Hospitality, travel and tourism industries in India have come a long way and have done pretty much on its own so to speak. The industry is perceived by the government as important for the country but there is hardly anything it gets in terms of incentives or encouraging policies initiatives to help it achieve the kind of growth it can. Despite playing a major role in job creation, forex earnings, investing capital in the business, contributing significantly to the gross domestic product (GDP), building brand and goodwill for India globally, it doesn’t even get a mention in the Union Budget presentations.
Treated as luxury, the industry is burdened with taxes that are on the higher side. Raising finances has always been a challenge and it’s only getting difficult every passing year. Projects are taking ages to complete due to bureaucracy and red tapism faced by industry players. All it gets in the name of motivation is probably some decent road infrastructure that has started coming up over the last few years.
While on one side, the government wants the country to become a $5 trillion economy, it’s ignoring a crucial industry that, if promoted in the right manner, can act as a major catalyst in achieving this target. All it ne is to do is allocate the portfolio to a dynamic personality who is capable of representing the sectors well in the corridors of power while also putting together policy initiatives that will help grow this industry manifold and compete with the best in the world. A good start will be to bring hospitality and tourism industries in the concurrent list and take it forward gradually.