“Need for more proactive relief programs to increase the losses of Rs 200-500 crore incurred by the tourism industry”

The extended loan benefits are only expected to benefit a portion of registered travel and tourism players, but interest rates remain a concern. (Photo source: Kerala Tourism / Facebook)

By Aditya Chamaria,

The travel and tourism industry represents 8% of the GDP and an equal volume of jobs; look at the weight to which this industry has been subjected; losses have reached nearly Rs. 200-500 crores, over the past two years. In the midst of these trials and tribulations, comes the announcement by the Minister of Finance specifically targeting a section of travel and tourism actors that includes tour guides (TG) and tour operators and travel agents (TTS). This statement comes as a recognition by the government of the challenges facing the sector. However, the range of companies involved in the industry in particular is wide and remains unhappy with the blow dealt by the two waves of the pandemic.

The travel and tourism industry is widely spread across a variety of segments, including airlines, hospitality, IATA agents, cable cars, travel groups, and more. Much of them have had incredibly low incomes since the pandemic hit. This makes the need of the hour to be increased in the amount of support offered to tourism service providers, and it should be somewhat aligned with company size, turnover and employment opportunities. offered.

The issuance of free 5 lakh visas will certainly boost stakeholder morale and have positive effects on associated businesses, only when India’s positioning as a safer tourist destination is promoted on the global front. This seems like a far-fetched proposition as the nation has just emerged from Wave 2, and the fear of Wave 3 lurks behind it, as medical experts suggest. The extended loan benefits are only expected to benefit a portion of registered travel and tourism players, but interest rates remain a concern.

The easing was expected in the form of cash payments, or relief grants rather than government guaranteed loans. Since stakeholders are already burdened with additional costs due to the closure of business activities, only a few would be interested in increasing the burden on their finances by applying for a loan. One of these associated segments, cable cars and cable cars, employ a variety of skilled and unskilled workers at their project sites. The cable car industry has long called for the GST on cable cars to be reduced, so that it can be brought up to par with other commuting options in the travel and tourism industry. Another suggestion from the cable car industry has been easing loan repayment and speeding up the process of disbursing funds for government funded projects.

Looking at the current state of the economy and businesses, we understand that the authorities and the Ministry of Finance operate under many constraints and constraints. However, genuine and experienced domestic actors who paid their taxes on time rightly deserve some sort of financial boost or SOPs that help them get back on their feet and improve their chances of providing and sustaining employment opportunities. generated and created by them over many years. This will certainly make the goal of reviving the travel and tourism industry achievable and substantial.

(The author is the Managing Director of Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited. Opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)

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