Tourism Budget 2023: Industry reacted to the announcements made by the Ministry of Finance
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2024-2024 today in the Parliament and industries and sectors have reacted to the announcements made by the Ministry of Finance. In a major highlight, the Budget speech by the minister found ample mention for the tourism industry with a few announcements for the travel, aviation, railways and infrastructure sector.
The government announced key measures to promote tourism in the country, especially domestic and inbound tourism. The announcement on the launch of an app to enhance domestic tourism experience reiterates the country’s focus on digitisation. The Finance Minister also talked about pushing tourism in the country on a ‘Mission Mode’. She also announced that 50 additional airports, aerodromes and heliports will be revived to promote regional connectivity in the country. Let’s have a look at what the industry stakeholders have to say:
Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, IT and Printing, and Stationery, Government of Goa, Rohan Khaunte Ji, said, “The Union Budget 2023-2024 has a lot of potential for the Tourism Industry, and such innovative approaches will further boost the tourism space in the country. This budget has brought a ray of hope for the pandemic-affected industry by interweaving various missions to strengthen it. The fact that Goa is in line with the centre’s mission of opening a unity mall is significantly encouraging. The Government of Goa has been working on a similar model called Goa Haat Project, wherein we will be promoting handicrafts and other GI products. The budget also emphasizes on promoting active participation of associations between government initiatives and Public-Private partnerships which will further help in providing unique experiences to the visitors. Goa Tourism will avail financial assistance through schemes like Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD to create world-class tourism infrastructure in Financial Year 23-24. We are collectively working towards promoting a sustainable and responsible tourism experience, and Budget 2023 will be instrumental in doing the same. It is also encouraging to see AI being a key focus in the Union Budget, as AI integration can help transform service levels and a result-oriented outcome. The expansion of PMKVY and on-job training around new-age courses for Industry 4.0 like AI, coding, robotics, drones etc., will work towards rapid development of the nation.
Gunjan Prabhakaran, Partner & Leader- Indirect Tax, BDO India said, “Union Budget 23-24 turns out to be a much-awaited relief for the battered tourism sector. Specific focus on this sector will help this industry rebound.”
Vyom Shah, Founder at Foodism, said, “With the government introducing new policies and incentives, the hospitality industry is likely to see an increase in investments and job creation. The policies include initiatives to promote tourism in India, which will help boost the sector’s growth post-coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the measures to support small businesses could provide much-needed relief for those struggling with the pandemic’s economic effects. These changes should create a more competitive environment for hospitality companies and help them stay competitive in the future.”
Viren D’Silva, Co- Founder at GOOD FLIPPIN’ BURGERS®, said, “It’s very good news for startups that the Government has extended the tax holidays by one year, i.e, till March 2024. We were hoping the government would also increase the total turnover by Rs 50 cr from the earlier 25 cr. This would have been a booster dose for startups who were incorporated after 2017 and faced the tough time.”
Arun Krishnamurthi, CEO and Managing Director, AXISCADES, said, “We believe that Budget 2023-24 has put the right emphasis on boosting infrastructure investment, green energy, and skill development, which will harbinger a positive outlook for the Engineering Services Industry. Enhancement in Capital Investment Outlay to Rs.10 lakh crores and skill development under PMKVY in new technology areas, such as AI and Robotics will not only bring about enhanced outsourcing opportunities to our Industry as well as create the right talent pool to service these opportunities. Identification of 50 new destinations for the tourism sector with attendant airport infrastructure will in turn boost the demand for aircraft and the Aerospace Industry, in which AXISCADES is one of the key players, delivering niche engineering value to Global OEMs in Aerospace.’
Teja Chekuri, Managing Partner at Ironhill India, said, “We were hoping that in this budget, some critical issues such as the introduction of ITC (input tax credit), liquidity focused credit lines and single window clearance for all restaurant licenses will be looked into. It would have helped if the government would have addressed the issue of unemployment in the hospitality sector and introduced healthy regulations in place to improve the ease of doing business and helped to generate employment in the sector.”
Mr. Rajeev Sharma, Chief Strategy Officer, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd. said, “The budget 2023 is oriented to economic growth of the country. I am sure that 33% growth in capital expenditure will result in balanced development. This is a smart move since it will help the country achieve its goal of becoming a 5 trillion-dollar economy and a global powerhouse. I believe that the announcement of setting up 100 labs to effectively develop 5G services and the vision to promote Artificial Intelligence in overall industries is a strong step by the government. This will further lead to automation in the industries which will help in propelling India’s growth and promoting smart cities.
The union budget 2023 has come up with positive announcements for different sectors to support the Make In India initiative and can result in balanced growth in the near future.”
Mr. Sandeep Arora, Director of Brightsun Travel India, said “Indian economy is expected to increase by 7% in the year 2023 and tourism is one of the major areas that contributes to it. Development of tourist infrastructure is the need of the hour so the announcement that 50 tourist destinations will be developed for domestic and international tourism is a positive step. Plus, the border village tourism initiative will bring tourists to these far corners helping the local communities earn livelihood and prosper. This year’s budget also saw the highest-ever capital outlay of 2.5 crore for the railways which may provide the push needed for the growth of domestic tourism in the country. Air travel is also expected to rise. Specific focus is needed for the tourism industry to rebound back to pre-pandemic levels and we hope that these initiatives will provide much awaited-relief to the Indian tourism sector.”
Managing Director of Southern Travels A Krishna Mohan, said “It’s a kind of budget that the industry was anticipating to revive its growth in the post-pandemic era. Hon’ble Finance Minister Sitharaman’s convincing statement that the promotion of tourism will be taken up on mission mode on public-private partnership model which has instilled a new lease of life in industry players. Hotel Stocks moved up as Investors cheered the Budget. She emphasised on the scope of huge job creation. Priorities set by her in Union Budget 2023-24 ensure inclusive development of the travel and tourism sector in the country. And all the initiatives, be it the selection of 50 tourist destinations for developing a comprehensive package for domestic and international tourism or establishment of Unity Malls to promote domestic tourism and local businesses or the formation of theme-based tourist circuits and facilitation of rural infrastructure, are expected to propel the sector to newer heights.”