‘Union Budget has recognised hospitality industry as a key pillar of economy’

 ‘Union Budget has recognised hospitality industry as a key pillar of economy’

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that 50 tourist destinations will be developed in PPP mode

Team L&M

The Hotel Association of India has whole-heartedly welcomed the Union Budget 2023-24. “It is heartening to note it continues to build on a strong foundation of economic development by promoting inclusive growth wherein fruits of development reach each and every citizen of the country,” says MP Bezbaruah, Secretary General, Hotel Association of India, adding that Tourism and Hospitality industry is now being recognised as a key pillar of the economy.
“Hotel sector can promote inclusive growth like no other industry given its potential to create jobs across categories, for women and differently abled persons and in remote and rural areas. This budget too has recognised and highlighted the importance of the sector by announcing the selection and development of 50 tourist destinations through challenge mode. This will surely add more value to India as a destination for both domestic and international traveller. That these destinations will be developed in a PPP mode as announced in the budget therefore also brings a deep sense of satisfaction,” he says adding that an increase in standard deduction and reduction of income tax rates will surely place more disposable income in the hands of people which will in turn raise the demand for goods and services, including hospitality services. “But we have been looking for some direct benefits like Infrastructure status, subsidized rates of utilities, property tax and availability of softer finance options, rationalisation of taxes for hotels,” he rues.
There is a mention of The Harmonized Master List of Infrastructure to be reviewed by an expert committee for recommending the classification and financing framework, about increased ease of doing business and other proposed reforms. The Association is hopeful that these recommendations will be addressed in the coming months. A number of other stakeholders in the Hospitality sector have also welcomed the Union Budget 2023-24:

Asif Fazlani, Managing Director, Fazlani Nature’s Nest

The government’s focus on tourism in the budget by giving it a top priority is commendable. The allocation of resources highlights the importance placed on boosting employment through the tourism sector. The budget demonstrates the government’s commitment to the holistic development of the industry. The plan to develop 50 tourist destinations for both domestic and international tourists
will revolutionize the tourism industry in India.

Jaikar Singh, Director, Symphony Resorts, Andaman & Nicobar Islands

It is encouraging to see the boost given to the tourism industry in Budget 2023-24. The push toward physical and virtual connectivity will undoubtedly improve the tourist experience. Furthermore, the construction of 50 new airports, heliports, and landing strips to strengthen regional air connectivity will promote domestic travel. As a result, we hope that the subsequent increase in tourism will benefit the hospitality industry and support the recovery for hotel companies hit hard by the pandemic.”

Harsha Parbat, CEO & Founder, AllFive

By the end of 2023, the travel & tourism industry is expected to touch the $14.92 billion mark. With a 52.19% hike in the number of travellers in 2022 compared to 2021 the initiatives – border village tourism, unity mall and ‘One District, One product’ will be a huge step forward to ensure the economic growth through tourism within the country that will attract not only foreign travelers but also domestic travelers. The jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities will be huge in the tourism sector, especially due to schemes like Swadesh Darshan and Dekho Apna Desh and the initiatives mentioned above. We anticipate additional 137 million jobs and entrepreneurship
opportunities to be created in the tourism sector.

Nishant Pitti, CEO and Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip

A new chapter in India’s travel and tourism industry is set to begin as the Budget 2023 announcement comes to a close. The positive outlook for the industry displayed by FM Nirmala Sitharaman early on in her speech is highly commendable, taking up the agenda for promoting tourism in the country on “mission mode,” and will play a vital role in reviving the landscape of tourism in India. The initiative to provide additional infrastructural support with fifty new airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing zones in India, along with the simplification of registration and overall regulations under the GIFT IFSC will pave the way for new entrants in the aviation industry, which has experienced increasing demand both domestically and internationally. Theme-based tourist circuits and introduction of ‘unity malls’ by states to promote locally manufactured goods is yet another move that will result in revitalising the tourism industry, along with providing multiple opportunities for employment generation and entrepreneurship. Moreover, the introduction of the new Income Tax slabs will avail newer and better opportunities for people to travel and discover India’s rich diversity.

Aditya Sanghi, Co-founder & CEO, Hotelogix

Guest experience is the fulcrum for tourism in India as we as a nation are gifted with many naturally beautiful landscapes, heritage destinations, medical tourism, and wellness tourism, like people visiting for yoga, etc. This budget’s focus on an app to enhance tourists’ experience is a welcome step. It will help us track the guest experience we are delivering and enable us to boost the same as we would know the areas to improve.The tourism and hotel sector will get further push with a focus on increasing international inbound tourism.
It offers an opportunity for hotels in India to see much better ADRs as those international guests’ average spending is relatively
higher. It will also be beneficial for the country’s economy.

Paritosh Ladhani, Joint Managing Director, Sincere Developers, owners of Taj Hotel & Convention Centre Agra

The Union Budget 2023-2024 highlights that the Indian economy is on a growth trajectory in spite of the global economic challenges. In her Budget speech, the FM emphasized that the country offers “immense attraction” for both domestic and international tourists. With the government announcing that states will be encouraged to set up a “Unity Mall” in the capital city or most popular tourist destination for the promotion of ‘One District, one product’ theme, such initiatives will help to unleash the potential vested in the tourism sector. I also expect that the change in tax regime announced in the Union Budget will result in more disposable income in the hands of middle-class consumers – which I expect ultimately will spur consumption in activities like travel. Regional connectivity will see a boost with the plans to renew 50 additional airports, helipads, water aero drones, and advanced landing grounds.

Jai Sreedhar, CEO and Joint MD, Rosetta, Sakleshpur

India’s domestic tourism potential is immense; however, it has not been completely explored yet. This sector presents a huge opportunity for various stakeholders involved in domestic tourism to grow the business exponentially. It is heartening to see that the government is taking an interest in tourism and developing destinations, not just by increasing connectivity but enhancing the overall experience. They are looking at creating a holistic experience by focusing on allied services such as guides to famous tourist places, food stalls, and food vendors amongst other things. The other initiative by the government which is commendable is the skill development program. There is a severe shortage of skilled workforce in the tourism industry and any attempt to increase the skill quotient of the youth, contributing
to any segment of tourism, be it hotels, transportation or local experiences will create a huge opportunity in this sector to create
jobs and provide employment.”

Nitin Raj, CEO and Co Founder, Riverum, Travel tech Company

This is a significant increase and will definitely send some shock waves but the tour and travel industry that has already learnt and experienced so much during the 2 years long hefty covid outbreak and hopefully it will surely find a work around for this as well. However this tax collection at source is for the tour packages above Rs 50 lakhs. If we look at it from another point of view then in a way it is good and promotes domestic tourism and there is a lot more demand for domestic packages than international ones. There is also a possibility that high cost tour packages can now be split into multiple travel plans by tour operators and travel agents. Furthermore the devil is in detail for both sides in this case. Will it have an impact on the demand in travelers for high cost travel packages is yet to be determined.

Chirag Gupta, CEO & Founder, Deyor

The Budget has brought about reforms aimed at benefiting the middle class and the tourism industry. In terms of the income tax slabs, the government has reduced tax rates and simplified the structure, making it easier for individuals to manage their finances and freeing up resources for personal growth. This move has the potential to drive consumer spending and economic growth. On the tourism front, the government has introduced initiatives to boost the industry, including a focus on rural tourism with investment in infrastructure, access to destinations, and local communities. This will create jobs and preserve cultural heritage, making India an attractive destination for tourists. These budget proposals show the government’s commitment to creating a more equitable and prosperous society,
with a lasting impact on the middle class and tourism industry. We at Deyor are looking forward to contributing to
the industry for years to come.

Progressive Economic Document, says CAIT


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