18 Feb How Does the Budget 2018 Impact Your Future Travels?
The diversity of India’s ethnicity and culture has spread across the world and people fly from far away countries to witness this beautiful and colorful land. India’s tourist and travel sector adds upto 40 million jobs which is experiencing a boost each year. The union budget 2018 introduced by finance minister Arun Jaitley has given utmost importance to this growing industry and the coming year will witness reduced travel prices and tax rates.
About Budget 2018
India has more than 50% of young population which is the largest in the world. This gives us phenomenal benefit on the global economic scale. Indian government has already initiated important steps towards boosting the start-up sector in the country. The annual budget 2018 has focused on this sector and few others which will eventually help India to become a strong economic country on a global standpoint.
Agriculture sector, low cost farming, travel and tourism, science and education, start-ups are the main area of focus. This boost in the economy is bound to create more jobs for the youngsters with qualified degree certificates. The budget 2018 is the prime base as how India’s GDP will rise in the coming fiscal year.
Measures Taken Under Budget 2018 for Travel and Tourism
Travel and tourism sector adds about $210 billion to Indian economy each year. Keeping in mind this huge contribution from the continuously growing sector country’s finance minister has sketched elaborate plans to boost this promising industry in the coming year. In the year 2016 the travel industry saw 8% growth and the year later it increased to 10% showing potential to create millions of jobs in the coming future.
The budget promises to make the most crucial change to boost the travel and tourism industry – taxes. Yes, the finance ministry has decided to lower the tax percentage which currently is 28% on hotel tariffs. This change will benefit numerous companies including IndiGo, Jet Airways, Oberoi hotel chain, etc. The reduction of tax percentage will eventually reduce the hotel room rents and charges of the services.
Tourists from all over the world and even from the country have started visiting India’s exotic places to explore the beauty and culture of that place. One major problem which arises is of hotel rooms. India is still short of almost 2 lakh hotel rooms to be provided to the visiting tourists. The government has decided to cut tax rates on new constructions which will boost the rising of new hotels to solve this problem.
The reduced tax percentage will in turn boost the online travel sector. The previous year witnessed about huge usage of online travel portals to book hotels. The leading online travel portal Makemytrip saw 186% rise in the hotel booking at the end of September 2017 and gained 71% extra revenue during the same period. The online booking system allows the tourists to arrive without any worries to a hotel room and by searching on web like MakeMyTrip coupons, etc. you can actually get a discount like flat Rs.500/- off, 20% cashback on bookings, 10% off for both new or old users; be it hotels, flights, bus, cab or a holiday package to your favorite holiday destination.
Impacts of Budget on Travel and Tourism
- Road Travel to Get Better
Major tourists’ locations are situated at the remote corners of our country. The travel to such places is possible only by roads. The major attractions are the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, North-East states, Leh Ladakh, etc. While there’s an acceptable road connectivity, still the roads are either not in good shape or simply don’t exist in some parts. Indian annual budget laid elaborate plans to construct about 9000 kms of roads across the country to make travel by road easier and comfortable. Another major issue is most of the roads get blocked during the winter due to heavy snowfall. A good solution to this problem is constructing tunnels which will be open round the year. Some of the tunnel projects include
- Zojila pass tunnel (more than 14 kms)
- Sela pass tunnel in Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh
- Rohtang tunnel
- Railway Travel made Safer
The year of 2017 proved to be tragic for Indian Railways as one after another incident of derailing was reported in different parts of the country. Additional measures for security has also been considered in the budget 2018. Indian government has decided to convert the traditional railway stations into modern ones by installing about 25000 escalators, Wi-Fi facilities, CCTV cameras, etc. More rail tracks will be laid to increase the frequency of trains between stations. Highlights of railway budget is given below:
- 90 km double line in Mumbai – Rs.11,000 Crores
- 160 km suburban rail network in Bengaluru – Rs.17,000 crores
- 150 kms additional suburban railways in Mumbai – Rs.40,000 crores
- Air Travel Cheaper
Air travel is the most preferable travel mode yet a lot of domestic tourists avoid opting it due to dynamic pricing and higher ticket rates. Indian government has considered this short coming into the 2018 union budget and has launched a scheme named UDAN which aims to provide cheap flight tickets affordable for a common man. Under this scheme the government also aims at initiating the use of unserved airports across the country. This scheme is bound to increase the number of tourists and boost the economy of the tourism sector. Air travel industry has received 1,014.09 crores for the year 2018-19.
- International Travel at Affordable Rates
The positive boost to the travel and tourism sector from Indian government’s 2018-19 budget has undoubtedly created an excited atmosphere. Especially the online travel portal’s such as MakeMyTrip will benefit the most and will launch special international packages at affordable rates. Exotic locations like Malaysia, Thailand, Columbia, Peru, Estonia, Albania, Guatemala, Mexico, Portugal, etc. can be explored at pocket-friendly rates.
Live an Adventurous Life by Travelling
The union budget 2018-19 surprised the travel and tourism sector by showering multiple beneficial relaxed rules. This positive step is bound to repay the country’s economy in the long term and also create employment opportunities. Most of all the budget will benefit the customers who can travel to their favorite destinations without worrying much about the money. So, make sure you travel a lot this year and create memories for your lifetime.