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Travel Industry sharing insights on Budget Expectation 2024-25

Industry experts sharing views on budget expectation 2024-25.

Executive Chairman, Thomas Cook India Ltd.

“The Travel & Tourism sector represents a vital economic driver: With a 5.8% contribution to India’s GDP (2022) and the government’s target of achieving $1 trillion by 2047, the sector forms a strong force multiplier – across allied sectors, employment generation and foreign exchange receipts. Our expectations from the Union Budget include key pivots to transform India into a destination of choice:

– Infrastructural Focus: As a key fundamental for the sector, setting up of new airports via private participation must become a priority – thus creating a viable hub & spoke model; also rapid expansion in rail, road and waterways (sea and river cruises). Additionally, infrastructure development for high growth areas like religious circuits and underleveraged hidden gems (Lakshadweep).

– Inbound Tourism: revival of the Inbound incentive scheme – but for select destinations.
1. Tax:
– Reduced Income tax levels to provide increased disposable income in the hands of the people – a boost for travel & tourism spends
– LTA exemption annually, against twice in 4 years to catalyse domestic tourism
– Standardisation of TCS at 5% on foreign travel packages (against the current 5% and 20% slabs).
– Clarity wrt TCS on Forex card payments

2. GST is a key area and our wish list for Budget 2024-25 includes:
– Allow GST input credit facility for inbound and domestic tourism
– Centralise similar issues faced by a single assessee in multiple states – reducing unwarranted time, efforts and litigations in multiple jurisdictions
– Simplify the compliance mechanism in filing reports, reconciliations, audits”.

MD, SOTC Travel

“SOTC Travel advocates for a muti-pronged approach.Albeit interim, the Union Budget offers significant opportunity as a growth accelerator for the travel & tourism sector – a valuable  contributor to the country’s GDP and a powerful employment engine. Our ask is a multi-pronged approach:
Coalesce the TCS rate on outbound tours into a single 5% slab to reduce the significant advantage enjoyed by international competitors (exempt from this levy).

Remove the deterrent to technology – in the form of the current TDS that is levied on automated bookings (self-booking tools) for internal/closed user groups such as our Business Travel platforms. This would align with the government’s commitment to ease of doing business and digital adoption, and the larger objective of building a Digital India.
We are confident of the government’s continued focus on expediting infra development, especially extension of its Udan Yojana and Vande Bharat routes that ensures regional access and affordability. Connectivity to remote but viable tourism areas creates vibrant new circuits plus meaningful employment that uplifts the entire eco-system.
Incentives that promote sustainable travel and tourism is now a critical ask as we endeavour to preserve our planet for future generations.`

Co-Founder of TravClan:

To spur investment in India’s hospitality infrastructure, the government should offer financial and policy support. This is crucial as many tourist spots need development, requiring substantial private sector investment. Urgent attention to airport and road projects is essential to accommodate increasing travel demand. Embracing innovative initiatives like Digiyatra enhances the overall tourist experience, making ongoing government investment in such technologies imperative.



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