Indian government snubs tourism and hospitality in stimulus package

Tourism and hospitality stakeholders in India have found themselves locked out of their government’s economic stimulus package worth 1.7 trillion rupees (US$22.5 billion) that was announced last week.

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), which represents the country’s complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry, said their members are in a state of disbelief and shock.

“Indian tourism, travel and hospitality is said to impact 10 to 12 per cent of India’s employment, covering almost over 50 million direct and indirect jobs. The industry has gone numb from a lack of any umbrella direction from the government and without any fiscal and monetary support,” the association said in a statement.

Dark days ahead for India’s tourism, travel and hospitality industry which has been forgotten in the government’s economic stimulus package; Jal Mahal, Jaipur pictured

Earlier, FAITH had proposed a dedicated interest and collateral-free long-term fund for salaries and operating costs, and a minimum 12-month waiver of fixed central and state statutory and banking liabilities without any penal or compounding interest.

These proposals have not been addressed.

TTG Asia understands that many companies have downsized due to cash flow problems or non-existent business. With this latest announcement, the industry risks bankruptcies and business closures, which could result in millions of job losses across the country.

“We will see a surge in mass employments and shutdowns in the industry because the road to recovery for tourism will be much longer compared to other sectors,” warned Ravi Gosain, managing director, Erco Travels.

Although domestic leisure and corporate travel may ease up post-lockdown, not much movement is expected due to new social distancing rules as well as concern for the vulnerable groups.

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