The hospitality and tourism industry in India is by and large disappointed by the budget presented on February 1, as it does not take care of the demands made by way of reliefs and incentives.
On the other hand, the focus on infrastructure, pollution control, and development of tourist destinations has been lauded by industry players and leaders.
Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) President Pronab Sarkar said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) issue has not been taken care of, making India more expensive than competitors. Infrastructure spending and smart cities will help, he noted.
Rajendera Kumar, past President of FHRAI and Director of Taj Vivanta Ambassador Hotel New Delhi, wondered why the ruling party had mentioned tourism in its manifesto, when it was not taking steps to promote it in the budget provisions.
Chander Balajee, Managing Director of the Royal Orchid, felt that while no direct benefit has been given to tourism, an increase in disposable incomes and airport capacity will help.
OYO (a network of budget hotels in India) founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal felt that a provision for loans will help job creation, even though the GST has not been reduced.
Balu Ramachandra of Cleartrip noted that UDAN (a regional airport development expansion) and air capacity boost will also help. Balaji, CEO of Clarks Exotica Convention Centre and spa, was happy that air capacity expansion will help the hospitality industry.