The Indian hospitality and travel sector felt a huge sense of relief after the Union Budget was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today. Sitharaman announced an increase in the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme overall, with a special focus on hospitality and related services, especially micro and small enterprises. “The hospitality and MSME segments are yet to reach the pre-pandemic level of business,” Sitharaman noted. “Hence, ECLGS will be extended upto March 2023. Its guarantee cover will be expanded by ₹50,000 crore to a total cover of ₹5 lakh crore,” she added. The hospitality industry will get a special focus, she said. This is a huge relief for the hospitality and travel industry as it is still recovering from the crippling effects of the pandemic.

The finance minister also placed special emphasis on the development of infrastructure in North-East India. In order to boost the tourism sector and employment opportunities in the region. Sitharaman further revealed that e-passports will be rolled out soon to make it easy for citizens to plan their international travels. These e-passports will be embedded with chips to further provide further ease of travel.

Mr. Rikant Pittie, Co-founder of EaseMyTrip shared his thoughts on the 2022 Union Budget for the travel and tourism sector:
“International travel has been severely impacted by the pandemic, which is why we are pleased with the introduction of e-passports with embedded chips. This will provide a big boost to travel and add a level of convenience for international travelers. Additionally, the expansion of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 5 Lakh crore will enable the small travel operators and stakeholders within the travel and tourism industry to reel back from the disruptive impact of the pandemic.”