The Indian Association of Tour Operators expressed gratitude to the Government for withdrawing the 5% Tax Collection At Source (TCS) charged on sale of overseas tour packages to foreign tour operators. The same was earlier withdrawn only for individual foreign tourists but now on IATO’s representation, the government has announced removal of tax, both on individual foreign tourists as well as foreign tour operators (FTO’s). The removal would make the tour packages offered by Indian tour operators to foreigners a bit cheaper and would help bolster the pandemic ravaged sector.
Foreigners book overseas tour packages for neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives through Indian Tour Operators but since there was a levy, they preferred booking the tours directly with tour operators in those countries as there was no such charge there.According to Mr. Rajiv Mehra, President IATO, “The impact of this notification is that both foreign individuals and FTOs (buyers) buying overseas tour packages from the Indian Tour Operators will be exempt from TCS provisions. It is not necessary that the foreign tourist should visit India for an onward journey to the neighbouring country. Secondly, the FTO / Corporate entity established in foreign country and not maintaining any permanent establishment / branch in India would also be exempted from TCS provisions.”