The time is for Tourism Revolution: Nakul Anand
Speaking at the first virtual ‘India Tourism Vision Day’, Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited & Chairman, FAITH, highlighted that now is the time for ‘Tourism Revolution’.
Launched in 2013, 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) – has undertaken several initiatives to double the global tourism competitiveness ranking of the country.
The apex body of travel and tourism in India, FAITH, today organised the first virtual ‘India Tourism Vision Day’ where all ten presidents of the associations under the FAITH umbrella discussed opportunities and challenges that confront Indian tourism. Speaking at the conference, Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited & Chairman, FAITH, highlighted that now is the time for ‘Tourism Revolution’.
He asserted, “We are the next growth driver for India and like the white revolution, the green revolution and the digital revolution, the time now, is for a Tourism revolution – leading to GDP growth, forex earnings and job creation.”
As per the latest report by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), tourism and hospitality is one of the worst impacted sector due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Each vertical of the tourism industry is brought to its knees due to the global crisis and until the vaccine is out in the market, the industry will have to mould its functioning according to the new norms.
To sustain the tourism industry, Anand requested for a ‘Tourism Covid 19 Fund’ set up by the Ministry of Tourism and a ‘National Tourism Council’ comprising of all relevant ministries and all chief ministers. He said, “The council will enable fast track centre state level tourism decision making and work on a One India One Tourism approach leveraging and utilising full synergies of India’s tourism potential across all our states. This will raise the decibels for going Vocal with Local.”
Mentioning the potential that the tourism industry comprises to serve national priorities, he listed the revival policies for the industry’s survival in the post - Covid era. He said, “The tourism industry has been identified as one of 26 most stressed industries by the RBI expert committee, eligible for restructuring. We thus need to ensure that an across the board moratorium is made immediately applicable for tourism enterprises till March 2022 or till complete recovery happens and there should be no interest on interest during that period.”
“As we restart tourism from a zero base today across all our verticals, we need revival policies in terms of GST correction, export status, infrastructure status, industry status, secured refunds, SEIS,” he added.
Furthermore the FAITH’s Chairman expressed his vision to make the country one of the most preferred Tourism destinations both for domestic and international tourists offering best in class tourism experiences, infrastructure and services right here in India. He concluded his address by thanking both central and state governments for their continued support and guidance. “I will be failing in my duty if I do not bring to light the gravity of the situation that confronts us,” he asserted.
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