The Tamil Nadu government has suggested to the Centre to provide an one-time leave travel subsidy to travellers to encourage travel and tourism, said Vikram Kapur, Tourism Secretary on Saturday.
He was addressing members of the travel and tourism trade at a webinar organised by the South India MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) Association and moderated by senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.
Mr. Kapur said this would put money in the pockets of travellers, which in turn would revive the industry and lead to the money being ploughed back into the economy as taxes. He also suggested that the industry, which was the worst affected in the pandemic, should take steps to attract international travellers, who have not flown out of the country.
Ajay Bakaya, managing director, Sarovar Hotels, said the industry, which contributed 10% of the country’s gross domestic product and employed 10% of work force, needed some serious intervention.
Thousands of people employed in the sector had been rendered jobless. Requests for a two-year moratorium on interest rates and repayment of the principal loan amount was still under consideration.
Mr. Bakaya further said that occupancy rates had climbed marginally from 22% in July to 32% in September. However, business class hotels had not crossed beyond single digit occupancy and the industry expected the situation to continue till January, he said.
The SIMA aims to help restart the sector and provide assistance to various stakeholders.