Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) is an umbrella body of organisation that represents the hospitality industry in India
The hospitality industry was largely satisfied by the Union Budget for FY2020-21 as the Finance Minister had allocated INR 2500 crore for the development of the sector amongst other provisions. Recently, FAITH that represents all the major national associations including ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, and TAFI has submitted the pre-budget recommendations to the Union Government. Eminent hotelier and the Chairman of Claridges Group of Hotels — Suresh Nanda has called the demands ‘justified’ as it is essential for the growth of the sector.
Intending to make India one of the preferred destinations for international tourists, FAITH has recommended budgetary themes based on — One India, One Tourism, Export Competitiveness, Domestic Leadership, Capital Formation, and Removing Inefficiencies.
“The vision of Made in India in tourism is applaudable. All the 22 demands in the proposal will give a boost to the hospitality industry in India and the economy at large, if accepted, by the government. The focus point is the proposal to set up National Tourism Council to be chaired by the PM, co-chaired by the Tourism Minister and all the CMs as members. This is really good as it will unify and channelise the efforts as tourism encompasses multiple ministries at the Centre and the states,” says Suresh Nanda.
He said that India ranked at 34 among 140 countries as per the tourism 2019 competitiveness study by the World Economic Forum. In 2013, India ranked at 68th position. The objective is to bring India amongst the top 20 positions within the next five years. In that direction, FAITH has put forth a series of demands that include tax benefits and cuts in GST, setting up of a Natural & Cultural Heritage Restoration Fund, and formation of national tourism transportation policy amongst others. Moreover, the proposal aims at doubling domestic tourism to 4 billion domestic tourism visits in the coming five years. For achieving this, the theme ‘Incredible India’ needs to be enhanced by portrayal of India’s diversity, heritage and health tourism.
Suresh Nanda also pointed towards the demand for increasing the intensity of high-quality hotel accommodation in India which is currently low. “Lower levels of high-quality hotel accommodations have an adverse impact on global tourism share. The proposal aims to enhance the share of such accommodations by demanding low-interest rates on loans to amplify classified quality hotel infra. If this is done, the industry will be able to infuse private capital for developing high-quality hotels which will eventually lead to increase in high spending tourists and creation of jobs in India.”
The hospitality industry in India is one of the worst-hit sectors amidst the pandemic. The proposal aims at larger goals with respect to the growth of the industry. Tourism has high hopes from the Union Budget for FY21-22, which is expected to bring back a much needed thrust to the struggling sector with pro hospitality allocations.