TAAI reminds government to address tourism industry’s problems in new budget

Asks Sitharaman to abolish TCS, cut ATF fee & rationalise GST rates
2024-07-09
/
/ New Delhi
TAAI reminds government to address tourism industry’s problems in new budget

TAAI says that a strategic reduction in income tax could catalyse growth in the country’s tourism industry

Days before finance minister present the budget for the full year, the first after the recent Lok Sabha elections, TAAI has asked the government for incorporation of certain measures like tax exemptions, infrastructural focus, incentivising ATF to contribute to the progress of Indian travel market.
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India’s largest and oldest travel agents’ association, the Travel Agent Association of India (TAAI) has written to the Government of India (GoI) reminding it of the demands submitted by the tourism industry stakeholders in order to promote the travel and tourism industry in the country.

In a press statement, TAAI says that it has written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Tourism and Culture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Minister of Civil Aviation Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu, urging them to give due consideration to their demands in the upcoming Budget 2024 and the new government at the Centre.

It adds that it had already written to the government on these issues, in response to interim budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. 

According to TAAI, this letter aims to bring to light that in spite of various representations on concerns about ease of doing business, GST, TCS, the travel industry was ignored.

The statement adds that some among the requests included:

According to TAAI, infrastructural focus by the establishment of new airports through private participation could lead the tourism sector towards progress. It says that rapid expansion in rail, road, and waterways can lead to development of high-growth areas like religious circuit, MICE, wellness and hidden gems such as Lakshadweep.

The statement adds that reducing Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) Costs to pre-pandemic levels would improve air travel accessibility.

Among the requests also include rationalisation of GST rates and GST input credit hoping for a more favourable GST structure that allows input tax credit for holiday businesses. This could lead to more affordable hotel stays, making accommodations accessible to tourists and encouraging investment in the sector.

TAAI says that a strategic reduction in income tax could catalyse growth in the country’s tourism industry. Further, collection of TCS on outbound travel is a disincentivisation for Indian travel agents, tour operators and travellers.

It adds that tax exemption on Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) would also encourage travel and tourism.

The statement adds that removal of TDS from automated bookings would reduce administrative burdens for travel businesses. And, simplification of licensing requirements would also ease of business dealings.

The statement adds that GOI must also grant industry status for all stakeholders in travel, tourism and hospitality.

TAAI says that the Union Budget 2024 holds significant expectations for India’s travel and tourism sector.

The statement adds that they are confident that these measures, if implemented, can significantly enhance India’s travel and tourism industry, benefiting both businesses and travellers.

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