Travel and hospitality professionals reveal the good, bad, ugly of Budget 2022

GST, TCS, and unemployment remains unaddressed.

Budget 2022 may very well be the end of Incredible India, say several stakeholders of travel and hospitality. The recent budget was a classic case of expectation vs. reality. Although many agree that it addressed the country’s long-term infrastructure challenges, the budget never really offered the solution for immediate survival, which was the need of the hour.

Sanjar imam, founder-director, panache world
Sanjar Imam, Founder-Director, Panache World

“The ECLGS of Rs. 50K crore may come as help to some but what’s the sense of taking on more loans when business itself doesn’t exist? The need of the hour was to extend some sort of grant, fuel employment, and take up the opening of tourism at a larger scale such as reintroducing scheduled flights, rather than bubble,” says Sanjar Imam, Founder-Director, Panache World.

Mamta pall, national president, travel & tourism council, wicci
Mamta Pall, National President, Travel & Tourism Council, WICCI

Mamta Pall, National President, Travel & Tourism Council, WICCI, reiterated that ECLGS isn’t exactly helpful. “Extension of loans under the ECLGS scheme doesn’t help as nobody would want additional burdens of repaying loans, while they are already struggling with the previous ones. The budget has not addressed the taxation issues, be it GST or TCS. Not to mention the loss of jobs of millions of people in the industry,” says Pall.

Kapil chopra, founder, eazydiner & the postcard hotel
Kapil Chopra, Founder, EazyDiner & The Postcard Hotel

Kapil Chopra, Founder, EazyDiner & The Postcard Hotel, added that a Rs.10,000 income tax exemption would have boosted consumption and put lakhs of jobs back in the sector.

“Your local restaurants would have been happier with millions of people claiming the exemption. This is the year it was needed. Our Prime Minister mentions that we should see our country and yet we miss the LTA incentive to allow people to see their country, eat in the restaurants that we all have celebrated great occasions in. Simple fixes were needed to ignite the fire again. Unfortunately, we missed it again,” says Chopra.

Rohit kohli, joint managing director, creative travel
Rohit Kohli, Joint Managing Director, Creative Travel

Rohit Kohli, Joint Managing Director, Creative Travel, stated that the budget has done nothing to alleviate the pain caused by unemployment.

“Like always, the government has thrown random figures at the industry, creating an illusion of an achievement they are proud of, without realising for a minute that the industry does not need loans at ridiculous rates of interest,” says Kohli.

Madhavan menon, managing director, thomas cook (india)
Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India)

Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Limited, added that the budget made no reference to the industry’s recommendations to aid revival.

“For a sector that is a key contributor to the country’s GDP and brings in valuable foreign exchange earnings, with a force multiplier impact on employment and skill development, a stimulus would have created significant value in supporting the country’s road to recovery and growth,” he says.

Suggested Read: The Oberoi Bengaluru: How Visheshwar Raj Singh is building an agile dashboard for the luxury hotel

Vishal suri, managing director, sotc travel
Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel

Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel, said that the budget provides the much-needed positivity with focus on infrastructural development, digital enhancements, and healthcare.

“The Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti plan focusing on roads, airports, ports, waterways will raise productivity and be the key drivers of domestic tourism economy. Additionally, the Parvat Mala announcement with 8 National Ropeways development project will ease commuting and thereby improve connectivity. The two noteworthy announcements of issuance of e-passports and the expansion of the ECLGS scheme for the hospitality sector will help boost the travel and tourism industry,” he says.

Dhruv shringi co-founder and ceo, yatra. Com
Dhruv Shringi Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra.com

According to Dhruv Shringi Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra.com, the government has taken relevant measures to revive the travel and hospitality industry. “The PM Gati Shakti, a transformative digital approach for economic growth, will be driven by seven engines including roads, railways, airports, among others, and a collaborative effort of 16 ministries and we are optimistic that it will lead to sustainable development,” he says.

Kanika tekriwal, ceo & founder, jetsetgo aviation
Kanika Tekriwal, CEO & Founder, JetSetGo Aviation

Kanika Tekriwal, CEO & Founder, JetSetGo Aviation, is optimistic that e-Passport will bring more convenience to the public as well as to the authorities.

“We expect that the embedded chip and the futuristic technology used in e-passports will ensure easy verification and readability of the personal information including the biographical details visible on the passport and will encourage a hassle-free journey,” says Tekriwal.

Ronojoy dutta, ceo & whole time director of indigo
Ronojoy Dutta, CEO & Whole Time Director of IndiGo

Ronojoy Dutta, CEO & Whole Time Director of IndiGo, added that while the new incentives of issuing of e-Passport and introduction of digital currency look promising, the government’s relentless focus on national transportation infrastructure development with the PM Gati Shakti plan will also strengthen the much-needed multimodal connectivity and facilitate seamless movement of cargo, while reducing logistics costs.

“Having said that we were expecting tax concession to Aviation industry in the forms of cut in ATF excise duty and allocation of concessional finance to airlines to help us come out of the pandemic,” he says.

Dilip puri, ceo & co-founder, indian school of hospitality
Dilip Puri, CEO & Co-founder, Indian School of Hospitality

Dilip Puri, CEO & Co-founder, Indian School of Hospitality, said that the government has laid emphasis on reviving the hospitality sector. “We’re also looking forward to see how ‘Drone shakti’ scheme to promote start-ups and Rs.6,000 crore allocated to boost MSMEs will roll out in future,” he says.

Nikhil sikri, ceo & co-founder, zolostays
Nikhil Sikri, CEO & Co-founder, Zolostays

Nikhil Sikri, CEO & Co-founder, Zolostays, stated that the budget shows a big promise towards the real estate sector which, in turn, throws the door wide open to investments in pre-leased residential properties.

The past two years have been hard on travel and hospitality. The stakeholders say that the government hasn’t helped much in the revival.  

It remains to be seen what’s in store for travel and hospitality this year.

Read more.

Travel, food and hospitality industries share their budget expectations

How Srijan Vadhera is shifting Conrad Bengaluru from panic to purpose