Time for a central law on Tourism? Hotelier Suresh Nanda calls for an immediate attention
Recently, the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) in its pre-budget recommendation has proposed the creation of the National Tourism Council to channelize the efforts at the National level.
The largest service sector in India, travel, and tourism was worth $234 billion in 2018. It is expected to touch the $500 billion mark by the end of the coming decade.
Eminent entrepreneur and hotelier Suresh Nanda says that it is the right time to integrate all the efforts by creating Central legislation on tourism in India to achieve the desired objectives for the growth of the industry.
Residuary powers of the Centre and Tourism Industry
Article 248 (Entry 97 of the Union List) of the Constitution of India gives residuary powers to the Central Government to legislate on matters that are not mentioned under any of the three lists.
Therefore, matters relating to Tourism are to be exercised by the Central Government. “At present, regulations on multiple issues in the sector are being done through ad-hoc orders and guidelines.
This creates unnecessary overlapping, inconvenience, and hurdles in the growth,” says Suresh Nanda.
There are multiple components within travel and tourism such as tour and transport operators, guides, restaurants, and bars, etc., which are being governed under administrative law by the executive. Nanda said that despite having a Ministry of Tourism at the Central level is not helping out.
He says, “We have a ministry at the Union but things have not become easy for administrative purpose. For the kind of dynamic sunrise industry we have, India needs to have Central legislation to govern the sector. Responsible governance will give rise to responsible tourism.”
One India, One tourism — Set up National Tourism Council
In its recent pre-budget proposal, FAITH has recommended to set up National Tourism Council to be chaired by the PM, co-chaired by Union Tourism Minister, and all the CMs its members. While ‘applauding’ the demands made by FAITH, Suresh Nanda called the demand for the creation of the National Tourism Council as the focal point of the proposal. He says, “This is good as it will unify and channelize the efforts as tourism encompasses multiple ministries at the Centre and the states.”
“We will have to understand that it is not only about regulating but about promoting. A unified approach in governance is the only way to promote the fast-growing hospitality sector in India. It is the matter for the immediate attention of the regime,” he adds.
With over four decades of experience in the hospitality sector, Suresh Nanda is known as a seasoned Tour and Travel market analyst. A global citizen, he is also the chairman of Claridges Group of Hotels.