The government’s focus on infrastructure development, improving accessibility and plans to develop 17 sites into world class tourist destinations in this year’s Budget will boost the sector, travel and tourism players said.
“The initiative to develop 17 iconic tourism sites into world class tourist destinations will also provide a major fillip to the industry,” InterGlobe Hotels Pvt Ltd President and CEO JB Singh said.
Concluding the Union Budget 2019 with infrastructure and innovation at its forefront, the tourism industry is sure to get a boost in years to come, he added.
In a similar vein, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels MD Vijay Dewan said: “Development of 17 iconic sites to be transformed in world class destinations will help boost foreign tourist arrivals”.
However, industry demands of free visas for five years and competitive GST rate have not been met, he added.
“The Indian travel and tourism sector which has emerged as a key growth driver and is one of the biggest employment generators did not see any concrete provisions in this Union budget,” Dewan said.
OYO India & South Asia CEO Aditya Ghosh said: “The boost to infrastructure, labour reforms, access to capital and talent for start-ups and MSMEs alike will drive productivity and consumption, which is also good news for the hospitality, travel and tourism industry”.
Saying that developing 17 tourism sites will give a boost to the travel and tourism sector, ITC WelcomHeritage GM Sanjeev K Nayar said: “The budget has talked about developing 17 iconic tourism sites, which we are certain will benefit the hospitality sector and all other stake holders of the travel industry as this will create fresh demand of hotels and other tourist related infrastructure.”
FCM Travel Solutions MD Rakshit Desai said the government’s continuous commitment towards building a better physical and social infrastructure is a commendable gesture.
“The decision to develop 17 iconic tourism sites into world-class tourist destinations will further help in boosting tourism in those regions and at the same time serve as a model for other tourism sites in the country,” he added.
Creation of additional tourism sites is a positive move that will have a long term impact in boosting tourist inflow and enhancing the overall visitor experience, ixigo CEO & Co-founder Aloke Bajpai said.
“Setting up a digital repository of architecture, traditional art and folk dances is an excellent way to showcase our country’s rich tribal cultural heritage and promote authentic and ethno-tourism,” he added.
In a similar vein, V Resorts Founder and CEO Aditi Balbir said: “The development of 17 iconic tourist sites as world-class tourist centres by the government comes as great news for the hospitality and tourism sector”.
This will not only attract more tourists but also generate better job opportunities. The budget also paid emphasis on the promotion of the rich tribal heritage of India and its culture, she added.