India International Travel Mart (IITM), which organises tourism exhibitions in different cities across the country, has said the situation is stabilising in the industry now after being affected by demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). "After demonetisation, there was small lull for a small period as nobody knew actually what was going to happen. Then GST was implemented. Agents should have knowledge of taxation and all. Lot of people did not book holidays.
Now, it is stabilising. GST is working out better for us," IITM director Surinder Hakhu told PTI here. The IITM's three-day exhibition got underway here today. The IITM's exhibitions are held annually in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Pune, Hakhu said. IITM is expecting volume of its business to cross Rs 400 crore in the current financial year, he said. "(It was) around Rs 300 crore - Rs 350 crore (in 2016-17). It will be more than Rs 400 crore easily (in 2017-18)," Hakhu said. Indian tourists travelling to foreign destinations are choosing more "offbeat" destinations like Maldives and Mauritius and not "regular destinations" such as Thailand and Singapore, he said. "Outbound (tourists) from India is almost 18 million now. Within India, it is more than 140 million. This includes religious tourism also. (For example) Tirupati, lot of people go," Hakhu said. Tourism industry trends are changing very fast and the number of people visiting foreign destinations is "growing 7-8 per cent every year when worldwide it is going down," he said. The number of domestic tourists is also increasing, he added. "Domestic tourists, there is a jump of almost 15-16 per cent every year," he said. International tourism boards, including those from Dubai, Sri Lanka, Jordan, the UK, Germany and France, also participate in exhibitions organised by the IITM, Hakhu said.
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