Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that in order to revive tourism in the country it will provide financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides and travel and tourism stakeholders. "Under new Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID Affected Sectors, working capital/personal loans will be provided to people in tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19," Ms Sitharaman said in a presentation.
The scheme will cover 10,700 regional level tourist guides recognized by Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Guides recognized by the State Governments and Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) recognized by Ministry of Tourism.
Under the scheme 100 per cent guarantee for loans will be provided up to Rs 10 lakh to travel and tourism stakeholders and up to Rs 1 lakh to tourist guides licenced at regional or state level.
No processing charges, waiver of foreclosure/prepayment charges will be levied for loan seekers under the scheme and no additional collateral requirement will be needed, Finance Minister's presentation noted.
In order to further give a boost to tourism sector, Ms Sitharaman announced that no visa fees will be charged from first 5 lakh tourists or till 31st March, 2022 whichever is earlier. Around 10.93 million foreign tourists visited India in 2019 and spent $ 30.098 billion on leisure and business.
Average daily stay for a foreign tourist in India is 21 days. Average daily spending of a tourist in India is around $34, Finance Minister's presentation added.