In an attempt to revitalize the tourism and hospitality sectors, industry stakeholders have appealed to the central government to promote local tourism under the union ministry’s Dekho Apna Desh. The tourism industry was hardest hit amid the pandemic.

The country has started development but remains closed to international tourists. The Federation of Hotels and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), the Apex Hospitality Association of India, said nearly 2.6 million Indians traveled abroad for their vacations in 2019. The association said this would help if half of these Indians now choose to explore India to revive the sector.

“India has some of the best coastlines and beaches in the world. Its hill stations and architectural wonders are unparalleled and we have pilgrimage attractions too. The government just needs to initiate domestic travel as one of its policies,” said Pradeep Shetty, Joint Secretary FHRAI.

To encourage travelers, FHRAI has recommended incentivizing domestic tourism by offering Indians tax exemptions below Rs / – 50,000. In addition, the FHRAI said the hospitality and tourism sector accounts for around 10 percent of India’s GDP and employs nearly 9 percent of the Indian workforce. With zero foreign exchange earnings and less than 25 percent of pre-pandemic earnings, the sector is facing an existential crisis.

“We believe that with the right kind of news and government support, India’s domestic tourism could flourish and there could not be a more opportune time to slow down domestic tourism,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President of FHRAI.