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Big boost to India’s tourism

July 14, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Financial allocation in its 2014-15 budget by the new Government in India to introduce e–visa facility, develop new tourist circuits, destinations, airports and streamlined taxes is hailed by the industry.

Subhash Goyal, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) said: “It’s the best ever budget for the tourism industry in the history of India.  Implementation of e-visa (electronic visa authorization) in a phased manner over the next six months available at nine Indian airports will grow the industry by 30-40 percent on yearly basis.”

Subhash Goyal, President, IATO

Subhash Goyal, President, IATO

The facility of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) visas, commonly known as e-visas will be available at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Cochin, Hyderabad, Goa and Trivandrum. A list of countries whose visitors this facility will be given is expected to come from the government soon.

Rajeev Wagle, Managing Director, Kuoni India, said: “It is a time of positive growth for India’s tourism sector. Proposals such as the scheme for development of new airports, focus on development of archaeological sites as world class tourism spots, exemptions from service tax in the case of foreigners travelling with Indian tour operators are steps towards sustainable growth within the sector.”

Indian finance ministry has said that more airports will be developed under public-private partnership.

Services provided by a tour operator to a foreign tourist in relation to a tour conducted outside India is exempted

Rajeev Wagle, Managing Director, Kuoni India

Rajeev Wagle, Managing Director, Kuoni India

from service tax.

Sajid Khan, Country Manager- India, South African Airways, said: “Plans to develop more airports through the PPP (public-private-partnership) model, especially in tier II and III cities will open new avenues of growth for the aviation sector. New airports will not only allow the domestic carriers to tap into newer markets but also help their international counterparts expand their footprint in India by reaching out to tourists in smaller cities through existing or new code share agreements.”

Five new tourist circuits of heritage and spiritual importance will be developed each at a cost of Rs 100 crore(USD 166,168), under across the country. Ancient cities of Mathura, Amritsar, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Vellankani and Ajmer will be conserved with a budget of Rs 200 crore (USD 332,336).

Sajid Khan, Country Manager - India, South African Airways

Sajid Khan, Country Manager – India, South African Airways

Goyal said: “Streamlining of taxation system to avoid harassments is encouraging.” He added: “Cleansing and improvement of the river Ganga and the ghats at Varanasi enhance rail connectivity in North East and Internet connection in villages will help tourism.”

Popular coastal city of Goa will get an international convention centre and Gaya will be alleviated to an international Buddhist destination through development of its archeological sites at Rs100 crores (USD 166,168). A further Rs 100 crore will aid Varanasi-Gaya-Saranath Buddhist circuit.

Wagle said: “The exemption of service tax for broadcast and online advertisements, print advertisements provides numerous opportunities for effective marketing undertaken by tour operators and tourism boards. This will surely help them tap the potential within the outbound market, while they position and promote their offerings to bring about a definite increase in international travel.”

Written by : Anand & Madhura Katti

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