Delhi pips Goa, Maharashtra to emerge most tourist-friendly
New Delhi: There’s a bright spot in the haze that’s covered Delhi over the last one week. The national capital has been ranked Number One among 30 Indian states for its relative competitiveness in the area of travel and tourism.
The biennial state ranking survey, released by the World Travel and Tourism Council India Initiative (WTTCII) and Hotelivate on Tuesday, employed 11 key parameters to evaluate the performance of each participating state and to identify the winner.
While Delhi climbed to the top spot by nudging Maharashtra and Goa to the second spot, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh followed in the list of Top 10. The north eastern states, held back by their access to air and rail connectivity, are among the poor performers on the WTTCII list of 30. Delhi also won the Destination Leader Award in the survey released on Tuesday.
States were evaluated on the basis of state expenditure on tourism, tourist arrivals, per capita gross state domestic product, presence of bran-
GST LEVIED ON LUXURY HOTELS IS
ded hotel rooms, effectiveness of marketing campaigns, extent of urbanisation, air, rail and road infra and connectivity, ease of doing business, and literacy rates, along with other intangible aspects.
Delhi, which improved its position this year, has topped on five out of 11 parameters, but failed to secure a good rank in Ease of Doing Busi-
Effective increase in tax*
ness, on state expenditure on tourism as well as effectiveness of its marketing campaign. Delhi has also done poorly on an assessment of intangible aspects; the perception of safety and security, for its inability to make qualified human resources available for the travel and tourism industry, and on the political stability parameter, which the rese- arch shows has deterred tourism in the state.
Maharashtra, on the other hand, has slipped from being topper to the second slot. The study says that while the state boasts of a strong economy, good infrastructure and a large inventory of branded hotel rooms, it has only secured the top rank in the ‘Intangible Aspects’ category, where Delhi performed poorly.
Aside from ranking states on their performances, the research also points to concerns over the impact of GST on travel and tourism industry. A comparative analysis of taxation structures on hotel services shows customers will have to shell out more after GST imposition . “As part of a host of taxes, luxury tax contributed between 0% to 20% additional tax over and above other taxes levied, taking effective taxation to 18 to 29% on hotel services.... However, as compared to previous tax structures, the effective tax rate has now increased significantly as a result of GST implementation,” the research said. Arunachal Pradesh, J&K, Odisha, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, which levied no luxury tax have registered spike in taxes with 28% GST levy.