At the recently held Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) on 12 December 2017 at New Delhi, it appointed as Office Bearers of WTTCII for the year 2018, which includes Sunder G. Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) as the Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2018 and Rajeev Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2018.
“As Members of WTTCII facilitate the movement of hundreds of millions of people around India every year. We see from our experiences, the growth that tourism can help in generating economic opportunity, social cohesion and pride, is an opportunity that State Governments should eagerly embrace. MICE a very important segment for India is shifting to Thailand, Sri Lanka as organisers sees a huge cost differential. The overall VAT Rates of 7% in Thailand is more competitive vis-à-vis a GST regime of 18% -28% in India. While GST has been a welcome move, we urge the Government to reconsider the GST on Hospitality and bring it at par with India’s competing destinations like Sri Lanka, Thailand etc. Moreover the rate of GST charged should be the same irrespective of the Room rate and similar to the rate charged on Airline tickets. Similarly Airline Turbine Fuel needs to be brought under the ambit of GST for airlines to make air travel more inclusive and affordable,” said Sunder G Advani, in the press communique on his appointment.
Here Rajeev Talwar said: “WTTCII has been championing convergence between Government of India and States to facilitate tourism in India. Our role will be to encourage the State Governments – the political leadership and bureaucracy – to take a more favourable stance towards the tourism sector. WTTCII with the strength of our Members in Aviation, Hospitality & Travel Services, represents the travel industry in India. We will continue to work with the States to improve access, address infrastructural gaps and remove policy bottlenecks for tourism to flourish, and most importantly create jobs, employment and provide a vigorous boost to tourism’s contribution to the State’s GDP. WTTCII is committed and ready to partner with States in this development agenda. We see a huge opportunity in Cruise Tourism and the potential for India is still untapped – largely because of the necessary infrastructure in India is still not in place and the colossal amount of legislations involved in clearing ships at cruise terminals.”