Tourism Triumph: Government's Strategic Budget Sets the Stage for Hospitality Sector Growth

In a pivotal move, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has scrapped the lifetime validity of Food Safety Supervisor Certificates, opting for a mandatory biennial renewal. Food handlers must now undergo refresher training every two years, signaling a commitment to upholding the industry's hygiene and safety standards. This decision emphasizes FSSAI dedication to adapting to industry dynamics and ensuring food handlers stay abreast of evolving safety protocols. Stakeholders are encouraged to embrace this change, viewing it as an opportunity for ongoing professional development and a collective effort to elevate food safety practices nationwide. In summary, FSSAI decision to revamp certification reflects a proactive approach to staying ahead of challenges, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and ensuring sustained consumer confidence in food safety.

Echoing positive sentiments, Mr. Garish Oberoi, President of HRANI, welcomed the introduction of interest-free loans and quality ratings, foreseeing a reshaped tourism landscape. Commending the government's commitment to connectivity development, he noted its positive impact on economic growth and job creation. The interim budget's focus on MICE, religious tourism, iconic centers, and domestic tourism aligns with industry goals. We appreciate the boost in the budgetary allocation for the tourism ministry, which has been increased to Rs 2,450 crore in the fiscal year 2024-25. This marks a significant rise of 44.7 percent compared to the revised figure for the current financial year, which stood at Rs 1,692 crore. We are optimistic that the full budget include rationalizing GST, granting infrastructure status, and central clearance for hotel projects, streamlining regulatory processes for unprecedented sector growth.

Mr. Surendra Jaiswal, President of UPHRA, Vice President of FHRAI & Hony Secretary of HRANI, praised the focus on air connectivity & airport expansion, foreseeing positive implications, especially in untapped destinations like Lakshadweep. Emphasizing sustainable tourism, Mr. Jaiswal highlighted the importance of preserving cultural integrity while fostering economic growth. Looking ahead to the full budget, he expressed optimism for a promising roadmap to strengthen the industry further. The journey has begun, and we foresee India becoming a beacon in the global tourism landscape.

Mr. Nikhil Sharma, Market MD, Eurasia, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts hailed the budget's initiatives to boost domestic tourism through interest-free loans and enhanced infrastructure, especially in iconic tourist spots like Bodh Gaya and Ayodhya. He highlighted the potential benefits for the middle class and the fortification of the tourism industry, contributing to economic growth and offering new opportunities for businesses and travellers alike.

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