Ministry of Tourism signs MoUs with Ibibo, MakeMyTrip to strengthen hospitality sector

The MoU will facilitate technological infusion, monitoring of safety standards in accommodation and hospitality

August 19, 2021

Mapping domestic demand, eliciting investments, paying attention to safety protocols will shape the sector’s future.

Industry experts call for policies to inhibit lossmaking and sectoral consolidation as well as the revival of domestic demand.

The Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with MoRTH and Ministry of Civil Aviation to increase access to landmarks.

Income Tax, GST relief and RBI moratorium are some of the relief measures extended to entities in the sector.

The tourism sector has been one of the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic due to the travel restrictions. Industry data reveals that close to 30% of tourism operators were compelled to move out of the industry. India’s tourism accounts for over 9% of the three trillion economy, providing over 100 million jobs. Due to the current situation, more than 50% of people are impacted by job losses owing to demand loss in the sector after the outbreak of covid-19, according to a report in Mint. The government has outlined several steps to revive the sector. These include investment inflow and redirection towards COVID proof sub-domains of tourism, incorporation of high health and safety parameters into tourism offerings, technology usage in expanding market access and distribution and mapping demand in local and international markets. 

It is in this context that the Ministry of Tourism has signed a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) with the Ibibo Group and MakeMyTrip (India) on August 17, to strengthen the tourism sector. The Ministry has already signed MoUs with Yatra.com and Cleartrip. The MoU will allow for the promotion of local tourism and the listing of accommodation units that have been self-certified on the System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for the Hospitality Industry (SAATHI) and National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry (NIDHI) platforms. The registration will help policymakers concretize a framework for world-class tourism with an emphasis on safety and sustainability. It will also look to strengthen technological prowess within the sector and catalyse its recovery. 

The Government of India has rolled out several other schemes to enable the recovery of the tourism sector: 

  • Bharat Parv and Paryatan Parv – The Government has collaborated with  States to bring out the architectural marvels and cultural uniqueness of each State, making the case for a superior travel experience. 
  • Cooperation with MoRTH – The Ministry of Tourism has embarked on a collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to improve access from points in cities to historical landmarks. Similarly, 46 new routes have been added as part of the UDAN 3 mandate of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. 
  • Expansion of the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme for the MSME sector – Loans have been extended to the MSME sector with a 12-month moratorium and 4-year duration. A collateral fee ofUS$ 4033 (Rs 3 lakh) is attached to the loan. 
  • Income Tax and GST Relief – The Government has extended tax cuts to entities in order to ensure business continuity. 
  • Extension of the RBI moratorium– The RBI moratorium was extended till December 2020, giving entities much-needed relief. 

The revival of domestic demand is key to reviving the tourism and hospitality sector. Balancing demand with safety protocols can shape the course of the sector.