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GST reduction has created a favourable environment for tourism growth: Prahlad Singh Patel

Nitin Gadkari to be the Chief Guest at India Tourism Mart 2019 inaugural

Monday, September 23, 2019, 15:06 Hrs  [IST]
P Krishna Kumar | New Delhi

Highlighting the slew of tourism-friendly policy decisions taken by the Union government, Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister for Culture & Tourism with Independent Charge has said that the decision of the GST Council to reduce the GST burden on the hotels couple of days ago was the most critical one and with this a “favourable environment” for future growth in tourism has been created. Addressing the media before the commencement of the second India Tourism Mart 2019 at Hotel Ashok in Delhi, Patel said that the GST Council’s decision even ‘surpassed his expectation.’

Patel said that five demands were placed before him by the industry while he took over as the Minister and all the five have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of the stakeholders.  “It is good that the GST decision has come well on time before the ITM,” the Minister said.

In his speech, the Union Minister reiterated that all the stakeholders have to work hard for a perception makeover for the country as a destination.

Over 240 international buyers from 51 countries are attending the two-day ITM as hosted buyers.  These include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Poland, Korea, Thailand, Spain, USA, UK, etc. These buyers will have the opportunity to meet over 175 sellers from India comprising Tour Operators, Hotels, airlines, etc.

Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary – Tourism, Government of India also enumerated the number of proactive decisions taken by the government to boost tourism in the country.  Inner-line Permit System to visit North East has been streamlined, restriction for visit to Andaman has been relaxed, additional 124 peaks have been opened for trekking and climbing, e-visa has been further relaxed by creating a new category with affordable fee for 30-day validity, GST on hotels has been reduced, he said.  “These decisions have made India a highly competitive tourism destination,” he stated.

Appreciating the efforts of the government, Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH (Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality) said that Indian tourism hasn’t seen such enabling policies in the last over 3 decades which has come over in a matter of two months.

According to a buyer screening committee member of ITM 2019, 40% of the hosted buyers for ITM are new buyers who haven’t visited or sold India as a tourism destination ever.  ‘Even 30% of them haven’t sold any of the Asian countries,’ he said.

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