“The industry expectations were high but the Union Budget has neglected us completely and we are disappointed yet again. While the Government wants to give impetus to hospitality and tourism and our PM has envisioned big things for the sector, there is no mention except for the 17 tourist-friendly spots which we welcome but will need further details before commenting on it until we know exactly what those spots are. We were expecting reforms in rate slabs of GST, Input Tax Credit and a definitive step to boost the domestic and inbound traffic. Hospitality plays a vital role in the growth of the economy. Therefore, this sector cannot be ignored. It is one of the biggest contributors to GDP, Taxes, foreign exchange and most importantly in generating employment. As per industry reports, total contribution by travel and tourism sector to India’s GDP is expected to increase from Rs.15.24 trillion (US$ 234.03 billion) in 2017 to Rs. 32.05 trillion (US$ 492.21 billion) in 2028. The success of Incredible India lies in managing its hospitality and tourism right and requires policy support. For the programme to be successful, it is paramount that the notion about the hospitality industry being ‘elitist’ be dropped. Overall this is a good budget for the middle and lower class which will help strengthen their income base but there is nothing for the industry. We will look forward to working in tandem with the Finance and Tourism Ministries in boosting the influx of both domestic and foreign tourists,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) & President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).
Harshala Nayak – Shenoy,