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Travel Agents apex body TAAI's 10 demands to Government of India

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 09, Jul 2024, 14:37 pm IST | UPDATED: 09, Jul 2024, 14:37 pm IST

Travel Agents apex body TAAI's 10 demands to Government of India
New Delhi: Travel Agent Association of India (TAAI) had conveyed its dissatisfaction to the interim budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February’ 24. In spite of various representations on concerns of ease of doing business, GST, TCS etc. the travel industry feels ignored.

With the new government assuming office at the Centre and Budget 2024 round the corner, TAAI reiterated its earlier request in a detailed communication dated 05th July 2024 to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Tourism & Culture Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Civil Aviation Minister Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu

The requests included

1. Infrastructural Focus by the establishment of new airports through private participation. Rapid expansion in rail, road, and waterways (sea and river cruises). Development of high-growth areas like religious circuit, MICE, wellness and hidden gems such as Lakshadweep.

2. Simplifying Visa Requirements & encouraging visa-free entry for tourists visiting India can significantly enhance foreign tourist arrivals.

3. Reducing Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) Costs to pre-pandemic levels would improve air travel accessibility.

4. Rationalization of GST Rates and GST Credit: hoping for a more favourable GST structure that allows input tax credit for holiday businesses. This could lead to more affordable hotel stays, making accommodations accessible to tourists and encouraging investment in the sector.

5. Strategic Reduction in Income Tax: could catalyse growth in the country’s tourism industry.

6. Abolishment of TCS on Outbound Travel : Collection of TCS on outbound travel is a disincentivization for Indian Travel Agents, Tour Operators and travellers

7. Tax Exemption on Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) would encourage domestic travel and boost tourism within the country.

8. Removal of TDS on Automated Bookings would reduce administrative burdens for travel businesses.

9. Simplification of Licensing Requirements - Ease of Business

10. Industry Status for all stakeholders in Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

The Union Budget 2024 holds significant expectations for India’s travel and tourism sector. India’s travel and tourism sector contributes 5.8% to the GDP and aims for a target of USD 1 trillion by 2047.

TAAI President Jyoti Mayal said, 'We are confident that these measures, if implemented, can significantly enhance India’s travel and tourism industry, benefiting both businesses and travelers.'
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