Budget 2022: What’s in it for the Hospitality and Tourism Sector?

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Many businesses were hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak, which hampered the pace of many of India’s industrial and economic sectors. The hospitality and tourism market in India was one such sector affected by the pandemic. Businesses around the country, including hotels, homestays, forms of travel, outdoor adventures, and more, had come to a standstill due to the statewide lockdown. However, as the country battled to rebound from the pandemic’s repercussions, initiatives by private enterprises and statewide tourist boards provided a light of hope for the hospitality sector and tourism sector in India.  So what is the scope of travel in 2022 and what can the travel and hospitality sector expect from the budget 2022? Here are the key highlights of Budget 2022.

Statistics for the hospitality sector in India for Budget 2022

– Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has highlighted a slew of steps the government will take for multiple industries throughout India, including the hospitality sector, in the most important announcement of the year, the Budget 2022. 

– In her Budget 2022 statement on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the hospitality sector and other allied services, particularly those offered by micro and small businesses, had yet to achieve their pre-pandemic levels of activity.

– While some argue that the budget is a boon to the hospitality industry in India, several travel experts disagree. The Ministry of Tourism has been allocated Rs 2,400 crore in the Union Budget which is 18.42 percent higher than the allocation for the financial year 2021-22, bringing some relief to a sector ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

– A large percentage of the planned budget allocation of Rs 2,400 crore, totaling Rs 1,644 crore, is designated for the tourism sector in India and its infrastructure development. While the other half, Rs 421.50 crore is designated for promotion and publicity operations.

– The Emergency Credit Line Guarantee (ECGL) Scheme for small and medium sector hospitality services has been extended with expanded coverage of 50,000 crores through March 2023, as announced in the Budget 2022.

– While the extension of the ECLGS scheme will permit for a one-year hiatus on loans taken out under the scheme, it will only help some companies with existing credit lines or outstanding sanction available loans. This was Kabir Suri’s take on the scheme introduced under Budget 2022. He is the president of NRAI and Co-Founder and Director of Azure Hospitality.  (sourced from CNBCTv18)

– The North Council will undertake the PM Development Initiative for the North East. It will finance infrastructures in the spirit of Prime Minister Gati Shakti, as well as social progress based on the North East’s health standards. Youth and women in the North East will be especially benefited. An initial investment of Rs. 1,500 crore would be made for an initial list of projects included in the Budget 2022 Annexure.

– FAITH, the policy federation of all national groups representing India’s entire tourism, travel, and hospitality sector, has stated that more immediate and direct assistance could have been provided. “The union budget provides some relief and medium to long term infrastructure measures to the stressed tourism, travel and hospitality industry, but there was an immediate opportunity for more direct intervention to support the highly stressed tourism, travel, and hospitality companies and their employees,” said Nakul Anand, chairman of FAITH. He suggested that this could have taken the form of wage support for the tourism sector and hospitality sector employees, the elimination of TCS on outbound travel, the provision of infrastructure status to hotels, the waiver of e-visa fees for all tourist visas until inbound revival occurs, and a domestic income tax travel credit for Indian citizens and Indian companies. (sourced from Economic Times)

– People have begun adopting contactless means for nearly every activity, from purchase to e-boarding, as a result of the pandemic raising public knowledge of the online realm. By implementing E-Passports, Budget 2022 focuses on maximizing the benefits of new era technology. For the convenience of abroad travel, E passports with integrated chips and futuristic technologies will be issued in 2022-23.

Provision for E-passports included in Budget 2022

– According to Budget 2022, the Swadesh Darshan Scheme would receive Rs 1181.30 crore from the financial allocation for key tourist infrastructure initiatives, while the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual and Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) will receive Rs 235 crore.

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