Committee to help revive tourism

It will formulate a recovery plan for the sector

The State government will soon constitute a high-level committee to help revive the tourism sector that has been badly hit by the pandemic.

Minister for Tourism M. Mathiventhan, who chaired a meeting at the Tourism Department headquarters on Thursday, said the committee would formulate a recovery plan for the sector, which helps bring in foreign exchange, creates jobs and generates revenue.

The committee will discuss ways and means to ensure the safety of travellers by following safety protocols in a post-COVID-19 situation. With its temples, infrastructure like hotels, good connectivity and safety for tourists, Tamil Nadu gets the maximum number of visitors.

A tourism industry expert said it was good that Tamil Nadu was looking to draw up a plan to revive the sector. States like Gujarat and Karnataka have taken steps to provide relief to the sector. They have announced the tourism sector as an industry, he said.

In Gujarat, the government has exempted hotels, restaurants, water parks and resorts from paying property tax for a year. Similarly, they are exempted from a fixed charge in the electricity bill and will have to pay only the actual electricity consumption, he said.

A hotelier said they welcomed the government’s move to help attract both domestic and foreign tourists. “Hotels have been badly hit. Along with hotels, people running travel agencies, taxi and bus operators, tour operators, guides and even autorickshaw drivers have been affected by the pandemic. Urgent intervention is necessary,” he said.

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