Home Economy Tourism sector gets Rs.1,070 crore

Tourism sector gets Rs.1,070 crore


New Delhi : With a view to giving a fillip to the tourism industry, which is witnessing a downturn due to the global meltdown, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee allocated Rs.1,070 crore to the sector in the union budget he presented in parliament Monday.

Mukherjee also announced custom duty exemption for water and snow equipment to boost adventure tourism.

“We welcome the move to exempt custom duty for all water and snow equipment that are used in adventure tourism. It will give a boost to adventure tourism. It was a major demand of the ministry that has been fulfilled,” Tourism Minister Kumari Selja said here while welcoming the budget.

Selja had met the finance minister last month for budgetary sops, which included custom duty waiver for inflatable raft, snow skis, water skis, surf boat, sail board and other water sports equipment.

Also, exemption from service tax has been given to those vehicles bearing contact carriage permit and are plying inter-state and intra-state.

Of the total allocation of Rs.1,070 crore, Rs.304 crore has been allocated for overseas campaigns, as compared to Rs.285 crore last fiscal.

Promoting India abroad is a focus area for the tourism ministry, which plans to organise a series of roadshows to attract foreign tourists.

About 5.36 million foreign tourists visited India in 2008, recording a growth of 5.6 percent over the previous year. But January saw a 17.6 percent dip with only 487,262 arrivals.

In April, some improvement was witnessed, with 370,756 tourists visiting India – a drop of 3.5 percent over the same month the previous year.