TTT NEWS NETWORK
KOLKATA, 1 FEBRUARY 2024:
Madhavan Menon, Executive Chairman, Thomas Cook (India) Limited:
The interim Budget presented by the Finance Minister has focussed on Tourism with a multipronged approach that we believe will create a multiplier effect across aviation, tourism and allied sectors, boosting growth and employment generation.
- We welcome the announcements on airport development and expansion: having already doubled to 149 airports in the last decade, the government’s plans to boost air connectivity by the addition of 517 new routes across Tier 2-3 cities, carrying 1.3 crore passengers via the UDAN scheme, will play a critical role with vibrant hub and spoke air corridors to boost accessibility-affordability for Regional India.
- Implementation of major rail connectivity corridors via the PM Gati Shakti program together with port and metro/rapid transport expansion will serve to create valuable multi modal connectivity for Tourism.
- We welcome the special focus on Domestic Tourism which represents a vibrant growth driver via the government’s plan of long-term interest free loans to States; development of iconic tourism centres by States along with marketing on global standards. What was noteworthy is the reference to Spiritual Tourism and projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure and amenities on islands including Lakshdweep – aimed at development of India’s hidden gems and employment opportunities.
- Further, the strong capex outlay of Rs 11.11 lakh cr, a significant 4% of our GDP, will serve as a catalyst to the Country’s growth potential and job creation.
Mr. Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel Limited:
The interim budget presented by Hon’ble Finance Minister has maintained status-quo on direct and indirect taxes thus keeping its impact neutral. The government has set focus on the overall travel and tourism sector via infrastructure development, green energy, sustainability and looked at diverse initiatives for domestic tourism via a strategic approach for each segment – aviation, ports (waterways) and rail to strengthen regional connectivity to tier 2 and 3 cities.
We welcome the development on the rapid expansion of air connectivity with the addition of 517 new routes across Regional India’s tier 2 and 3 cities via the UDAN scheme – this will play a key role in strengthening accessibility.
The special focus on strengthening domestic tourism via implementation of rail connectivity corridors under the PM Gati Shakti initiative and upgrading 40,000 regular train boogies into high speed Vande Bharat trains will definitely strengthen surface transportation.
The Government’s plan on focus on spiritual tourism, development of iconic tourist spots and island destinations of India including Lakshadweep (projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities) will generate employment thus boosting India’s economy. What is noteworthy, is the Government’s mindful move to form a panel to tackle challenges of higher population/over tourism, especially in destinations with sensitive ecosystems.
Post budget quote by Sandeep Arora, Director, Brightsun Travel:
As expected, this year’s budget puts a strong emphasis on domestic tourism, and we truly applaud this move. The commitment to providing interest-free loans to states for enhancing tourism within their borders is a positive step to boost domestic tourism in the country. There are many offbeat destinations within India that are unique and one of a kind, so government’s pledge for the comprehensive development of tourist centers, with a focus on branding and global-scale marketing, is another welcome move. This will undoubtedly pave the way for transformative growth in the travel and tourism sector, enabling us to showcase the incredible diversity and richness of our nation to the world