Mr Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India Pvt Ltd.
“The government has rightly placed tourism as one of the primary components of economic growth in the country after identifying it as one of the core sectors of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. While the industry is poised to see a steady growth, efforts should be made to make it a less taxed one. The service tax of late has been a big surprise, increasing the price of packaged tours significantly. Hopefully, other aspects of taxation can be addressed for relief to travellers.
That the railway budget has been merged with the Union Budget from this year is a good sign and we expect the upcoming Budget to allocate funds to the tune of more than Rs 1 trillion. This would speed up business opportunities, help in faster execution of projects, leading to world class infrastructure. Apart from technological advancement, infrastructure improvement is one of the most important catalysts when it comes to hastening the growth of travel and tourism.
Through our insights into this domain, we have observed that the Indian traveller is increasingly turning experimental. Correspondingly, there’s been a rise in travel start-ups and SMEs in India, providing brilliant and innovative ideas to them. We urgently hope the government provides more opportunities for funding support to these enterprises. Apart from off the beaten track ideas, cruise tourism should get more encouragement, considering a large part of India is coastal.
Business travel in India also shows high prospects and the number of Indians travelling on business is slated to be the second highest in the world by 2030 after China. It will be fitting if Corporate India — which is adding to the travel business — gets some relief too, with an expected reduction in corporate tax this year.
2016 has been an extremely interesting year with talk of demonetization and GST dominating the news bytes. We look forward to an exciting 2017-18!”
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