Budget 2023: Hospitality industry hopes for a boost

Hoteliers share their expectations from the upcoming Union Budget 2023

Budget 2023 Hospitality Industry Expectations: As Union Budget 2023 is awaited, the hospitality industry is hoping for relief and incentives that would give a boost to the recovering sector.

After the two yearlong Pandemic and post-pandemic hurdles, the hospitality industry is gradually coming back to its pre-COVID sales and performance. However, most of the restaurants in this segment are still not financially balanced and are still trying to pay the liabilities accumulated during the Covid and post-Covid period. As we all know this industry was neither prioritized during any pandemic surveillant assistance by the government nor considered in any of the strategic policies for COVID recoveries during and post-pandemic by the Government. There have been several pleads and cries from various organisations supporting the industry to the Central and State Governments. However, for reasons not known, the support was very limited and that made many of the restaurateurs shut down their operations or survive with huge liabilities. Hospitality is one of the country's most important industries, and millions of families survive through this industry.  It should get its due importance and priorities by the Government in its fiscal, monetary, and administrative policies.

- Aji Nair - Chief Advisor and Consultant at Mirah Hospitality

We expect Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to continue the ECPG scheme as the scheme has supported the hospitality sector in a great way to emerge as a strong player in the international market, by procuring high quality tools and apparatus as per global standards. We believe that the continuation of the EPCG scheme will equip the hospitality sector to remain competitive in a global market going forward and help the sector to grow and perform as per its real potential especially after COVID. Also there is a long pending recommendation from the industry to get infrastructure status and we expect FM to come forward in this direction to further boost the sector. Another expectation is to bring the hospitality under a flat rate of GST to attract both domestic and international travellers across the hotels.

- Kulbhushan Talwar, Cluster General Manager, Mosaic Hotels

One of the biggest hurdles to growth in the hospitality sector is the cost of capital and a relatively short duration of debt tenure. As this is a high Capex asset class, it has a longer gestation period similar to infrastructure projects like railway, road, metro and aviation. Infrastructure status to the hospitality industry is a long-standing demand of the industry. We hope the finance minister will extend this status to the hospitality industry in this union budget. The hotel room inventory in India is significantly lower than in other peer nations. With the Prime Minister charting the path for India to be a developed country by 2047 it has a comparatively low room-to-people ratio, i.e. We have only 0.7 room spaces per 1000 people whereas it is 10 in the United Kingdom and 20 in the United States. As the income levels are rising, the growth in our country revolves around its consumption story. The hospitality industry is one of the major contributors, hence it is imperative to increase the room supply, infrastructure status is the only long-term solution.

- Nandivardhan Jain, CEO & Founder, Noesis Capital Advisors

The global aviation industry has made a remarkable recovery, and the Union Budget 2023 holds the potential to further propel the travel and tourism sector in India. Currently, India ranks at the top among South Asian countries on the Global Travel Development Index and is experiencing a drastic increase in travellers; relaxation of visa rules would further boost inbound tourism. With travellers seeking new and unique destinations, an allocation for the Ministry of Tourism to promote domestic destinations in the country would not only boost the Indian economy but also provide a much-needed boost to the local economy through job creation and reduced pressure from overcrowding. More travellers now seek new experiences, for instance around 21% of the travellers utilize their bank cards to enjoy complimentary Lounge  benefits at the airport, which contributes to enhancing their travel experience. Government should align the budget & to keep up with the rising demand for enhanced travel experiences amongst travellers they should allocate budget to establish new airports across the country, the government could support the adoption of sustainable tourism infrastructure and green technologies by providing financial incentives to airport operators and developers to invest in solar power, electric ground transportation, and energy-efficient buildings. They can also introduce measures to reduce airfare and taxes on aviation fuel. While the government has brought many reforms for tourism and the aviation sector, we expect that the air travel tax reductions and exemptions will also help accelerate the industry's growth thereby further enhancing domestic and international travel.

- Liberatha Kallat, Chairperson & Managing Director, DreamFolks Services Limited


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