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T&T industry lauds government for recognising infrastructure development as key priority

The sixth Budget speech by Nirmala Sitharaman, an Interim one due to the ensuing General Elections, saw the Finance Minister being upbeat about the growing income of the rising middle class, and the brighter prospects of India’s growth story. For travel & tourism, she laid emphasis on developing iconic tourist centres, and branding and marketing them on a global scale. In order to reach this target, she announced long-term interest-free loans to state to finance such development, including in the islands of Lakshadweep.

Moreover, Sitharaman said that a framework will be created for rating of the tourist centres based on quality of facilities and services to be established.

Budget Highlights


  • Port connectivity corridors
  • High traffic density corridors
  • 40,000 normal rail bogies to be converted to Vande Bharat standards.

Tourism Sector

• States to be encouraged to take up comprehensive development of iconic tourist centres including their branding and marketing at global scale.
• Framework for rating of the tourist centres based on quality of facilities and services to be established.
• Long-term interest free loans to be provided to States for financing such development on matching basis.

Aviation Sector

• Number of airports in the country doubled to 149.
• 517 new routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers.
• Indian carriers have placed orders for over 1000 new aircraft.

Industry Reactions

Aashish Gupta, Consulting CEO, FAITH
It is hoped that the actual budget in July will take forward the statement of intent announced in the interim budget—such as international promotion, developing iconic destinations in partnership with states through an incentive-based system, further focus on domestic tourism and recognition of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism capabilities of India further to the G20 Summit in India, and also continuing focus on new airports and Vande Bharat trains and high traffic highways.


Ajay Singh, CMD SpiceJet and President, ASSOCHAM

“It is an India first budget. A confident budget of a confident government that focuses on the objective of ensuring that India becomes a 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2025, and a developed nation by 2047. I commend the FM for her unwavering commitment to Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas. I commend especially the increase in infrastructure spending that will have a multiplier effect on our economy. I commend the evident railway corridors, and the 1 lakh crore fund for research and development and the start-up sector. The emphasis on clean energy, technology and digital infrastructure will make India a world leader. This is India’s moment and this budget is part of a continuous process of making policy that will provide massive opportunities for India and Indians.

Nishant Pitti, CEO & Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip
The budget prominently highlights a substantial emphasis on the tourism, aviation, and railways sectors. It’s truly exciting to observe the government’s keen attention to nurturing and expanding both domestic and spiritual tourism and highlighting Bharat’s strength through global events like G20.
The dedicated efforts towards developing aviation and rail infrastructure, especially through the commendable initiatives of UDAN and the PM Gati Shakti scheme, encouraging States to promote iconic tourists’ centers by providing interest-free loans are noteworthy with a special focus on developing island tourism and fortifying port connectivity, including Lakshadweep.
These measures are anticipated to spur economic growth, create employment, and create new opportunities, marking a progressive move towards positioning India as a global destination.

Chirag Agrawal, Co-Founder, TravClan
Tourism cannot grow without investment. We welcome the government’s initiatives on developing iconic tourist centers and investing in tourism and connectivity infrastructure. Measures such as long-term loans to states will foster long-term development and unlock India’s tourism potential. We hope for more measures from the government that continue to build our air infrastructure and hospitality sector. This development will not just invite the world to explore our heritage but also ignite local economies and our pride!

Sandeep Arora, Director, Brightsun Travel
As expected, this year’s budget puts a strong emphasis on domestic tourism, and we truly applaud this move. The commitment to providing interest-free loans to states for enhancing tourism within their borders is a positive step to boost domestic tourism in the country. There are many offbeat destinations within India that are unique and one of a kind, so government’s pledge for the comprehensive development of tourist centers, with a focus on branding and global-scale marketing, is another welcome move. This will undoubtedly pave the way for transformative growth in the travel and tourism sector, enabling us to showcase the incredible diversity and richness of our nation to the world

Rama Mahendru- Country General Manager- India, Intrepid Travel
It is encouraging to see that the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s statement aligns with the strategic objective of growing the country’s infrastructure and tourism industry. The introduction of a novel system for classifying tourist locations according to amenities and infrastructure charts a revolutionary new direction and gives them a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. India’s appeal to foreign tourists is enhanced by its dedication to the comprehensive development of famous tourist destinations, with a focus on captivating locations such as Lakshadweep. The budget places significant focus on advancing green growth by introducing biomanufacturing and foundry initiatives, indicating a proactive stance.

As the Finance Minister pointed out, the country’s major train infrastructure projects are expanding due to the boost in economic strength, which also drives conference and business travel. The exponential increase in airports over the last ten years is evidence of India’s dedication to accessibility and connectivity. It is heartening that this budget essentially lays out a revolutionary route that combines robust infrastructure development, sustainable tourism, and economic dynamism and will also boost adventure tourism in India.

Gautam Aggarwal, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard

The government’s decision to invest significantly in the tourism sector, as stated by the Union Finance Minister in the Interim Budget, is a welcome step that bodes well for the Indian economy. Coupled with a strong focus on infrastructure development, it will lead to the emergence of new tourism corridors, resulting in greater interest from domestic and international travellers to visit the less explored parts of the country. Mastercard is closely aligned with the government’s vision of tourism contributing USD 1 trillion to India’s GDP by 2047. To support this vision, the company launched its ‘priceless India’ program last year under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism. It offers exclusively curated experiences around India’s rich history, culture, cuisine, and a lot more to travel enthusiasts from around the globe.


PP Khanna, President, ADTOI

2024-25 Union interim budget is pro-domestic tourism.  States taking comprehensive  developments of tourist centres will be incentivised thereby boosting domestic tourism.  States will be encouraged to undertake holistic development of iconic tourist centres which focus on branding and marketing them at a global scale.  If a country takes care of domestic tourism in all respects it will automatically bring international tourism to its door-step as well.  Spiritual tourism is going to surge.  Plans to expand the existing airports and develop new ones will facilitate people to travel across the country seamless. Long term interest-rate loans will be provided to states for financing these development projects on matching basis.  This is to address the emerging fervour for domestic tourism.

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