Trivandrum: The South India Hotels & Restaurants Association (SIHRA) has identified several new government regulations and the economic crisis as the main factors hurting the hospitality industry. These were the key discussion points at the Executive Committee Meeting of SIHRA held in Thiruvananthapuram.
SIHRA has decided to appeal to the governments in the four southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu, to consider their suggestions favourably to overcome this critical period, which is the result of the slowdown worldwide.
According to K Syama Raju, President, SIHRA, “The Government in Kerala has responded favourably by reducing the luxury tax in the state by 5% for a three month period, during the lean season. However, considering the current situation it is proposed to appeal to the Government to extend this for the next nine months. This would help the industry attracting more tourists”.
The new regulations especially the Kerala Government’s new Liquor policy would severely hurt the growth of the Hotel industry and consequently tourism in the State. New Hotels in the 1-3 Star category that have been already been built find it difficult to secure Bar Licenses and this will ultimately discourage budget foreign tourists in particular ,who normally stay at such hotels. Bars should be permitted to function on the 1st day of the month and the timings to be increased at least in notified tourist destinations.
SIHRA directly and through their apex body FHRAI is championing this cause towards the annulment of the irrational provisions of the new Bar Licensing act of the State and in conjunction with the state Association is to put pressure to reduce bar license fees – the highest in India.
The meeting also high lightened the issues which have the direct impact on the Hotel Industry. The hospitality industry is subject to a number of central and state levies such as Service Tax, VAT, Excise Duty, Luxury Tax etc. These multiple and inequitable tax structures have an unfavourable effect on price competitiveness between the states as tourist destinations.
SIHRA comprises the smallest Restaurants to Five Star deluxe Hotels in the four Southern States and the Union Territory of Puducherry and has around 1,100 members.
Kerala Biz News