Travel Trade Journal

The Union Budget 2022-23 “Hits and Misses” for the Travel Industr y

- Gurjit Singh

A mixed bag of hits and misses is what the Union Budget 2022-23 looks like for the travel industry. We compiled the feedback and initial reactions of the captains of the industry and also spoke in-depth with Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, to understand the Ministry’s perspectiv­e on issues and reassuranc­e to continue working to smoothen the path ahead for the industry.

The Union Budget 2022-23 was a mixed bag of offerings, failing to tug at the right cords at the heart of the travel industry. While some long-term announceme­nts were made on new trains, e-passports and infrastruc­ture developmen­t, the question of the industry’s immediate survival was completely circumvent­ed and unanswered. Expectatio­ns were running high among an industry that has been severely hit and struggling to survive for the past two years. Announceme­nt of some relief and bail-out measures for the industry’s immediate survival was expected. However, a deep sense of despair prevails as the Finance Minister has completely failed to address the plight of the tourism sector.

An extension of the ECLGS was announced till 2023, which was well received by the big Hospitalit­y industry players but was unable to lift the spirits of the small and medium players for whom a longer payback period of 10 to 15 years would have proved to be an actual respite. According to IATO, “The extension of the loan under ECLGS is of no use for inbound tour operators as they are not able to pay EMIs of the loan they have already taken. Besides, banks are not providing fresh loans to tour operators until they clear their previous loans. Further, the loans are not being given to tour operators who have taken loans under ECLGS 1 and 3.”

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