The Union Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel was in a meeting with the travel, tourism and hospitality industry stakeholders:
On the second day of a virtual interactive consultative meeting chaired by the Union Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel with the travel, tourism and hospitality industry stakeholders, the hospitality industry stakeholders have sought for interventions by the Tourism Ministry to bring in uniformity in terms of travel and quarantine guidelines among the states of India. The industry also demanded the Tourism Ministry take adequate steps to boost domestic tourism through promotional and other campaigns, as outbound travel will remain restricted for some time.
“We need to have uniform rules and guidelines for travel to restart. People do not want to get stuck at places in the name of quarantine when they start driving around,” said an industry leader who attended today’s deliberations with the Tourism Minister. On the second day of the virtual consultative meeting, the Tourism Minister met the hospitality sector stakeholders and their associations like Hotel Association of India (HAI), Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), Homestay owners, people in the wellness sector, and prominent figures in the hospitality industry.
The hospitality industry also raised the issue emanating out of the ‘ad hocism’ in government orders which restricts the full opening of hotels. In many places, when hotels are allowed to open, banquets, restaurants, bars are not allowed. According to a senior leader of the hotel industry, the associations also raised their voice against the current restrictions on banquets and conference activities. They said that fixing the number of people who can assemble at a place without considering the size of the event venue/banquet space, defeats the purpose.
The hotel associations wanted the Ministry’s help to get the moratorium extended at least till March 2021 and follow up with the KV Kamath Committee appointed by the RBI on the restructuring of loans. “If a moratorium is not extended, a significant number of hotels will close down permanently,” said the leader.
FHRAI is believed to have raised the issue of electricity and other fixed charges that the hotels had to pay despite remaining shut or partially operational. They said that different states have different policies on this. “One policy across India is the solution,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.
The associations have asked the Tourism Ministry to utilize their overseas marketing budget for 2021 for domestic tourism promotions. They also demanded special incentives from the government to promote domestic travel.
According to sources, the Tourism Minister has assured the stakeholders of his personal intervention as well his officials in several issues which directly falls under the powers and jurisdiction of the state governments.
Source: ETHospitality World