October 27, 2017 | Jules Verne
Award-winning tour operator Jules Verne is holding prices on its escorted itineraries to India for departures until June 2018, despite a significant increase in local sales tax that has adversely affected its own costs.
Introduced by the Indian government on 1 July this year – and without prior notice of its exact scope – India’s new Goods and Services Tax (GST) now applies rates of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% on services. The country’s previous tax regime applied a single rate of 15% on most services. At the highest end of the new taxation bracket are five-star (locally-graded) hotel services, which are now taxed at 28%, a significant hike from 15%.
Hotels make up more than half of Jules Verne’s expenditure in India and, as most of the properties featured in its programme are five-star rated (although some are considered four-star by UK standards), this change in tax legislation has created a considerable increase in overall costs for the specialist operator. Previously untaxed services such as rickshaws, local guides and porters are also now taxed (at 18%), generating yet more expense to holiday providers such as Jules Verne.
Taking all taxable elements into account, the overall increase in the cost of local services to Jules Verne as a result of India’s new Goods and Services Tax is in the region of 5%. This equates to 3% of its sale price – between £40 and £100 in cash terms – depending on the itinerary.
Says Jules Verne’s Managing Director, Francis Torrilla: “India is a key destination for Jules Verne, where we have an established portfolio of tours, designed both to appeal to the first-time visitor and to those planning a return visit. We will continue to work closely with our local suppliers to negotiate preferential rates on services such as hotels and excursions, and aim to minimise as much as possible the impact of the new GST after June 2018.”
Jules Verne offers a selection of escorted tours to India, ranging from classic Golden Triangle itineraries to unforgettable journeys that take travellers off the beaten track to discover lesser-known parts of this intoxicating country. Choices include:
The Tale of the Tiger: visit the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Jaipur and Agra) on a ten-night escorted tour that also takes in Rajasthan’s famous tiger reserve, Ranthambore National Park, where three game drives and a ‘Tiger Talk’ by a local naturalist offer clients a fascinating insight into these magnificent creatures. Departing 9 & 23 November and 7, 21 & 28 December 2017, and from January to May 2018, the price is from £1,545 pp* (including an early booking offer of £50 pp when booked four months or more before departure). The comparative price for departures from June 2018 onwards will be from £1,695 pp (no early booking offer).
Grand Tour of India: witness the mesmerising variety of India on this 21-night journey, travelling from north to south by road, rail, river and air. Explore the colonial legacy of the British in Delhi, Bombay and Shimla, visit the great centres of Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism, marvel at the architectural heritage of the Mughals and Maharajahs, and much more. Departing 11 November & 9 December 2017, and from January to March & September to December 2018, the price is from £3,495 pp*. The comparative price for departures from June 2018 will be from £3,695 pp*.
The Taj Tour: tick the Golden Triangle, Amritsar, Shimla, Chandigarh and Mumbai off the bucket list during a 13-night tour, staying at India’s prestigious Taj Hotels throughout, including Mumbai’s impressive ‘Taj Mahal Palace’ and the elegant ‘Oberoi Cecil’, set amid the breath-taking Himalayas in Shimla. Departing 1, 8 & 22 November and 20 & 27 December 2017, and from January to April & August to December 2018, the price is from £2,595 pp*. The comparative price for departures from June 2018 will be from £2,745 pp*.
Glories of Gujurat: experience the religious and princely heritage of Gandhi’s home state, as well as wildlife encounters that include a visit to the last refuge of the Asiatic Lion in the wild, Gir National Park, on this 16-night itinerary. Departing 11 & 25 November 2017, and from January to April 2018, the price is from £2,395 pp*. The comparative price for departures from June 2018 onwards will be from £2,695 pp*.
*Prices include flights (London), accommodation, meals and excursions as per the itinerary, and the services of a Tour Manager, guides and local representatives. Jules Verne also offers a number of optional extensions to its India itineraries, including Shimla, Udaipur, Cochin & the Keralan Backwaters, Indian Wildlife, Goa and Nepal.
Fully ABTA and ATOL bonded, and winner of many travel awards including Which? ‘Recommended Provider Status’ (2015 and 2017), Jules Verne’s expert staff organise every detail, ensuring that clients can book in complete confidence. This commitment is further reinforced by Jules Verne’s 100% Price Guarantee; the holiday price is fixed when clients book and will remain so, even if Jules Verne’s costs increase subsequently.
For more information or a copy of Jules Verne’s new Worldwide Journeys brochure, call 020 3553 3722 or visit www.vjv.com. Full details of Jules Verne’s escorted tours programme in India can be found here.