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What Does Union Budget 2022 Have For Travel Amid Pandemic? Industry Experts React to Budget Dynamics

The travel and tourism industries have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. Ministry of Tourism has thus been allocated an increased budget of Rs 2400 crores in the Union Budget. Industry experts react to budget dynamics, read on

Updated: February 3, 2022 2:39 PM IST

By Tanya Garg

'It Was Quite Balanced on All Fronts': Travel Industry Experts Reacts on Union Budget 2022 Under Travel
'It Was Quite Balanced on All Fronts': Travel Industry Experts Reacts on Union Budget 2022 Under Travel

The travel and tourism industries have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. For the industry’s survival and recovery, the Union Budget 2022-23 was expected to provide major relief and incentives. Following phases of the COVID-19, the hospitality industry, which includes food services, hotels, and tourism, has been the hardest damaged, with limitations enforced on these businesses. The Ministry of Tourism has been allocated an increased budget of Rs 2400 crores in the Union Budget. The concerned authorities will use this budget to expand tourism infrastructure, marketing and promotion, and capacity building.

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Industry experts react to the budget dynamics

Aji Nair, COO, Mirah Hospitality told, “Over the last 2 years of the pandemic, the hospitality Industry has perhaps suffered the most. While some focussed efforts for the industry from today’s budget would have been great, I would still say that it was quite balanced on all fronts. The budget focussed on growth; which was good. Focus on pushing tourism via an emphasis on infrastructure & railways will help boost the industry with the influx of people moving within the country.”

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ECLGS extension:

In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) would be extended till March 2023, with the guarantee cover being increased by Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 5 lakh crore. The travel and tourist business was one of the industries that took the burden of the pandemic for two years in a row.

Dharmesh Karmokar, ESORA, told, “The Naya Bharat budget saw no shocks and no gimmicks, it’s focused on growth which is very encouraging. The 50000 cr allocated towards the extension of ECLGS will help.”

According to Ritesh Agarwal, Founder, and Group CEO, OYO, “The extension of incorporation period for eligible start-ups will certainly give a boost to this segment. Hospitality services by the small & medium sector are yet to bounce back, and the Finance Minister’s decision to extend the ECGL service for this sector up to March 2023 expanding the cover by Rs 50,000 crore is a welcome move.”

Vineet Verma Executive Director & CEO, Brigade Hospitality said, “Except for the extension of ECLGS till March 2023, there is no other announcement that could have provided the much-needed succour for sectors that have been the worst hit.”

Challenge the potential:

Dharmesh Karmokar, ESORA, also told us, “Overall I see rural tourist places do well with all the money being spent on roads, bridges, and ropeways. New trains and routes will see a lot of domestic travel and generate consumption. Even real estate has been given a good push. All this will lead to creating jobs in the hospitality sector and it’s time for brands in Metro cities to open in tiers 2 & 3. There is a huge craving for international cuisines in tiers 2 & 3 and I hope Made in India brands grow by expanding there. One will be surprised to know that Mexican, Lebanese, Thai, Sri Lankan & Ofcourse Chinese cuisines have a growing demand. Now is the time to expand with the virus almost on its last leg. In Mumbai, the govt has already reduced liquor taxes and has done away with a lot of red tapes. Now we need to be on track and continue promoting tourism and nightlife. We hope that Shri Thackeray Ji continues what he left before Covid and supports the hospitality industry as he did before the pandemic. Good days are ahead of us.” spoke to Jurgen Bailom, CEO and President, Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd, who said,” From a technology and data security point of view, an e-passport is certainly a step in the forward direction. The travel industry, however, will be impacted should this become mandatory. Citizens, first, must be comfortable with this idea prior to subscribing to it. That will require a significant effort through innovative, educational programmes and campaigns by the state: especially to ensure a smooth operation thereof and prevent an adverse impact. The travel industry has suffered significantly and anything that could bring with it additional concerns should not only be avoided at all accords but also be carried out mindfully.”

While the travel and tourism industry has suffered significantly through the pandemic, it has also received an encouraging boost in the form of domestic travel. This momentum must be retained. Indians are traveling in India and choosing local destinations. This is a truly terrific sign. The numbers speak for themselves.

India has seen a significant upsurge in domestic tourism, with new advances in the railway sector playing a key role. Over the next three years, 400 new Vande Bharat Express trains will be developed and produced, improving efficiency and passenger experience. To promote tourism and improve connectivity in challenging terrains.

Dinesh Kumar Kotha, Co-founder & CEO, Confirmtkt says, “The budget seems much needed and turns out to be quite satisfying on the train travel industry. Hence, we can expect travel by trains to bounce back in a few months and with the addition of new Vande Bharat trains, we can meet the demand and also provide a better experience for passengers.”

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Published Date: February 3, 2022 1:29 PM IST

Updated Date: February 3, 2022 2:39 PM IST