New Delhi, October 28: The coronavirus pandemic affected the tour operators as businesses remained shut for several months. On Tuesday, the tour operators approached PM Narendra Modi asking for immediate relief.

According to an IANS report, their demand is asking for the release of Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) benefits for 2019-20, which could help them survive and revive their businesses in this difficult period of Covid-induced disruptions.

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), a body representing more than 17,00 tour operators in a letter to the PM mentioned that the industry is not seeking any extraordinary help from the government but only SEIS funds which has not been released in this difficult period.

What are SEIS benefits?

SEIS benefits are given to the tourism industry based on its foreign exchange earnings under foreign trade policy (FTP) 1995-2000. The benefit is then used by the industry for promotions, marketing and packages to attract more foreign tourists to the country. These benefits are given annually, however, it has not been announced for 2019-20. Which means that the funds have been spent by tour operators anticipating a payment, the same had not been done so far.

Another request at increasing the SEIS scrips percentage from 7 per cent to 10 per cent for tour operators and travel agents has also been made.