the upcoming Goods and Services Tax. “We are however looking forward to the Good and Services Tax (GST) Bill which too shall be more of a bomb dropped on us,” he adds.

Read More »

Tragedy for Tourism to be left behind

Highly dissatisfied with the Union Budget,  Sunil Kumar, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), says tourism has been again been put on the back burner. “It is a big tragedy for an industry that has so much to offer many countries of the world. Wonder when India will consider this industry as an important economic success strategy.” Kumar reiterates that the budget does not meet up to the expectations of the industry, which has been projecting innovation with wide reforms and a more dynamic India. “There were expectations on Service Tax reliefs; boost to tourism sector; incentives for foreign exchange earnings, and these appear to have missed out. The income tax relief should have been on most classes, but is only done for lower slabs. The focus on Voluntary Disclosure is not too strategic and may not yield good results. Whatever must happen in the areas of travel, tourism and aviation, will not be dependent on this budget at all. In fact, the new 0.5% cess is going to add liability to all. The new budget has hardly any positive impact on our industry, which is sad,” he says. “For Travel industry to grow, especially during a time when the challenges are too many and the industry does require a boost, government must address the issues concerned, including sustainability. For this industry being a very large employer of people and generator of huge revenues for government in the form of taxes, government’s attention is rather disappointing,” Kumar added. Unless the government firmly reviews the challenges of all stakeholders in this industry, it will not be able to support the growth that is available in plenty. The TAAI President says …

Read More »