Budget 2018 is clocking off with just a week of time to go and everyone have high hopes, quite obviously – especially the tourism and hospitality sector is looking forward with expectations of a cut in taxes to attract more foreign tourists.

Tourism sector is financially important for any country as it draws in immense amount of foreign money in return of letting people experience what it is. Indian tourism has gained momentum recently, and more domestic as well as international tourists have begun drawing. While India has managed to become a globally prominent tourism destination, it still needs to develop a tourism-friendly ecosystem to compete with other international players like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. Investing in tourism and hospitality sector will not only boost earnings but it will promote local heritage and culture to be preserved.

Since July 2017 when Goods and Service Tax was implemented, the hospitality sector industry has been urging the much-needed revisions in GST to provide some tax relief. With the Budget 2018 just a week away, the hospitality sector is looking forward to reforms supporting the industry, because the government has been aggressively promoting tourism and making it a globally recognised brand – there are still some issues that are required to be focused internally. To make India a tourism-friendly ecosystem like Kenya, the government need to make revisions in taxation, infrastructure and inconsistent regulations imposed by various states.

Currently, the tax levied on AC hotels is 28%, which is not only much higher than similar economies like Singapore, but it also unfairly clubs up the high-end luxury resorts with mid-level hotels and lodges. The hospitality sector also looks forward to infrastructural developments which will attract tourism investors and tourists to visit India. Being one of the key industries driving modern society, tourism sector deserves the expected changes to be made for a healthy tourism-centric state, which it is in terms of its potential.

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