India‘s tourism body FAITH has appealed to states to provide specific packages to the industry in order to save them from the ongoing losses. By Tanvi Jain

 

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The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH), has urged all the Chief Ministers to provide state-specific packages to the tumbling hospitality industry, which is undergoing huge losses due to complete lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis.  

The USA, Canada, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Italy, Spain — all the top-performing markets of India are so severely hit by the Coronavirus outbreak that they are not likely to resume travel by next year. 

“Tourism industry of India first needs to SURVIVE, then needs to REVIVE and then only can it THRIVE. Request the Chief Ministers of 28 states to support tourism which gave them 1.8 bn+ domestic tourists and 10.5 mn+ foreign tourists,” FAITH Tourism India tweeted. 

 

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Some key highlights of the suggested package reportedly include exempting the industry from all electricity and other charges, and from excise duty as well, renewing all licenses, permits and permissions, about to expire this month, a refund of State GST collected from various tourism-related enterprise, which can be later paid back without any interest, and etc. FAITH has also requested the Finance Minister, Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a Tourism COVID-19 fund for a 10-year interest-free loan. 

Earlier this month, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), had reportedly estimated the worst-hit tourism industry to face a loss of around INR 5 lakh crore. Reports had also hinted on Union Tourism Ministry’s plans to help the declining sector with soft loans, working capital and deferment on loan repayments. 

 

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As per the World Trade Council (WTC)the travel sector across the globe is reportedly facing 100 million job loss due to the pandemic. “As #COVID19 has disrupted millions of lives and puts the global economy at risk, Tourism emerges as a key sector to guarantee a better recovery. We urge governments to include tourism in all recovery plans to protect jobs and companies so together we can mitigate the impact on thousands of households across the globe,” World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recently mentioned on its Instagram handle. 

Related: #SomeGoodNews: You Can Now Virtually Explore India With Tourism Ministry’s Series Of Webinars