WTTC calls on India Government to reduce taxes and improve visa policies
At a speech today in Delhi, David Scowsill, WTTC President & CEO, has called on the Indian government to address the two biggest issues that are likely to hold back the growth of the country's Travel & Tourism economy.
While IATA projects that the country's aviation industry will be the fourth largest market for domestic passengers globally by 2016, driving profitable operations is still a challenge. There is current oversupply in the hotel sector in some key cities in India, which is reflected with decreases in the three key performance metrics (occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room) during the first nine months of 2012.
Scowsill continued: "We have seen encouraging developments in India, with attempts to liberalise visa procedures, such as the mutual easing of visa restrictions with Pakistan, the expansion of visas on arrivals to include Malay and Thai visitors and the ending or restrictions requiring a two month gap between re-entry for most visa holders. The WTTC welcomes these steps, which reflect positive government support for the country's tourism industry, but there is much more to do between India and particularly the other G20 countries to remove these visa restrictions.
"Further measures to make it easier for travellers to enter the country are a key priority. Continuing the process of providing visas on arrival to more nationalities is one component in this progress. Along with easing visa restrictions, it is also important to make the visa process faster and ultimately electronic, so that travellers who want to come to the country do not face unnecessary obstacles in getting into the country."
The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to India's GDP in 2011 was 5.6 billion Indian rupees or 6% of GDP and due to rise by 7% in 2012. Over the next ten years, Travel & Tourism's contribution to India's GDP will grow by 8% per annum, which is slightly higher than the rate of growth expected for the Indian economy as a whole.
In 2011 Travel & Tourism supported 39 million direct, indirect and induced jobs -that's 5% of total employment in India. This amount is set to rise by 3% in 2012 to reach 40.5 million jobs. Over the next ten years, Travel & Tourism jobs in India will increase by 2% per annum to total 48 million jobs in 2022, in other words, 8% of total employment in the country.
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The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the industry, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. WTTC"s annual Global Summit brings together over 1,000 delegates to discuss the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the industry, while its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognise the industry"s power to be a positive force in sustainability.
The sector is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. In 2014, Travel & Tourism generated 9.8% of global GDP, some $7.6 trillion, and supported almost 277 million jobs, or 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. By the end of 2015, Travel & Tourism is expected to contribute US$7,860 trillion, 10% of global GDP, and to account for 284 million jobs, 9.5% of total employment.
For almost 25 years, WTTC has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world"s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses. These Members bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making, raising awareness of the importance of the industry as an economic generator of prosperity.