Now, working capital assistance for the tourism industry
KOLKATA: The state’s tourism department has developed a working capital support program for the tourism industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of stakeholders associated with the tourism industry have already requested to benefit from the facilities of âParyatan Sahayata Prakalpaâ.
âThe tourism industry has gradually started to open up after the COVID-19 situation improved. A number of stakeholders face operational capital issues. The program is tailor-made for them. They can benefit from a maximum loan of Rs 10 lakh from bankers. and 50 percent of the first annual interest will be borne by the state government, âsaid a senior official in the state tourism department.
The state Department of Tourism has provided a link on its portal through which stakeholders can apply for the loan. District magistrates were also invited to educate stakeholders in their respective districts so that more and more people can benefit from the benefits of the program.
The different categories of stakeholders, who may request installation, include resorts and hotels with a star rating or non-star category approved according to guidelines from the Union Ministry of Tourism or the Tourism Department of the State or having a valid license from the district administration, the transport operators accredited to India Tourism with its registered office in the state, tour operators / travel agents having a valid GST registration and have filed declarations of TPS for the past two years and host families registered with the state tourism department.
Even budget hotels, wayside facilities, and convention centers can also apply for the loan.
“The program launched by the state tourism department is a boon for the tourism industry and to my knowledge at least 5-6 applications have already been submitted to the Darjeeling District Administration”, Sandipan Ghosh , Secretary General of Eastern Himalayas Travel & Tour. Association of Operators (EHTTOA).
Ghosh said the state government has authorized the rapid antigen test (RAT) for tourists in Darjeeling and assistance booths have been set up at strategic locations to guide unrelated tourists. COVID negative or vaccination certificate to RAT test centers.
“Check-in inside hotels will only be allowed when a person has a negative Covid report or a full vaccination certificate,” a Darjeeling hotelier said.
Nilanjan Basu, general secretary of the Association of Travel Agents of Bengal (TAAB), said: “Some stakeholders are struggling to submit the required documents to qualify for revolving fund support,” said Basu.