Coordination among states most critical for tourism revival: FAITH

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS): FAITH, the policy federation of all the national associations representing the tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI), under the leadership of the Union Ministry of Tourism, held a virtual meeting with the tourism secretaries of all the states and Union Territories.

In the past few years, this is the third time that FAITH associations have held joint meetings with all the state tourism secretaries.

The associations apprised the tourism secretaries about the criticality of tourism to Indian GDP, forex generation, national job creation, creating soft power for India globally and infrastructure creation for the country. The indirect multiplier impact of tourism on states' economic growth is most critical and needs to be leveraged, they said.

FAITH associations highlighted a two-pronged strategy approach for Indian tourism revival post the Covid pandemic.

At the state level, FAITH associations requested the state tourism secretaries for coordinated support for waiver of statutory obligations of power, utilities, parking, inter-state tax tariffs, SGST waiver and industry status.

Additionally, they requested for standardised, harmonised travel protocols, quarantine-free travel for vaccinated persons, open spaces for F&B, regional marketing campaigns and business-linked revival and classification of tourism staff as frontline workers for vaccination within the states.

The FAITH associations urged the states to coordinate with the Ministry of Tourism to urge the GST council for 12 per cent GST for hotels, 12 per cent rate in F&B with full set offs, option of travel agent reseller model, setoffs on fuel, liquor, inter-state taxes, aviation fuel, among other GST reforms.

Additionally, the FAITH associations urged the states to pursue through the Ministry of Tourism for opening up inbound travel and issue of tourist e-visas for vaccinated travellers, abolition of TCS, tourism demand revival campaigns, fast-track registration of travel trade, infrastructure status and special fiscal boost etc.

Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH, said, "Today's first ever virtual meeting of national tourism secretaries with FAITH associations under the leadership of the Ministry of Tourism is unprecedented and was much-needed. We are indeed grateful to the Tourism Secretary and his leadership team for facilitating the same. It is indeed heartening that all the states secretaries have committed to the suggestions by the FAITH associations. All FAITH association presidents are optimistically looking forward to great outcomes for reviving the travel trade. Indeed, a revolutionary step today towards revival of Indian tourism, travel and hospitality."



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