India Budget 2019: Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden budget may not have come up to expectations of everyone but the travel industry leaders seem to be quite satisfied with it.
Union Budget 2019: Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden budget may not have come up to expectations of everyone but the travel industry leaders seem to be quite satisfied with it. Calling it a budget that steered away from populist measures, Madhavan Menon, Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said that with the Union Budget, the Narendra Modi-led government has “taken a long-term view with a focus on revitalising the Indian aviation and travel and tourism sector. The budget announcement on road and waterways via Bharatmala, Jalmala, Sagarmala is truly a welcome move as it is also backed by an overall budgetary outlay of Rs 100 lakh crore, Madhavan Menon added. Furthermore, the government has also suggested a continued focus on schemes from its previous tenure (such as UDAN), which is indeed laudable, he added.
Reviving aviation sector
Nirmala Sitharaman also announced support to the aviation sector by approving FDI, hinting at initiating aircraft financing and leasing, policy interventions for the development of maintenance, repair and overhaul in India (MRO) in order to make the country self-reliant in aviation. “This will certainly bring in a multiplier effect on airfares and job creation,” as well, Madhavan Menon noted. “This will see a cascading fillip to job creation/employment generation,” Thomas Cook India’s Indiver Rastogi, President & Group Head – Global Business Travel, echoed.
World-class tourist centres
Nirmala Sitharaman has also announced setting up of 17 iconic tourism sites as world-class tourist centres. This, along with “a Digital Repository to serve as a bank of documentation on India’s tribal history and heritage containing folk songs/dances, videos on their evolution, traditional arts, anthropological documentaries of tribes to preserve the rich tribal heritage,” is a noteworthy initiative, Madhavan Menon said. Speaking on the government’s announcement on 17 tourist centres, Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook India said that the same will showcase the grandeur of the country among tourists while positioning India as a key destination for visual attractions.