Reactions to India’s tourism budget


INDIA (eTN) – The Indian travel and hospitality industry has lamented that the union budget presented in Parliament on February 29 has not provided for any benefits for the industry.

Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) President Subhash Goyal told a meeting of members on March 2 that there was nothing for tourism in the budget proposals, although they had sent many suggestions for consideration.

Sunil Kumar, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) President Sunil Kumar said that tourism has been put on the back burner. It is a big tragedy for an industry which can do so much, he said.

G. S. Sahni, President, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India, felt that the only positive thing was to make non-functional airports functional.

Rajen Seghal, Northern India President of Travel Agents Association of India, said that improving connectivity was the only positive step proposed.

E. M. Najeeb, Chairman, Air Travel Express group, hoped that infrastructure development would include development of tourism circuits.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Gajapathi Raju on March 2 said that India was being made a hub in Asia for the large Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry and aircrafts coming to India for repair and maintenance work will be allowed to bring passengers on the way in and on the way out. Duties on items required for the MRO are being removed.

The minister said that in recent months the price of aviation fuel had come down, and hence the impact of the increase in import duties on fuel will be only about 6.5 percent.