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Thursday, 08 October, 2020, 15 : 50 PM [IST]

FAITH reiterates its demand for relief & slew of measures to gear tourism towards revival

FAITH fears an estimated loss of 3.5-4 crore jobs in the absence of immediate relief to the travel & tourism industry facing an existential crisis. The umbrella body is calling on the government to set-up a dedicated Tourism Covid Fund for direct loan transfers, and confidence-building and policy measures at Central and state levels to drive the industry out of the current crisis.
At a time when India has entered the Unlock 5 phase, the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) has yet again called on the government for dedicated support with the sector having being identified by a special RBI-appointed committee as among the 26 worst-hit. 

In the absence of a definitive data with tourism being one of the most unorganised sectors, FAITH fears an estimated loss of 3.5 to 4 crore of jobs by the end of this fiscal in the absence of any life support to the industry that contributes to 10% to the employable workforce of the country. 

FAITH is seeking reduction in GST for transportation, hotels, abolition of the recently introduced TCS on outbound tour packages, competitive GST rates, dedicated policies for heritage hotels and adventure travel, pro-convention policy and promotion for making India favourable for MICE events, national single-window clearance for hospitality establishments. 

Addressing a press conference, Nakul Anand, Chairperson, FAITH, said, “It is time for “One India, One Tourism” motto since we are witnessing a situation worse than the impact of the Great Depression, World Wars or even 9/11. There is a need to create a Tourism Covid Fund for offering interest-free loans and subsidies through direct bank transfer for businesses with valid pan and GST no. We are seeking across the board industry moratorium till March 2022. We envision India tourism to rank among Top 20 countries for World Tourism Competitive Index in the next five years po st Covid.”

Jyoti Mayal, Vice Chairperson, FAITH & President, TAAI, stated that the travel & tourism is first to be impacted by disrupting technologies. “We need to create synergies, and partner with various stakeholders to create online and offline models with the kind of technology disruption the industry is witnessing. We need reskilling and up-skilling of labour as well in the new normal.”

Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI, shared, “If the government opens all the 12 Himalayan states it will help begin the recovery process.” 25-30 per cent of India’s land is covered by forests, and India has all the natural assets to emerge among top 10 adventure tourism destinations, he said. 

PP Khanna, President, ADOTI shed light on the potential of domestic travel with 2.3 billion domestic tourism visits in 2019. “In the post Covid-era, we want to take the figure to 4 billion. Currently, people are travelling short-haul with private vehciles.  This will also soon change. Income tax exemption for travellers will be appreciated; hope the government will look into it. Singapore, Thailand and Japan have given tax exemption, and we can learn from them. The three S of sanitation, safety and subsidisation for domestic travel are crucial.”

 
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