The Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) recently wrote to the Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, to bring to their attention and request certain consolation and permits for the Outbound Tour Operators before the upcoming Budget 2023.
The Association in its letter clearly stated that Outbound tourism as a sector is contributing immensely in creation of airport infrastructure in the country, bringing in a lot of business and making India a lucrative market for the global aviation industry. Further, outbound tourism is inherently linked to revenue-generating inbound tours. The letter also highlighted that, in the business of Outbound Travel, competition is huge, margins are very thin and there are a lot of uncertainties which can be seen from the global impact of the scare of coronavirus leading to large-scale cancellation of bookings.
The requests made to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister include:
- Amendment of TCS.
- Not to make Pan Card mandatory for foreign remittances.
- To include Outbound Tours under the LTC scheme so that business avenues can grow for Outbound Tour Operators.
In 2022, OTOAI had written to many concerned ministries, Government officials and Embassies to bring relief to the travel sector. As a result, they achieved success in many cases, like their involvement in the resumption of scheduled international flights or easing of visa issues in many Embassies. The association has been stressing upon removing the Pan Card requirement for an NRI/foreign national booking a trip/holiday with an agent in India. Most of the time, an NRI does not have a Pan Card, which is a mandatory requirement for them to pay up for a trip, and thus this acts as a big deterrent, stopping them from doing business with travel agents in India.