Post Budget Reaction Quotes by Hoteliers
The Union Budget 2023-24 presented by Finance Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) is a goal Oriented to overcome economic challenges. Let’s see the reactions and views from Hoteliers.
President, The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India
Mumbai, Feb 01, 2024: It is highly encouraging to note that the Hon’ble Finance Minister has highlighted the significance of tourism as an important driver of our economy to spur employment and GDP. The enhanced focus of the Government for promotion of MICE, religious tourism, iconic tourism centres and domestic tourism will lay the foundation of tourism development in the Amrit Kal and equip the sector to achieve the ambitious target of welcoming 100 million tourists by 2047. The tourism and hospitality sector are also very delighted to hear about the govt’s vision to grant long term financing to states for developing iconic tourism centres. The Government has also reinforced its commitment to the tourism sector through the announcement that tourism projects will be taken up at islands, including Lakshadweep. This strategic initiative promises a seamless experience for tourists and unlocks tremendous growth avenues for the hospitality sector. By enhancing infrastructure, it aligns with a mission to exceed evolving traveller expectations, making Lakshadweep a premier destination for discerning travellers. This visionary approach transforms the islands into a magnet for tourists, creating new opportunities and propelling the hospitality sector into an era of unparalleled growth within India’s dynamic tourism and hospitality landscape.
CEO , Roseate Hotels & Resorts
“ Hon’ble FM Sitharaman’s interim Budget speech underscores a strategic move to reshape India’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) landscape by encouraging states to develop iconic tourist centers. The commitment to promoting these centers through long-term interest-free loans signifies a visionary approach, fostering a thriving ecosystem for local entrepreneurs. The recognition of G20 meetings as a showcase of India’s diversity is a powerful endorsement.
For the hotel industry, this announcement holds immense promise, turning these tourist centers into magnets for MICE activities. Strategically located and well-equipped, these centers can become hubs for national and international gatherings, boosting demand for accommodation, meeting spaces, and related services. The ripple effect is undeniable, with hotel occupancy rates set to surge as these centers become focal points for corporate events.
The long-term interest-free loans to states provide the financial impetus for seamless development, enhancing the appeal of these centers. This support not only fuels infrastructure growth but also attracts event organizers. Hotels, by aligning with the burgeoning MICE sector and offering top-notch facilities, can position themselves as preferred choices. The budget’s emphasis, therefore, not only transforms MICE activities but also presents a significant opportunity for the hotel industry’s growth and prosperity.”
CEO & CO-Founder, Hotelogix
“We at Hotelogix wholeheartedly applaud the 2024 Union Budget for its steadfast commitment to advancing tourism, recognizing its pivotal role in shaping India’s economic prosperity and cultural legacy. The formidable barrier posed by the high cost of financing in India underscores the urgent need for strategic initiatives. By catalyzing investments in pivotal areas such as port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities, the budget heralds a new era of growth. Such targeted investment not only amplifies tourist inflows but also enhances the quality of the traveler experience, providing a significant boost to the hospitality sector. As the tourism sector evolves, the infusion of technology into travel and hospitality emerges as a pressing need. Technological advancements promise enhanced efficiency and elevated service quality, making it imperative for the industry’s sustainable growth. We eagerly anticipate further initiatives in this direction from the government and the active involvement of both public and private players.”
Executive Chairman, Concept Hospitality Pvt Ltd., The Fern Hotels & Resorts
“In the wake of the recent budget announcement, we applaud the government’s foresight in recognizing the immense potential within tourism, particularly the uncharted territory of spiritual tourism, as the people of India are now willing to travel and explore more. This visionary approach not only unlocks doors for local entrepreneurship but also serves as a catalyst for employment generation. The emphasis on developing iconic tourist centers and global-scale marketing aligns seamlessly with our commitment to providing unparalleled experiences. This initiative not only enhances our global standing but also signifies a collective effort to harness the untapped potential within our borders. Additionally, our country’s economic strength positions it as an attractive destination for business and conference tourism, a trend we are prepared to champion.”
Founder, Kaner Bagh -A Heritage Boutique Hotel
The Government’s move to emphasise domestic tourism and offer interest-free loans to boost tourism is a welcoming step that will create numerous opportunities for the entire hospitality world. Being in this industry, I feel this move will not only help the industry leader but will also create numerous job opportunities and empower individuals.
Along with this, by hosting G20 meetings, India has set an example of becoming one of the emerging countries with robust infrastructure and global connectivity.
Founder and CMD of The Vitskamats Group
Dr. Vikram Kamat, the Founder and CMD of The Vitskamats Group, a leading player in the hospitality industry, has shared expectations regarding the upcoming 2024 budget from the Indian government. He emphasizes the need for crucial reforms to support the restaurant and food and beverage (F&B) businesses in the country.
In a recent statement, Dr. Vikram Kamat highlighted the pressing issue faced by organized restaurant players, expressing the urgent need for the introduction of input credit specifically tailored for the restaurant and F&B sector. He noted that despite the industry’s contribution to formal employment and business for registered vendors, there is still a substantial loss incurred.
“The biggest expectation is to introduce input credit on restaurants and F&B businesses. Organized restaurant players are losing out, and as the chain grows, creating formal employment and business for registered vendors, we are still at a loss. Food is served everywhere, from bus stands to airports, up in the air, or trains. This results in a significant loss for both the government and the industry,” Dr. Kamat explained.
The Vitskamats Group, with its extensive presence in the hospitality sector, anticipates positive changes in the budget that will address these concerns and foster the growth of the restaurant and F&B industry in India. Dr. Vikram Kamat remains optimistic about the government’s commitment to supporting businesses and looks forward to a budget that will stimulate the industry’s recovery and expansion.
As the Indian government prepares to unveil the budget for 2024, Dr. Vikram Kamat’s insights shed light on the challenges faced by the restaurant and F&B sector, urging policymakers to consider comprehensive reforms that will benefit both businesses and the overall economy.
Co-Founder, Seclude Hotels Home Style
“While expectations were slightly muted due to the interim nature of the budget, we welcome the government’s focus on Atmanirbhar development of domestic and inbound tourism. The aviation sector via the UDAAN Scheme has consistently improved connectivity by covering 570 additional routes which is a very beneficial growth trend. Government emphasis on consistent development of infrastructure is very encouraging, with Indian carriers proactively placing orders for more than 1,300 aircraft; doubling of airports to 149 within ten years; additional 40,000 rail bogies being converted to Vande Bharat coaches; all of which will go a long way to further boost ease of connectivity for both domestic and international tourists. Providing long-term interest-free loans to promote iconic tourist centres, development of island tourism in destinations such as Lakshadweep, and spiritual tourism are unique areas of special consideration that will have a positive multiplier effect towards job creation and boost local entrepreneurship. There are significant opportunities for India’s tourism sector to be a driver towards the vision of India becoming a developed nation by 2047 by significantly improving the prospects of key social groups mentioned in the latest budget: women, poor, farmers and youth.”
COO, Lords Hotels & Resorts
We commend(praise) the initiatives taken to boost the tourism industry in the interim budget. The recent address by the Honourable FM Sitharaman, emphasizing the empowerment of iconic destinations and local entrepreneurs through interest-free loans, presents an encouraging outlook. This support not only aims to accelerate infrastructure development but also has the potential to transform these targeted destinations into thriving hubs for domestic and international hospitality services. However, our greatest anticipation lies in the introduction of input credit for restaurants and F&B businesses, which would further enhance their growth prospects.
General Manager, Eros Hotel New Delhi
“We applaud the forward-thinking measures outlined in Union Budget 2024, particularly the interest-free loans for states to enhance their tourism hubs, attract business and create entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for locals.
The proposed port connectivity and infrastructure improvements for island and other attractive location accessibility in the country will motivate families and young tourists to opt for domestic travel. This step will further strengthen the hospitality industry and travel and tourism sector will grow rapidly in the country.
Overall, being an interim budget, Union Budget 2024 was balanced and I expect the recommendations made for direct and indirect taxes will empower the middle class to spend the money on leisure and travel more.”
Director of Finance at Clarks Exotica
In response to the Finance Minister’s visionary initiatives, Ramachandra Bhat, Director of Finance at Clarks Exotica, expressed optimism about the substantial impact on the hospitality sector. The government’s emphasis on the comprehensive development of iconic tourist centers with global branding aligns seamlessly with Clarks Exotica’s commitment to delivering unique and culturally immersive guest experiences.
Bhat sees promise in the proposed projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities in the islands, particularly Lakshadweep. He notes the potential for these initiatives to enhance destination allure and act as catalysts for significant employment generation within the hospitality sector. Anticipating heightened demand for accommodation and services, Bhat envisions a positive upswing for the industry.
The Finance Minister’s targeted approach to elevate tourism in islands, notably Lakshadweep, drew specific commendation from Bhat. He stressed the need to navigate challenges such as sustainable development and infrastructure requirements, emphasizing prudent planning and collaboration between the government and private sector entities like Clarks Exotica.
Bhat also acknowledged the Finance Minister’s recognition of opportunities for local entrepreneurship, including in spiritual tourism. Looking ahead, he expressed confidence that local businesses and entrepreneurs within the hospitality sector are poised to play a pivotal role in showcasing indigenous experiences, promising not only a substantial economic impact but also fostering community engagement and sustainable tourism practices.
In conclusion, as observed by Ramachandra Bhat, the Finance Minister’s forward-thinking proposals are poised to usher in positive transformations for the hospitality sector’s future, aligning well with Clarks Exotica’s commitment to excellence and unique guest experiences.
The Revenue Manager of Clarks Exotica Convention Resort & Spa
“In order to catalyze the growth of the hospitality sector and bolster tourism, it is imperative for the government to extend leniency in tax policies and allocate a substantial budget towards the development of infrastructure, enhancing guest experiences, and elevating the standards of hotels. Adopting visa-free or on-arrival policies, as many countries have done, will make us more competitive in the global tourism market. Furthermore, a significant increase in budget allocation for Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) is crucial. This not only benefits the staff but also serves as a catalyst for domestic tourism. The government should actively promote and invest in initiatives that encourage domestic travel, tapping into the potential of a burgeoning economy and a youthful population. To facilitate the growth of hotels and resorts, the loan process should be streamlined, ensuring easy access to funds that enhance cash flow and property development. Addressing the high operational costs and providing tax relaxations will alleviate financial burdens on the hospitality industry, ultimately contributing to a more competitive and thriving sector. Recognizing the current economic landscape, where guest spending capacity is hampered by inflation, it becomes imperative to offer tax relief to boost spending on travel. With a growing economy and increasing incomes, Indians are poised to spend more on travel. Leveraging social media as a powerful tool for marketing and promotion, India is set to become the 4th highest spender by 2030, spending an estimated $410 billion. As Priyanka Sharma, The Revenue Manager of Clarks Exotica Convention Resort & Spa, rightly asserts, these measures outlined in the post-budget disclosure are essential for positioning India as a premier destination for global and domestic tourists alike, ensuring sustained growth and prosperity in the hospitality sector.”
The G20 conferences held in India have significantly contributed to the growth of the travel and tourism sector within the country. This has not only elevated India’s status as a prominent global tourist destination but has also proven to be a boon for the industry. The recent interim budget announcement by Finance Minister Sitharaman underscores a proactive approach, urging states to embark on the comprehensive development of iconic tourist centres. The strategy involves branding and marketing these centres on a global scale. Sitharaman emphasised the establishment of a framework for rating these centres based on the quality of facilities and services. Additionally, she highlighted the provision of long-term interest-free loans to states to facilitate the financing of such developmental initiatives. As anticipation builds for the upcoming Union Budget to be presented by the new government, it is noteworthy to acknowledge the substantial support the Finance Minister has provided to the tourism industry over the past six years.Saurabh Gahoi, Vice President, India, Ramee Group of Hotels
“Government of India’s continued focus on domestic tourism in the interim Budget 2024-25 is encouraging. Empowering iconic destinations and local entrepreneurs through interest-free loans and quality ratings will elevate India’s tourism landscape. The projects to enhance connectivity in the country through the development of airports, railways metro lines, ports in our unexplored island including Lakshadweep, and tourism infrastructure, will enhance demand and generate employment. This is not just a boost for tourism, it’s an investment in India’s potential. We are optimistic about additional futuristic support from the Government in granting infrastructure status to hospitality and tourism, which will help us achieve a long-awaited status. We foresee that this will have a multiplier impact and drive significant investment from the private sector.”K.B. Kachru, Chairman Emeritus & Principal Advisor, Radisson Hotel Group, South Asia
As the General Manager of Dharana at Shillim, I’m thrilled by the government’s proactive measures to bolster the tourism sector, particularly the initiative to offer long-term interest-free loans for the promotion of iconic tourist centers. This progressive approach underscores a commitment to showcasing India’s rich cultural and natural heritage on a global stage.
Furthermore, the government’s emphasis on integrating green energy initiatives within the tourism industry is a significant stride towards sustainability. At Dharana, we believe in embracing this initiative, aligning with our ethos of environmental stewardship. By harnessing renewable energy sources and implementing eco-friendly practices, we aim to minimise our environmental footprint while offering guests transformative wellness experiences amidst nature.
This concerted effort signifies a progressive shift towards sustainable tourism, where economic growth harmonises with environmental conservation. Together, let’s embark on a journey towards a greener, more resilient tourism industry—one that not only enriches the lives of travellers but also safeguards the beauty of our planet for generations to come.Srikant Peri, General Manager, Dharana at Shillim