FAITH organises ‘India Tourism Vision Day’
The theme for the year is 'For Indian Tourism to thrive tomorrow, it has to survive and revive today.'
Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality, the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI) today announced India Tourism Vision Day on 8th October. The Board & the Presidents of the 10 FAITH Associations held National press conference to address the theme for the year is Theme 2020-For Indian Tourism to thrive tomorrow, it has to survive and revive today.
Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH presided during the event to address the issues Hospitality and Travel industry is facing owing to COVID-19 pandemic.
Excerpts from Anand's address:
Good morning ladies & gentlemen, members of the press, my industry colleagues and my fellow FAITH members.
On behalf of FAITH-the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality, I welcome the national media to the India Tourism Vision Day press conference. I hope all of you are healthy and keeping well.
All ten presidents of the associations that comprise FAITH are here to take you through the challenges that confront Indian tourism. Not just its future but its present.
Friends, when FAITH was launched in 2013, Indian tourism was ranked at 68th at the World Economic Forum Tourism Competitiveness study. FAITH along with the support of Ministry of tourism worked on many initiatives to better this rank. In the World Economic Forum, tourism 2019 competitiveness study, India was ranked at 34th.
Over the past 7 years, the FAITH Associations, their Executive Committees across the country worked very hard with their respective state governments and with the central government to undertake countless initiatives to double the global tourism competitiveness ranking of our country. From 68 to 34 is a giant leap but we still have a long way to go. We endeavour to take it to the next level.
Our first goal is to move India into the Top 20 ranks in global tourism competitiveness in 5 years post covid and then make our place in the top 10 ranks of world tourism competitiveness ranking in the next five years.
To give you an estimate, Indian tourism is estimated to account for between 9 - 10% of Indian GDP on a direct & indirect basis. In the post covid normal as our country moves towards the stated goal of becoming a $5 trillion dollar economy, our vision is to have a tourism economic footprint of $ 500 bn. That would more than double the economic footprint of tourism from what it is today.
This would straight away offset major employment growth in India. Effectively our industry would be looking at more than doubling the jobs that tourism influences from around 5 crores currently to over 10 crores. Many more people in India will gain employment across the country due to the rise in tourism during that time period.
Each segment of our tourism industry is committed to this goal. The way forward will entail contribution from each FAITH association to achieving this goal. We have a vision for each of our verticals and on the occasion of India Tourism Vision Day, my esteemed colleagues, the presidents of the 10 FAITH Associations will share the same with you shortly.
While we remain optimistic of the growth in Indian tourism and its role in serving national priorities, the question today is of the industry’s survival in the post - covid scenario. This is the worst crisis ever of a generation to hit the tourism and hospitality industry, a crisis worse than the economic depression, the world wars and 9/11. We were the first to shut down and will be the last to recover, that too depending upon the status of the vaccine.
Each vertical of our tourism industry is under deep stress - travel agents, hotels, tour operators, tourist transporters, restaurants, guides, destinations …the list is endless. The RBI risk survey, the Income tax & GST collections data, the GDP data all have repeatedly highlighted our industry’s plight.
Some months back I had outlined Survival, Revival & Thrival: the three phased recovery of Indian Tourism. From now, till the time the vaccine is deployed we need to sustain tourism and the service talent that forms core of this industry.
How is this possible? We believe this will be best served by a tourism Covid 19 Fund set up by the Ministry of Tourism where interest free funds are given to support the employees and the operating costs of tourism companies. This should be done through a direct benefit transfer against their pan cards and GST identities.
The tourism industry has been identified as one of 26 most stressed industries by the RBI expert committee, eligible for restructuring. We thus need to ensure that an across the board moratorium is made immediately applicable for tourism enterprises till March 2022 or till complete recovery happens and there should be no interest on interest during that period. As we restart tourism from a zero base today across all our verticals, we need revival policies in terms of GST correction, export status, infrastructure status , industry status, secured refunds, SEIS, all of which will be detailed shortly by the 10 Association Presidents of FAITH. These are the fundamental enablers of putting Indian tourism economy back on track.
Finally, we believe, like the way GST council is structured, Indian tourism needs to be structured through a constitutionally empowered legislative body -A national tourism council headed by our Honourable Prime Minister along with the presence of all chief ministers. This will enable fast track centre state level tourism decision making and work on a One India One Tourism approach leveraging and utilising full synergies of India’s tourism potential across all our states. This will raise the decibels for going Vocal with Local.
In line with Made in India , our vision is Tourism - Made in India , to make India one of the most preferred Tourism destinations both for domestic and international tourists offering best in class tourism experiences, infrastructure & services right here in India.
We are confident that both central and state governments are fully aware and committed to our tourism potential and the benefits it reaps for the economy.
We are the next growth driver for India and like the white revolution , the green revolution and the digital revolution, the time now is for India’s tourism revolution (‘Destination Revolution’) - a revolution of consumption and capex driven GDP growth, forex earnings & job creation through tourism.
But for that we need to survive and revive today and now. ...
As Chairman FAITH, I will be failing in my duty if I do not bring to light the gravity of the situation that confronts us.
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