Exempt income tax on travelling within India: PP Khanna

At the India Tourism Vision Day organised by FAITH, PP Khanna, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators Association of India (ADTOI) addresses challenges and opportunities for the revival of domestic tourism market in India.

With international travel on halt, destination around the world are focusing on growing domestic tourism by encouraging people to explore and experience their own countries. Given the value of domestic tourism and current trends, PP Khanna, President of Association of Domestic Tour Operators Association of India (ADTOI) addresses challenges and opportunities for the revival domestic tourism market in India.

He mentions that the domestic tour operators are in a bad shape as people are travelling short distances in their private vehicles. Khanna said, “To survive, the domestic tour operators need to be supported have an operating cash subsidy to pay their salaries and operating costs.”

PP Khanna was speaking at the India Tourism Vision Day organised by Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) – the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI).

He further lists measures to boost fast track revival for domestic tourism market, he said, “It is important to make income tax an exemption on travelling within India. Indian citizens can get income tax credits for upto rupees 1.5 lakhs when spending with GST registered domestic tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers and transporters. Not only will this organise the domestic tourism industry which is highly unorganised, this will revive domestic demand in a systematic manner, a practice which is being followed in many countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Japan etc.”

“GST on tour operators should be 1.8 per cent with full set offs and not 5 per cent which is making domestic tour operators uncompetitive,” he added.

In 2019, India domestic tourism, recorded 2.3 bn plus domestic tourism visits in India. India’s domestic tourism market is estimated now to be the second largest in the world. Khanna shares that the vision of the associations is to double India’s share of domestic  tourism to almost 4 bn domestic tourism visits  in 5 years post normal and then increase it again to 8 bn domestic tourism visits in the next five years post that.

Furthermore, he asserted that to make India’s domestic tourism world class, “We have to have a consistent national focus on 3S - Safety, Sanitisation, and Sensitisation.”

Concluding his address, he expressed, “We are confident that the Indian domestic tourism will be the biggest employment generator and will boost capital expenditure for our economy and our road to that vision begins by helping our domestic tourism Industry surviving through this pandemic and reviving accordingly.”

“In recognition of the same, we have discussed with tourism ministry and they will be celebrating 2021 as the year of domestic tourism,” he added.


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