Under the leadership of the Union Ministry of Tourism, FAITH, the policy federation of all national associations representing India's tourism, travel, and hospitality industry (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI), held a virtual meeting with the tourism secretaries of all states and union territories. FAITH associations have conducted combined meetings with all state tourism secretaries for the third time in the last several years.
The organisations informed the tourism secretaries about the importance of tourism to India's GDP, foreign exchange generation, national employment creation, soft power building, and infrastructural development. They believe that tourism's indirect multiplier effect on state economic growth is essential and should be capitalised on.
FAITH organisations emphasised a two-pronged strategy for reviving Indian tourism following the Covid epidemic. They asked for coordinated cooperation from state tourism secretaries for waivers of statutory duties for electricity, utilities, parking, inter-state tax tariffs, SGST waivers, and industrial status at the state level.
They also asked for standardised, harmonised travel procedures, quarantine-free travel for vaccinated people, open places for F&B, regional marketing campaigns, and business-related revitalization, as well as the categorization of tourist employees as frontline workers for vaccination within the states.
The FAITH organisations asked states to work with the Ministry of Tourism to lobby the GST council for a 12% rate for hotels, a 12% rate for food and beverage with complete setoffs, a travel agency reseller model, and setoffs on gasoline, liquor, interstate taxes, and aviation fuel, among other GST changes.
Furthermore, the FAITH organisations urged states to work with the Ministry of Tourism to open up inbound travel and issue tourist e-visas for vaccinated travellers, abolish TCS, revive tourism demand through campaigns, fast-track registration of travel trade, infrastructure status, and special fiscal incentives, among other things.
"Today's first-ever virtual meeting of national tourism secretaries with FAITH organisations under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism is unprecedented and much-needed," stated FAITH Chairman Nakul Anand. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the Tourism Secretary and his management team for making this possible. It is encouraging to see that all of the state secretaries have agreed to the FAITH associations' recommendations. All of the FAITH association presidents are positive about the prospects for rebuilding the tourism industry. Indeed, today marks a watershed moment in the resurgence of Indian tourism, travel, and hospitality."
Source: Daiji World