Agra – City of the Taj Mahal welcomes India’s tour operators
THE Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) ended their annual conference in Agra—the City of the Taj— Sunday, August 8. Celebrating their 20th annual meeting, Indian tour operators discussed various industry issues and problems of the industry, such as infrastructure, marketing and aviation. They called for cooperation “with all segments of the travel industry in India” in sustaining what is being considered as “the boom in tourism.”
Mr. Subhash Goyal, IATO president, told the 1000 delegates that the role of the agents and operators should be recognized in the success of the “Incredible India” campaign. But he cautioned that for this to continue, requires higher taxes on hotel tariffs and the hike in recently-imposed taxes should be withdraw, referring to the service tax up from eight to 10 percent.
Mr. Goyal also objected to the taxes being levied on published hotel rates rather than on actual charges. He warned that “the hen that lays the golden egg should not be killed by burden of levies”.
It is estimated that the per head burden has gone up from US$20-50 as a result of the hikes, which is not applicable to tourists or agents outside of India the rates have already been negotiated. Mr. Goyal said he wondered whether India was not out-pricing itself by such levies.
Camp Agra, India
author: Anil Mathur
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