Union Budget 2014-15 Promises To Give New Impetus To The Tourism Sector

Posted On Aug 4, 2014

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Union Budget2014-15 Promises To Give New Impetus To The Tourism Sector
Isuance of e-visa at nine major Indian airports announced as part of the Union Budget. E-visa implementation will certainly bring Destination India firmly back to favoured nation status and give it an edge over neighbouring competitors, thus creating an immediate window of opportunity for the upcoming inbound season.” “The implementation of e-visa at nine airports in India would trigger- off tourist inflow to the country in higher number,” said E M Najeeb, Chairman, ATE Group of Companies. Exemption has been given to tour operators from service tax for tours wholly conducted outside India and a CENVAT credit of input service has been allowed to main service providers taking into account of services tax paid by subcontractors. “This avoids double taxation. The Finance Minister has also adopted a lenient stand on the rate of penal interest on the delayed payment of service tax,” added Najeeb. “With pro-tourism industry proposals in the Union budget of 2014-15, it is a time of positive growth for India's tourism sector. The Union budget’s recognition of tourism as an important revenue earner and generator of foreign exchange for the government is a boost to the tourism industry in general,” said Rajeev Wagle, MD, Kuoni India. Commenting on the budget, Peter Kerkar, Director, Cox & Kings said, “The government’s emphasis on travel and tourism in this year’s budget was on expected lines as this government has shown its intent to use travel and tourism to promote inclusive growth.” According to Kerkar, the thrust on pilgrimage and heritage tourism with emphasis on Buddhist tourism circuit centered around Gaya in Bihar will enable India to attract this segment of tourists from South East Asia, Japan and Sri Lanka. Jeet Sawhney, MD, Abacus India said, “We are glad to know that government has considered the tourism industry as the core sector for the economic growth of the country. Introducing e-visa at nine key airports in India is a positive initiative and we look forward to more such pro-tourism move.” Vikram Malhi, MD, Asia, Expedia, said, “The government has kept up with their promise of developing tourism as a core sector for the economic development of the country. Keeping in line with the 100-day aviation policy and a promising Rail Budget, the government has announced number of measures for holistic development of the sector in the Union Budget 2014- 15, harnessing the power of technology and broadband in the

Neelu Singh COO, Ezeego1.com
“The visible focus of the budget is to position India as an attractive tourist destination. The Budgetary proposal to create five tourist circuits around specific themes is likely be a big boost for the development of tourism.”

Biji Eapen President, IAAI
“The proposals to develop new airports in tier-I and tier-II cities is definitely a boost to the aviation and tourism industry, however, increase in baggage allowance from Rs 30000 to Rs 45000 will only help the Indians residing abroad or Indians travelling as tourists to purchase or shop m

Rajeev Kohli Joint Managing Director, Creative Travel
“Given that this is the first time in so many years that tourism had been mentioned significantly in the union budget, it is a great success for us. Yes, we could have got more, but it is a start and we are not unhappy at all. We achieved a few of the major items we asked for.”

Arun Anand MD, Midtown Travels
“The budget although is a first step where tourism has been recognized but it does not meet the expectations of the tourism industry. The tourism industry was expecting much more, such as infrastructure status to hotel industry and some relief on taxation on transport etc.”

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