Budget hotels may get tax breaks

Mumbai: The government is likely to announce a tax holiday scheme for investments in budget hotels and the Indian diaspora can avail the opportunity, tourism minister Ambika Soni said while addressing the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

She said a major thrust was being given to develop the tourism sector through various measures, including simplification of visa system and improving road and connectivity.

In the next few weeks, there could be a decision to give tax holiday to those investing in budget hotels. "If you have experience in budget hotels, come and share your experience," she told the three-day annual conclave of Indian diaspora.

She said the government is encouraging initiatives like cruise holidays, launch of helicopter services in remote and hilly states like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

It is also promoting rural centres as tourism destinations, she said.
The government also has taken up the issue of quick visas, particularly during peak tourism season, she said, adding that visas with six-month validity and allowing multiple entry visas are also planned to boost tourism.