By Bindita Sinha
The travel and tourism industryis contributing extensively to the Indian financial system. Reportedly, by 2025, India hopes to become the 3rd largest travel souk across the world. On the other hand, the Indian government must make sure that the infrastructural shortages do not hamper the development.
India has shifted from the rank of 65 (in 2014) to 34 (in 2019) on the Travel & Tourism Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum. To boost tourism in the country, Nirmala Sitharaman,Indian Finance Minister declared innumerable strides to refurbish and setting up of the museums while presenting the Union Budget speech. Meanwhile, the Indian travel and tourism industry anticipates carrying the visualization to boost the conjugal infrastructure to meet international benchmarks.
“The museum improvementdrive will carry on in five archaeological places in Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Assam, Gujarat, Assam and Uttar Pradesh,” announced Sitharaman.
“The museums will spread-out toAdichanallur in Tamil Nadu, Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Sivasagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh with a special mention on the setting up of a tribal museum in Ranchi, Jharkhand,” she further stated.
The government proposed to double the budgetary allocation from INR 194 crore in 2019-20 to INR 401 crore in the financial year of 2020-21 to the Tourism Department. Under the Ministry of Culture, the budget also announced a suggestion of setting up an Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation and INR 2500 crore will be allocated to the Ministry of Tourism and INR 3150 to the Ministry of Culture.
2019 was a challenging year for the Indian travel business, with a leading airline discontinuing operations. There was alsoanvital need to re-introduce input tax credit for F&B companies under GST. Reportedly, the Hotel Association of India (HAI) grieved the exclusion of historical sites and religious import in Odisha, like Sun Temple at Konark, Jagannath Temple at Puri and Dhauli, the seat of Buddhist peace pagoda on Bhubaneswar’s side-line and so on.
- INR 400 crore has been allocated for Khurda Road-Balangir, Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur rail line
- INR 695 crore is assigned under ABADHA for the growth of Purito develop into a world-class heritage city
- Under the EkamraKshetra Amenities and Monuments Revival Action plan for 2020-21, INR 150 crore is allocated
- Under the Works Department for the development of heritage sites including Samaleswari temple, Hirakud dam and other potential places and old monuments, a new scheme has been proposed
- A total of INR 80 crore has been projected for the Bay Area Development in Shamuka Beach in Puri, tohave world-class transportation
Furthermore, the suggestion for more Tejas Expresstype trains to connect different tourist destinations is anappropriate move.The tourism industry demands better infrastructure and urged the Union government to take up some new schemes to promote hiring in the sector.