Tourism to go into mission mode

Source– The post is based on the article “Tourism to go into mission mode” published in The Hindu on 2nd February 2023.

What is the news?

The Union Budget announced a slew of measures for promotion of tourism that will go into Mission Mode.There was no increase in Budget allocation. It remained at ₹2,400 crore.

What are the new initiatives declared in the budget for the tourism sector?

50 new destinations– These would be selected through a challenge, and developed as a complete package.

New mobile app– It will provide tourist-friendly information like physical and virtual connectivity, and details on tourist guides.

Vibrant Villages Programme– Tourism infrastructure and amenities will be facilitated in border villages.

Unity Malls– States will be encouraged to set up a Unity Mall in their capitals, or the most prominent tourism centre, or the financial capital.

These malls would work towards the promotion and sale of each State’s own ODOP (one district, one product) and other handicrafts. They would also provide space for such products of other States.

What are the main demands of the tourism industry that have not been fulfilled by the budget?

The Tourism sector has not been provided with infrastructure status.

None of our demands of the tourism industry like rationalisation of GST on tourism, exemption of GST on foreign exchange earnings and refund of tax on shopping under the Tax Refund to Tourist Scheme have been considered.

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