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Industry Experts Sharing Insights on Budget Expectation

Mehul Sharma Founder & CEO, Signum Hotels and Resorts As I look at the budget expectations for the hospitality sector, several key areas stand out that could significantly boost our industry. Firstly, a reduction in GST

Founder & CEO, Signum Hotels and Resorts

As I look at the budget expectations for the hospitality sector, several key areas stand out that could significantly boost our industry. Firstly, a reduction in GST from the current 18% to a more manageable rate could provide much-needed relief, allowing us to reinvest in our properties and enhance guest experiences. Implementing tax holidays and lowering the cost of electricity would also help manage operational expenses more effectively, making our sector more competitive.

Granting the hospitality industry infrastructure status is another critical move. This change would ease access to loans, facilitating expansion and improvement projects. According to industry reports, ease of financing could lead to a 15-20% increase in new hotel developments. More disposable income means more people will travel, boosting both inbound and domestic tourism.

Infrastructure development, such as better roads and highways, is essential. Improved connectivity will make it easier for tourists to explore different regions, potentially increasing domestic travel by 30%. Incentives like more LTA benefits could further encourage domestic tourism, which currently contributes around 88% to the total travel and tourism GDP. Additionally, visa-on-arrival for more countries could attract more inbound travellers, with a target to increase foreign tourist arrivals by 25% in the next five years.

By addressing these areas, we can create a more vibrant, accessible, and prosperous hospitality sector, benefiting not just businesses like ours but the entire economy.

Country General Manager- India, Intrepid Travel

“Inbound international travel has grown in the last decade in India and still has huge potential. It will get a further boost with the support of the upcoming budget that prioritises the necessities, such as hygienic public spaces and increased security awareness, to guarantee that foreign guests have a great time.

The government must undertake a pan-India campaign like Dekho Apna Desh to educate the people to respect and care for our tourist places and destinations. Also, the government must create awareness about less-visited places for tourism purposes to reduce the excess burden of tourists at already popular places.

The Union Budget 2024–25 must re-emphasise the transformative power of tourism and the pivotal role infrastructure plays in shaping our global appeal. The government must encourage initiatives like rewarding the businesses that are bringing in foreign money for the country and including incentives for the inbound tour operators under foreign trade policy demonstrating our dedication to international collaboration. The government must aim to make our country the first choice for global travelers for adventure tourism which could boost our economy and assist in job creation and employment in local regions and destinations”

CEO , Roseate Hotels & Resorts

“The forthcoming budget offers a vital chance for the hospitality sector as we believe this is the Golden period for Indian Tourism Industry in case we are able to make the Best use of this opportunity. We request the government to announce industry status for hotels and lower the GST rate from 18% to 12%, bringing it in line with international standards for the tourism industry. This combined advantage will stimulate investments, enhance tourism, and generate job opportunities. The much needed industry status will enable much easier access to cheaper loans for expansion and development. There should be a provision for single window clearance for approvals, a long standing demand from the hotel industry. Government can also lease old properties such as Havelis and hotels for long term, to benefit tourism industry through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.  Given the industry’s substantial contribution to India’s GDP and foreign exchange earnings, we believe these steps will drive economic growth and position India as a more competitive tourism destination. “



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