Chennai: Cruise tourism in the country needs further fillip from the government so that the potential from the blue tourists coming in from overseas and India is tapped. The tourism industry experts feel that the Union Government’s vision 2030 proposals regarding Sagarmala project covering the coastal areas will help the cruise tourism to prosper.
Also, infrastructure development and UDAN scheme will have a direct impact on travel behaviour, say experts.
Mahesh Iyer, ED and CEO at Thomas Cook (India) Limited says, “while the Interim Union Budget 2019 has seen no direct mention of the travel and tourism sector, focus on tax breaks for the middle class (including doubling of income-tax exemption to Rs 5 lakh, raising of the threshold on bank fixed deposit interest to Rs 40, 000.), will result in increased disposable income and a cascading boost to consumption - offering the sector an opportunity for increased travel and tourism spends.” He said that the oceans and coastlines formed the sixth dimension of the government’s vision for 2030 leveraging the strength of blue economy and Sagarmala, and this augurs well for India’s cruise tourism both ocean and river waterways.
Dr Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director Bird Group & Member of CII’s Core Committee on Aviation, congratulated the government for
presenting a forward-looking and progressive interim budget. “This budget while announcing financial sops for MSME’s, farm and health sectors that form the backbone of the economy and tax relief for the middle class, also sufficiently prioritised infrastructure for railways and airports by allocating hefty investment to add fillip to ongoing progress. For airlines, the business has grown exponentially in the last year as UDAN Yojana has made travel possible for anybody and everybody.
This has put an unexpected burden on airports severely crowding them.
There is an urgent need to upscale existing airports and introduce the stipulated 100-mark operational airports soon, to cater to an ever-increasing demand. We now await the implementation of the promises made, he said.
2,189 cr for tourism: Union tourism ministry will get an annual allocation of Rs 2,189 crore in 2019-20. The interim budget has proposed a nominal hike in the allocation for tourism in this year’s budget. The allocation for tourism in the last budget was Rs 2,113 crore.
Out of the total allocation of ` 2,189 crore, the budget proposes `1,448 crores for tourism infrastructure development including
Rs 1,106 for central sector schemes / projects. In the allocation for publicity and promotions, the expenditure budget
proposes a lesser spending compared to last budget - ` 506.23 crores in place of ` 543 crores in 2018.
The allocation for Civil Aviation in the Interim Budget for 2019-20 stands at ` 4,500 crore and for Railways at `64,587 crore....