About a month back, Delhi tourism minister Kapil Mishra had promised that the AAP government’s second budget will pave the way for reigniting Delhi Tourism (refer to our story: https://www.destinationindia.org.in/2016-17-will-witness-transformation-of-delhi-in-tourism-matters-kapil-mishra/). And when Delhi deputy chief minister and finance minister Manish Sishodia unveiled the budgetary prescription for 2016-17 on 28th of March, it certainly reflected a serious intent of the AAP government to pull Delhi Tourism out of a dormant zone.
To begin with, Delhi government has significantly increased the allocation for tourism, art & culture- Rs 62 crore this time as against the provision of Rs 41 crore in the last fiscal. The hike in allocation is meant to initiate a high-pitch promotional campaign which will commence around August. Later in the year, the government has also planned to host a world-class event called Delhi Festival which would be much on the lines of the noted city specific festivals organized by cities like Dubai and Singapore. On a cumulative basis, the government has earmarked around Rs 30 crore for the brand promotion and Delhi Festival. “It will be a festival that celebrates the spirit of Delhi and inculcates pride in its citizens. This festival will celebrate our shopping, culture, food, music, languages, theatre and films, among other things,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
Additionally, the AAP government has also made an allocation of Rs 10 crore for revamping tourism specific infrastructure in the national capital. This will include creating skywalk connecting the iconic Qutub Minar with the nearest metro station. AAP government has also committed to pay major attention to beautify the major entry points to the national capital and as part of this exercise; it will revamp Ghazipur and Dhaula Kuan locations. Meanwhile, Delhi government’s budget is also likely to provide a major taxation relief to small hotels in the national capital as it has provisioned to increase the threshold limit for the imposition of luxury tax. Luxury tax exemption was earlier available to only those hotels which were providing rooms at below Rs 750 pricing bracket. But now this exemption has been extended to the hotel units providing rooms at a price of up to Rs 1500.