The new Indian government to come in place from 21 May will boost tourism in the country.
The new Prime Minister Narendra Modi has included Tourism as one of the 5-Ts announced by the Bhartiya Janta Party’s manifesto before elections. The 5-Ts included – Talent, Tradition, Trade, Technology and Tourism.
The Indian Association of Tour Operator (IATO) is hopeful that the E-Visa authorisation which was announced by the previous government will be implemented as soon as possible. Also, IATO is of the opinion that the biometric enrollment and scanning procedure which the government plans to introduce should be abolished, however in case for security concern it is essential that it should be conducted at immigration counters at all international airports of India.
“The industry is confident that the new government will stop the discrimination to the tour operators and exempt them from Service Tax, as the exporters are exempted based on their foreign exchange earnings. This would increase the international tourist arrivals to our country and in turn will increase our foreign exchange earnings and create millions of jobs in every nook and corner of the country,” said Subhash Goyal, president of IATO.
Citing similar opinion, Madhavan Menon, managing director of Thomas Cook India said, “The new government’s pro-tourism stance is indeed welcome and its leaders recognizing the powerful role of tourism in employment generation and as a growth driver, augurs well for the sector as a whole. We are hopeful of prioritization towards key issues like safety and infrastructure; also swift implementation of the electronic travel authorization/e-visa. Political stability coupled with focus on economic growth and social development will generate increased leisure and travel business opportunities, vital for the Travel & Tourism industry. Transport especially air travel will see positive impact and we are optimistic that it will open new avenues both within India and overseas.”
Online travel agents have also welcomed the move that a stable government will be a key for the development of the industry. Sharing his opinion, Vijay Kesavan, CEO of Musafir.com said, “For the growth of tourism sector in an economy, a politically stable government is crucial. With the formation of a steady government in India, we are positive to witness excellent reforms in tourism, hospitality and aviation sector in the coming times. There is a need for infrastructure enhancement, improved economy and uniform tax reforms to boost leisure and business travel within and outside the country.”