Interim Budget 2024: What It Means For India’s Travel & Tourism Industry

Interim Budget 2024: What It Means For India's Travel & Tourism Industry

States urged to develop iconic tourist centres, brand and market at global scale

Union budget 2024 has a “heavy focus on domestic tourism”. States will be offered interest-free loans to boost tourism within their borders, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. It holds substantial potential for generating tourism revenue in India and creating numerous job opportunities.

India has outlined plans for the comprehensive development of tourist centers.

Highlighting the significant economic contribution of the travel and tourism sector, which accounted for 5.8% of India’s GDP in 2022, the government aims to achieve a target of USD 1 trillion by 2047.

In a crucial announcement regarding infrastructure development for the travel and aviation sectors, Finance Minister Sitharaman disclosed plans for substantial capital expenditure (CAPEX). A total of INR 85,000 crore is earmarked for CAPEX, directed towards the construction of 72 new greenfield airports. The projection indicates the establishment of 71 airports between 2024 and 2025, thereby increasing the total count of airports in the country to 220 by 2025.

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Sitharaman stated that states will be incentivized to undertake the comprehensive development of iconic tourist destinations, with a focus on branding and global marketing.

A framework for rating these centers based on the quality of facilities and services will be established, and long-term interest-free loans will be extended to states on a matching basis to finance such development.

Sitharaman also highlighted the vast opportunities for local entrepreneurship in the tourism sector, including spiritual tourism. This initiative is particularly relevant in the context of emerging destinations like Ayodhya, which has experienced increased tourist inflow following the inauguration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir.

Addressing the growing interest in domestic tourism, the finance minister announced projects for improving port connectivity, enhancing tourism infrastructure, and providing amenities on islands, including Lakshadweep. These initiatives are expected to not only boost tourism but also generate employment opportunities.

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Furthermore, Sitharaman emphasized India’s strong economic standing, positioning the country as an attractive hub for both business and conference tourism. She highlighted the success of hosting G20 meetings as a testament to India’s diversity and its expanding global audience.

Sitharaman also announced the expansion of key rail infrastructure projects such as Metro Rail and Namo Bharat to 11 additional cities. She also mentioned the conversion of approximately 40,000 rail bogies into Vande Bharat coaches.” 40,000 normal rail bogies will be converted to Vande Bharat to enhance the safety, convenience, and comfort of passengers.”


Interim Budget, also known as Vote on Account, is a budget presented by the central government for a short period of time ahead of general elections. During an election year, the incumbent government cannot present a full budget, therefore, the Union Finance Minister present an Interim Budget on behalf of the government that covers the Centre’s expenses and revenues for a short period. This budget stands valid till a new government is elected and takes charge.

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