HAI meets Union Tourism Minister; makes suggestions for the revival of the industry

While emphasising the urgent need to inject liquidity into the industry, the Association also asked that policy reforms be considered.

HAI meets Union Tourism Minister; makes suggestions for the revival of the industry

The Hotel Association of India (HAI), the industry's apex body, met with G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of the North East Region, to inform him of the industry's current state, which is still being badly hit by the ongoing epidemic.

A delegation from the Association, led by Vice President K.B. Kachru, Chairman Emeritus & Principal Advisor-South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, evaluated the industry's challenges. The delegation included M.P Bezbaruah, Secretary-General, Dr Jyotsna Suri, Corporate Member HAI and chairwoman and managing director of Bharat Hotels Ltd., Rohit Khosla, Member HAI and Executive VP, IHCL, and Charulata Sukhija, Deputy Secretary-General, HAI.

While emphasising the urgent need to inject liquidity into the industry through measures such as a moratorium extension, one-time loan restructuring, improved terms under the ECLGS scheme, and revised eligibility ratios under the resolution framework, the Association also requested that policy changes be considered.

One of the policy changes that the hospitality industry has been requesting for a long time is for the central government to designate hospitality as an "Infrastructure industry," allowing it to benefit from low-cost financing and tax benefits currently available to industries such as ports, railways, and highways. Hotels are capital-intensive and have a long gestation period, similar to other infrastructure facilities.

Another policy proposal made by the delegation to help the recovery of the sector is to encourage all Indian states to grant hotels the status of an "industry," as several states have recently notified. As a major portion of hotel operating expenditures are fixed by nature, they are unsustainable in the current environment. Hotels will be able to make use of perks offered to industries, such as cheaper property taxes, land at subsidised rates, and lower utility expenses such as power and water.

HAI offered to be a member of a government task committee created to help the industry's survival, rebirth, and long-term viability. The Minister of Tourism stated that he will investigate the concerns.

Source: BW Hotelier