I really hope the budget 2018-19 considers a single slab below 12% Goods and Services Tax (GST) to boost the hospitality business. We must see that most of the countries like Singapore, Thailand, and Japan have taxes between 5 to 10%. Jobs created in 2016 were at 40.3 million and tourism contributes 9.3% of total jobs in the country.
Visa on Arrival needs to be extended on the applicable stay days and also for new countries. We are placed at 40th place in tourism arrivals to the country, India has tremendous potential for tourism with culture, heritage, beaches, hills, backwaters, Ayurveda, medical tourism but the numbers of arrivals does not match the potential we have. The budget 2018-19 should also have a decent investment to boost tourism infrastructure at par with the revenue we generate which was pegged at $208 billion in 2016.
We also need tourism based start-up funds or in general, the R&D grants for product startups as it would be helpful to push economy up and I hope this budget has made these considerations.
(Anil Kumar Prasanna is CEO, AxisRooms)
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