IATO expresses its sincere thanks and gratitude to the Finance Minister and GST Council for favorably considering two of its recommendations – The removal of, GST on services provided outside India to foreign tourists if they take a combined package of India and neighboring countries and secondly GST for the ferry service hired for transport of passengers including tourists used as public transport from point to point transport in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, in the GST Council meeting held in Chandigarh.
IATO had also requested in its budget recommendation for an exemption or reducing GST on private ferry tickets at Andaman considering that these transport ferries operating in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are not luxury/tourism ferries or cruises but are used as means of transport and are the only source of connectivity between small islands and Port Blair. The government has considered this too favorably and clarified that there would be no GST for the ferry service hired for transport of passengers including tourists used as public transport from point to point transport including in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
While IATO expresses its sincere thanks for the relief provided, it also urges government to remove cascading effect of GST on tour operators and GST on tour operators to be charged on deemed value as in the case of Air Travel Agents, where a deemed value of 10% of gross billing of the tour operator may be considered as the taxable value on the deemed basis whereas it is being charged on gross value for tour operators.
IATO hopes with these amendments/clarifications, inbound tourism to India would revive faster and we will not lose business to our neighboring countries. This will help in regenerating employment in the tourism sector and boosting foreign exchange earnings for the country.