The budget allocation for the ministry of tourism has been cut off from Rs 2,500 crore to Rs 2026.77 crore in the Union Budget 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. An allocation of Rs 1088.33 has been made for the development of tourism infrastructure.
This can be considered as a major blow to the tourism industry considering the fact that it is already suffering from huge losses due to the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of the Rs 668.72 crore allocation for the promotion and publicity of the tourism sector, Rs 524.02 crore has been specified for the overseas market. The remaining Rs 144.70 crore is kept for the domestic tourists. A Rs 63.65 crore allocation is presented for capacity building for service providers and Rs 138.65 crore is provided for training and skill development.
The policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India, known as FAITH (Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality) expressed its distress over the budget stating, “lack of immediate direct support in budget has disappointed the Indian travel and tourism industry”
Chairman of FAITH, Nakul Anand issued a statement stating that there was a need of corpus of at least Rs 2,500 crore for global branding budget to enable sub-branding of three tourism segments — Indian MICE, Indian adventure, Indian Heritage under the Incredible India main brand to enhance each of these verticals’ global outreach.
The statement further reads, “Not addressing any of these critical measures in the budget announcement has thrown the industry into a state of shock and deep dismay. The tourism, travel and hospitality industry is battling the worst in century crisis from the impact of Covid 19, revival from which will not be seen minimum for the next financial year till vaccination is fully undertaken with no observed side effects in all source and destination markets,”