Indian states set to lose tourism as an industry; FAITH requests CM of 28 states for specific support package
COVID-19 Pandemic has jeopardized all top-performing foreign source markets for tourism impacted (USA, Canada, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Italy, Spain), interstate domestic season which is almost 60%+ in the April - July period has collapsed for the FY 2020-21
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 appealed to the Chief Ministers of each state for coming up with a state specific package.
FAITH has shared with each state their share of domestic and foreign tourists and how most of those total tourist footfalls will now not be available for 2020-21.
This tourism business has almost completely come to a standstill in FY 2020-21. Almost all of India’s top performing foreign source markets for tourism (USA, Canada, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Italy, Spain), are severely impacted and are not likely to travel before FY 2021 - 22.
The interstate domestic season which happens almost 60%+ in the April - July period has collapsed for the year FY 2020 - 21 and will be negligent for the rest of year with stringent travel restrictions and reduced connectivity across Indian states. FAITH has been repeatedly saying to all key Government bodies that the Tourism industry of India first needs to survive, then needs to revive and then only can it thrive.
FAITH has appealed to the Chief Ministers of each state for coming up with a state specific package:
• A complete waiver of all fixed electricity and other utility charges for FY 2020-21 without any penalties.
• A complete waiver of all excise duties for FY 2020-21 without any penalties.
• A renewal of all licenses, permits, permissions which were expiring in FY 2020-21 without any financial charges or penalties.
• A refund of the FY 2019-20 of SGST collected from all travel agents, tourist transporters, hotels, tour operators, restaurants and any other tourism, travel & hospitality enterprises in the state which will help manage their working capital crisis. This can be paid back in subsequent years interest free and without any penalties.
• A complete waiver of any other taxes, fees, cesses or levies such as the property taxes or interstate tourist transport taxes levied at the level of the state, municipal, district or panchayat on the tourism, travel & hospitality industry.
Additionally, FAITH has also requested the Chief Ministers for their support with the following:
• Request to the Finance Minister, of Govt of India for a complete waiver of income taxes, GST,
PF & ESI and any other statutory taxes, fees, cesses or levies on the tourism, travel & hospitality industry for FY 2020-21.
• Request to Governor RBI for increasing the moratorium period on loans from three months to full financial year of 2020-21 without any penal or accumulated interest.
• Request to Finance Minister, Govt of India & Governor RBI for setting up a Tourism COVID 19 fund for 10-year interest free loan for enabling tourism, travel & hospitality industry to meet salary costs. This could be for a minimum fund size of Rs. 50,000 crores which is almost equal to the gross banking credit to Indian tourism, travel & hospitality industry. This will help retain jobs, ensure that tourism business don’t go bankrupt and also will protect the principal amount of loan and overall banking exposure.
This crisis emanating from COVID 19 is the worst ever to hit the tourism industry, bigger than the combined financial impact of 9/11 and economic downturn of 2009 and said to be even bigger than the impact of world war 2 and the Great Depression.
FAITH has thus appealed for urgent support to prevent mass bankruptcies and unemployment in tourism, travel & hospitality industry in each state.