With millions of domestic and foreign visitors each year, travel and tourism
play a significant role in the Indian economy. However, the Indian government
has passed a number of laws and regulations governing the travel and tour
industry in order to guarantee the security and happiness of tourists as well as
maintain a certain standard of quality in tourism services.
The main laws and rules governing travel and tour services in India will be
discussed in this article.
The 2002 Tourism Act The main piece of legislation governing tourism in India is the Tourism Act,
2002. It aims to promote travel as a way to create jobs, foreign exchange,
and economic expansion. According to the act, travel agencies, tour
companies, and other tourism service providers must adhere to government
rules and regulations in addition to maintaining a certain level of quality.
Any person or organization offering tourism services in India is required by
the act to obtain a license from the Ministry of Tourism. Any service
provider whose license is revoked or suspended by the ministry for breaking
government rules and regulations is in violation of the law.
The act also establishes requirements for the education and experience of
workers in the tourism sector. Providers of tourist services are required to
keep track of their business activities, including the number of visitors
they have served, their earnings, and the taxes they have paid.
The 2016 Rules for Air Transport (Licensing of Air Travel Agents) The licencing and regulation of air travel agents in India is governed by
the Air Transport (Licensing of Air Travel Agents) Rules, 2016. The
Directorate General of Civil Aviation requires that anyone offering airline
ticketing services in India obtain a licence (DGCA).
An air travel agent must fulfil certain requirements in order to be licenced,
including having a minimum net worth of INR 1 crore, a solid financial
history, and a track record of offering customers high-quality services. The
agent must also keep a record of their transactions and have a physical
In accordance with the regulations, air travel agents must also adhere to a
number of operational and financial standards, including keeping a certain
amount of money in their bank accounts and sending the DGCA regular reports.
The agent's licence may be suspended or revoked for failing to adhere to
The 1989 Indian Railways Act In India, railroad operations are governed by the Indian Railways Act, 1989.
The act outlines the obligations of railway authorities and service
providers and establishes standards for passenger safety and comfort.
The act requires railroad service providers to guarantee the security,
effectiveness, and calibre of their offerings. Additionally, they have to
keep track of their operations and report on a regular basis to the
The act also calls for the creation of a railway police force to uphold law
and order and guarantee the security of passengers. In order to perform
their duties, railway service providers must work with the railway police.
The 1988 Motor Vehicles ActOn Indian roads, motor vehicles must abide by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The act specifies rules for vehicle registration and operation as well as
All motor vehicles must comply with the act's safety and environmental
requirements and be registered with the government. Obtaining a valid
driver's licence and adhering to traffic laws are additional requirements
for vehicle owners.
The act stipulates fines and jail time as penalties for breaking traffic
laws and regulations. The penalties are meant to discourage risky driving
and increase traffic safety.
The 2019 Consumer Protection Act, The 2019 Consumer Protection Act is intended to safeguard Indian consumers'
rights. The act specifies the obligations of service providers and offers
recourse in the event of subpar service or dishonest business practises.
According to the act, customers have the right to receive information about
the products and services they are buying, the right to be shielded from
unfair or dishonest business practises, and the right to compensation for
losses brought on by subpar service.
All service providers, including those in the travel and tourism sector, are
subject to the act. The provision of clear and accurate information about
their services, including the costs, standards of quality, and levels of
safety, is required of tourism service providers. Additionally, they must
uphold a high standard of quality in their offerings and respond quickly and
effectively to any customer complaints or grievances.
Consumers can submit a complaint to the relevant consumer forum in the event
of a dispute. The forum will look into the complaint and offer a resolution,
which might include a service fee refund or compensation for damages.
The Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 In India, foreign exchange transactions are governed by the Foreign Exchange
Management Act, 1999. The act contains provisions for both the operation of
foreign currency accounts by tourism service providers and the repatriation
of funds by foreign tourists.
According to the act, foreign visitors may take any leftover foreign
currency with them when they leave India. For the purpose of accepting
payments from foreign tourists, tourism service providers may operate
foreign currency accounts.
The act also places restrictions on how much foreign currency may be brought
into or exported from India. When entering or leaving India, visitors are
required to declare any foreign currency or foreign exchange instruments
they are carrying.
The 2017 GST (Goods and Services Tax) Act India's taxation of goods and services is governed by the Goods and Services
Tax (GST) Act, 2017. The act contains provisions for taxing travel and tour
services, such as airfare, lodging, and vacation packages.
According to the law, providers of tourism services must register for GST
and charge the appropriate tax for their services. Depending on the type of
service and the provider category, different tax rates apply.
The act also includes provisions for input tax credits, which let providers
of tourism services recoup the GST they paid on the products and services
they used to provide their services.
It is crucial for travellers to understand these rules and laws and to exercise
their legal consumer rights. This entails conducting due diligence on and
selecting trustworthy service providers, going over, and comprehending the terms
and conditions of their offerings, and disclosing any instances of poor service
or unfair practises.
The Indian government has made efforts recently to promote travel and enhance
the regulatory landscape for travel service providers. Initiating projects like
the Swadesh Darshan scheme, which aims to build tourism infrastructure and
promote the cultural and natural heritage of various regions in India, is one
example of this.
Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement in how these laws and
regulations are applied. The complaints of tourists in India about poor
services, dishonest business practises, and safety problems are still being
reported. To ensure that these problems are resolved and that India's tourism
industry grows in a sustainable and responsible way, the government and industry
stakeholders must collaborate.
In addition to the laws mentioned above, there are particular rules and
directives for various sectors of the Indian tourism industry. For instance, the
Ministry of Tourism oversees hotel and restaurant services while the Ministry of
Civil Aviation oversees air travel.
For Indian tour operators and travel agencies, the Ministry of Tourism has also
created a set of regulations. The requirements for registration and licencing,
financial and accounting standards, and standards for customer service are all
covered in this set of rules for tour operators and travel agents.
The Ministry of Tourism requires all tour operators and travel agencies to
register and get a licence before they can start doing business. In addition to
keeping accurate financial and accounting records, they must also abide by all
applicable tax laws and rules.
The rules demand that tour operators and travel brokers uphold a high standard
of client care and guarantee the security and safety of their clients. They must
give customers complete and accurate information about their services, including
the costs, terms, and cancellation procedures.
The Ministry of Tourism has also started a voluntary accreditation programme for
tour operators and travel brokers in addition to the guidelines. By recognising
tour operators and travel agents who adhere to a set of service and quality
standards, the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Accreditation (IITFA)
programme seeks to advance professionalism and quality in the tourism sector.
The required standards, which include adherence to the pertinent laws and
regulations, financial stability, customer service expectations, and the
adoption of sustainable tourism practises, must be met by tour operators and
travel agents in order to obtain the accreditation.
The accredited operators and agents as well as the customers can all benefit
from the IITFA programme. Accredited operators and agents are known for
providing dependable and expert services, which can help them draw in more
clients and grow their clientele. Customers, on the other hand, can have more
faith in the services of accredited operators and agents because they are aware
that they adhere to a set of high standards for professionalism and quality.
The laws and rules governing travel and tour services in India are made to
safeguard tourists' interests and make sure that service providers uphold a
certain standard of excellence. For the security and happiness of visitors as
well as the expansion and sustainability of India's tourism industry, compliance
with these laws is crucial.
Indian tourism service providers are subject to a number of laws and rules that
must be followed in order to conduct business. They must uphold a high standard
of quality in their offerings, give customers precise and understandable
information, and respond to customer complaints and grievances in a timely
manner. Penalties for noncompliance with these guidelines include fines and the
suspension or cancellation of their licence.