Budget 2021

Kerala travel industry welcomes budget

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Kerala’s travel and tourism industry has given the thumbs up on extension of Visa on Arrivals to 150 countries, describing the step as a “major decision benefiting Kerala Tourism in a big way.

E.M.Najeeb, President, Confederation of Tourism Industry told Business Line that the budget announcement in this regard would definitely lead to increase in international tourist arrivals to the country thereby benefitting the aviation sector by way of more number of flights and investments.

Last year, Kerala registered 8.5 lakh foreign tourist arrivals and this number would definitely go up once this facility extended to more countries from next fiscal. However, the industry is seriously concerned of enhancing the service tax to 14 per cent as it would increase costs and create a negative feeling among tourists, he added. 

Abraham George, President, Kerala Travel Mart said that the state has already witnessed a 7-8 per cent growth in international tourist arrivals especially with the implementation of visa on arrivals from 42 countries. This would number go up considerably in the coming years by including more countries in the list and it would also boos India’s image abroad.

At the same time, he stressed the need to promote domestic tourism also by way of providing more incentives and exempting service tax, which is a long pending demand of the industry. It is reported that 50 million Indians would travel abroad by 2020. A small percentage of this revenue can be diverted to India if the authorities provided some incentives for the promotion of domestic tourism, he added.

Published on February 28, 2015

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