Expressing her displeasure on the recently announced Union Budget 2022-23, Jyoti Mayal, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) fears, that if situation remains such, with not much aid from the government, then the pandemic shall continue to dampen the industry’s miseries multi-fold, as the growth of travel and tourism especially during such tough times, required a catalystic boost. “We as a travel association were expecting to the least, that the travel and tourism be brought under the concurrent list for industry status. Although, the extension of ECLG scheme till 2023 with additional corpus of INR 50000 crore, dedicated to hospitality and allied industries will help provide relief hopefully, it remains to be seen in the fine print, if it will enable moratorium extension of all previous schemes and also debt restructuring. we were expecting a lot more than this especially after facing a disastrous pandemic. It is sad to know that tourism is not even mentioned in the huge budget,”Mayal said.
“There are many aspects on which the budget could have provided a helping hand and helped the travel and tourism sector to get up and recover. Direct wage support to employee of tourism & travel and hospitality companies till tourism revival happens, abolishment of TCS on outbound travel to prevent travel expenditure shifting from Indian travel companies to offshore travel companies, E- visa fees waiver for all tourist visas for 2022 and beyond to support inbound revival are some of the spheres, the budget could have been lenient on” she mentioned.
Expressing her resentment and further adding to her statements, the TAAI President said that benefits like global bidding fund to enable bidding support to Indian MICE companies to bring global MICE events to India, setting up of GST review committee to re-examine the tourism, travel & hospitality GST main points, could have also been incorporated for further supporting the industry and its structure.
“We did bring all these points in the notice of the Ministry, in our letter on behalf of the association, way before the budget announcement, so as to expect some relief and a helping and guiding hand in tough times, but nothing really worked in favour as expected. As an industry veteran, and as the President of one of the largest travel associations, I would certainly not give up and will keep on working for the betterment of travel and tourism in country and beyond borders, and also we will be taking this up again with Tourism Ministry, parliamentary committee and highest levels for follow ups,” Mayal commented.