A favourable GST regime for travel agents is extremely critical as part of our vision for the future: Jyoti Mayal
Jyoti Mayal, the President, TAAI and Vice Chairperson, FAITH discusses the fiscal measures to boost the travel sector and stresses upon building symbiotic relationships and much more at India Tourism Vision Day
Speaking at the India Tourism Vision Day organised by Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), Jyoti Mayal, the President of Travel Agents Association of India and Vice Chairperson, FAITH said that Indian tourism industry is and will undergo a massive radical change post Covid19.
She said, “In the post covid era, we see Indian travel & tourism becoming one of the biggest travel opportunities globally over the medium to long term. Whether it is outbound, domestic or inbound travel or in segments of business travel, leisure travel, weddings travel, conference travel or special activities such as medical or rural tourism travel, we look forward to creating multiple opportunities for our travel agent’s fraternity. We have been in close discussions with the tourism ministry for the same and look forward to exciting new segments emerging for our travel agent’s community.”
Speaking on the multiple challenges that the sector is currently facing, she said, “There is immense disruption happening from online technologies and travel is the first one to be hit by it and continues to be increasingly impacted. We have to face the challenge and work with it and as such we are constantly planning to enable our travel agents’ communities to partner and create combinations of online and offline models.”
Seeking out solutions, Jyoti Mayal said, “We are increasingly partnering with multiple country tourism boards to collaborate with the Indian travel agent’s fraternity and expand country opportunities for them. All of these require a significant component of re-skilling and upskilling of travel agent’s fraternity and our prime focus is to enable them to create more opportunities in the post covid world.”
Highlighting upon the financial measures, Mayal said, “A key requirement is to make Indian travel agents globally competitive. The recently introduced TCS makes Indian travel agents uncompetitive by 5 – 10 per cent via their global counterparts. This comes on top of the GST which makes our travel agents even more uncompetitive. We are in close discussions with the ministries and hope that it will be rolled back.
A favourable GST regime for travel agents is extremely critical as part of our vision for the future and we are in constant dialogue with aviation and finance ministries to address that. We hope to see a competitive GST regime for our travel agents being rolled out soon.
We look forward to organising the travel agent’s industry and protecting our fraternity from fly by night operations. This is critical to rebuild trust and we are continually pursuing it. Both at the central government level and at the state governments level this is critical.”
Concluding her address, Mayal called for a healthy association between the travel agents and the aviation sector. She also called out the need for a body to protect the financial health of the travel agents.
She concluded, “Aviation and travel agents have a symbiotic partnership. But that partnership needs to be kept healthy. While aviation has IATA to protect their financial interests, travel agents need to also be protected One of the key questions that we will also be addressing soon is how to create a structured mechanism to future secure travel agents’ payments. It is also imperative to expand the number of bilateral air bubbles and allow tourism and business traffic while ensuring RT PCR tests and we are in constant discussions with the aviation ministry for the same.
For all of this to succeed such partnerships are critical between the travel agent’s industry, across the tourlsm industry value chain and with various ministries and we keenly look forward to that. This is the time we have to survive and revive and continue to build trust and confidence to deal with the challenges today in the post covid era.”
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