Urge Govt to waive off interest on loans for next 5-years’
Srinagar: Tour operators on Tuesday demanded a comprehensive bailout package.
In a statement they said, “Be it leisure, adventure or pilgrimage operators the government should give interest waiver for various loans raised by tour operators in different segments like purchase of tourist taxis, adventure tourism equipments, trekking and camping equipment, office automation, technology tools, power back-ups, staff trainings, term loans and soft loans.”
The statement said, “ The interest should be waived off for next 5 years. We also demand a GST waiver for all tourism products for the next two years. The major annual expenses of not less than seven to eight lakhs are spent annually by a tour operator on six months advance promotional activity such as participation in trade fairs, printing of publicity material, pen drives & on vendor management through Google etc., besides expenses on travelling and boarding.”
It said, “Kashmir tourism industry has been in doldrums since 2019. It needs a respite and the government should come forward to help us. There was some improvement in tourism activity from December 2020 till March 2021 but unfortunately the 2nd COVID-19 Wave has again disrupted the tourism activity. We have suffered projected losses around Rs 1350 crore till November 2020.”
It said, “The tourism incentive scheme should be extended for the next 15 years. Travel agents and tour operators should be included in the scheme and all pending cases should be released at the earliest.”
The statement said, “Recently the government had announced a relief of around Rs 3 Cr to the weaker section of the society such as Shikara Wallas, Pony Wallas etc, indeed it was a welcome step, but the amount is too meager for them to survive till the next tourism season starts, which is not likely to commence before 2022. However, the legitimate tour operators, numbering around 700 – 800 who are the front runners in promoting destinations have been ignored and left to fend on their own. It is paramount to give brief about the tour operators and their financial implications.”
The statement said, “The tourism incentive scheme should be extended for the next 15 years. Travel agents and tour operators should be included in the scheme and all pending cases should be released at the earliest.”