Delhi pips Goa, Ma­ha­rash­tra to emerge most tourist-friendly

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - Swati.Mathur@ times­

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-


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.

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