Union Budget 2021 expectations related to travel and hospitality are soaring with an optimistic outlook! The pandemic may have toppled many travel plans but there’s still an emerging ray of hope that Budget 2021 expectations from the travel industry seem to show.
Given that the latest development of the coronavirus vaccine being rolled out across the country may augur well for India’s travel and hospitality segment, Financial Express Online spoke to few stakeholders to gauge their expectations and gain more clarity on what specific measures in Union Budget 2021 can help revive domestic tourism and hospitality.
Let’s dive into finding out what Budget 2021 expectations from the travel industry are like.
Budget 2021 expectations for travel and hospitality
An emerging key insight has been that a greater push to visit domestic destinations is essential and stimulus packages for the restaurant industry to steer back into a path of revival and resurgence. Right now there is more discomfort about stepping out amidst safety concerns than comfort about being able to travel once again.
“Tourism contributed nearly 9.2% of the country’s GDP in 2018-19, thereby supporting about 8.1% of total employment. In the last few months of 2020, though we have witnessed an optimistic rebound in domestic tourism, given to WFH mostly, we need to create a sustainable roadmap,” Pranav Maheshwari, Co Founder, Vista Rooms, told Financial Express Online.
To instil confidence in people to travel is another key challenge.
Meanwhile, Booking.com, in its recent press release, referred to key trends related to travel in 2020, terming it a difficult year that impacted the travel sector. Further, Ritu Mehrotra, Booking.com’s Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka & Maldives, in the press release statement conveyed appreciation for how Indians are showing travel optimism by searching and booking for destinations.
Expectations from travel industry: Measures to revive domestic travel
Sharing Budget 2021 expectations from the travel and hospitality segment, Jaspreet Singh, Executive Director at Vana Dehradun told Financial Express Online, “We are quite hopeful that India would take the required measures to revive the travel and hospitality industry as it is one of the major contributors to the growth of our economy and is the worst-hit sector due to the ongoing pandemic situation. This is the right time to use this as an opportunity to cater to the domestic needs of the population.”
Besides the travel sector, the country’s restaurant industry too had been severely hit by the lockdown restrictions and the pandemic.
Raghav Joshi, co-founder and CEO (India Business Unit), told Financial Express Online, “The lockdown rules had hit the country’s restaurant industry too and even with the relaxation of rules, food chains have had to incur additional costs to ensure the highest standard of quality and hygiene are maintained for safety of consumers. We would request the government to look into this aspect and extend some stimulus packages to help recover from the after-effects of the pandemic. Also, it will be great if the government can give a relaxation by the way of GST credit available for input cost, to be set off against output GST payable on Restaurant services.”
A problem, pointed out by Jaspreet Singh, Executive Director at Vana Dehradun, is “International travel plans (both inbound and outbound) are at a standstill now. Therefore, the Tourism Ministry must create and advertise domestic tourist destinations to help increase tourist footfall to de risk any such eventualities even in future.”
“Time to be opportunistic,” Pranav Maheshwari, Co Founder, Vista Rooms sets the tone for Budget 2021 expectations from the travel and hospitality industry with these words, “We have witnessed massive demand in the last few months, and gladly say, the tremendous opportunity in domestic tourism.”