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HRAWI Appeals To The PMO To Consider The Industry As Inclusive Of Tourism

Mumbai, May 14, 2015: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) in reference to the latest draft on National Tourism Policy for 2015 although has appreciated the efforts to promote tourism, has also alleged that the policy has completely neglected the hospitality sector. The new policy that gives direct access to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in deciding the course of the tourism sector does not spell out any developmental recommendations for the hotel industry. The draft aims at promoting India as ‘Must Experience’ and ‘Must Revisit’ destination and includes many aspects of Prime Minister Modi’s vision like Make in India, Swachh Bharat, Smart Cities, International Yoga Day and Skill Development.

HRAWI has appealed to the PMO for the sector to be given the deserved attention and to be considered an inclusive part of tourism. The letter suggests that hospitality and tourism are interdependent industries and to better tourists’ experience it is necessary that the government gives hospitality industry an equally deserving boost.

“There is very little doubt that under the leadership of Narendra Modi tourism will achieve new heights. The tourism sector is projected to contribute 6.7 per cent to the country’s GDP and hospitality which is one of its strongest pillars generates revenues that are estimated to be nearly 40 per cent of that figure. It goes without saying that a foreign tourist who visits India will need accommodation and is their basecamp for all explorations they do during their visit here. If hospitality as a sector is ignored then the service levels will definitely take a plunge leading to a bad experience for the tourist. So, irrespective of whether they had a good time visiting India, they will be left with a bad taste in the mouth. Hence we appeal to the PMO to revisit their draft on the policy and make provisions that will ascertain that the hospitality industry too gets the deserved attention,” says Mr. Bharat Malkani.

At present India’s share in world tourist arrivals is a mere 0.68 per cent. The new policy aims at taking this figure up to 1 per cent by the year 2020 and then up it another per cent by the year 2025.

“With each passing year, maintaining and operating a hotel business is becoming cumbersome. The policies, regulations, fees, taxes, licencing requirements and other laws that were put in place for better administration by the government are today mostly hindrances in smooth functioning of the business. Our stance, with all that is administrative in nature, is necessary and may continue but there are better and much more efficient ways in which it can be carried out. Multiplicity and recurring licencing policies can be easily eradicated from the system without affecting the core mandates as set by the government. We have even identified and shared ‘Single Window Clearance’ system with the authorities and this system is a key solution to making things simplified for both the parties involved. What more, it can be made applicable to all the states in the country where there is need to bring in ease of doing business and not just for the state of Maharashtra,” says Mr. Malkani.

An online single window clearance shopping cart will increase room inventory for the State and reduce room tariffs besides reducing waste of time and increase efficiency. A foreigner staying one extra night will increase forex revenue to Maharashtra Government at INR 599 crores per night.

“There is much that India can achieve in tourism, as has been rightly projected in the new tourism draft policy. However if its allied industries, specifically hospitality, is not given appropriate impetus, then I fail to see tourism gaining the desired traction. Hopefully, our appeal will be seen in positive light and hospitality as an industry will be given a voice too,” concludes Mr. Malkani.
CCI Newswire

 
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Works In Conjunction With MTDC And Government Of India for Ease Of Business

Mumbai, April 30, 2015: Hotel & Restaurant Association of India (HRAWI), the apex body of Hotels and Restaurants in Western India in conjunction with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Government of Maharashtra (GoM) has been advocating new business strategies with a goal to give boost to the hospitality industry. HRAWI has shown optimism and believes that implementation of the new policy will encourage the growth of hotel/hospitality infrastructure in the country.

India ranked 140/189 in 2013 and 142/189 in 2014 on Ease-of-doing-business index where 1 is the most business-friendly regulation country as per data released by The World Bank. Sixty five percent of India’s population is under thirty years of age. It is, therefore, imperative to have investor friendly ease-of-business policies to attract “Gen-next” entrepreneurs to this sector. HRAWI, along with MTDC and GoM through Accenture, has identified Single Window Clearance as the key solution in the Ease-of-Business strategy paper.

“High taxation and unreasonable levies are the reason why more entrants are not looking at this industry with a keen investment opportunity. Moreover, local and smaller entrepreneurs are shying away due to high investment and low Rate of Interest. We need to look at this in a rational way with an attitude to give boost to an industry capable of singularly taking tourism to new heights and earning formidable revenues in foreign exchange,” says Mr. Bharat Malkani, President, HRAWI

At present, there are around 112 clearances (70 project and 42 operational) required from various ministries/ departments from the GoM to set up a hotel. Recognizing that multiplicity and the delay in obtaining clearances from various ministries/ departments/ agencies is hampering the growth of the hospitality sector, it has recommended streamlining the current outdated systems and launch a transparent online “Single Window Monitoring Mechanism” for expeditious implementation of hotel & restaurant projects.

An online single window clearance shopping cart will increase room inventory for the State and reduce room tariffs besides reducing waste of time and increase efficiency. A foreigner staying one extra night will increase forex revenue to Maharashtra Government at INR 599 crores per night.

“With the implementation of the proposal, MTDC will become the nodal agency to which restaurants and hotels will apply for new licenses and renewals. It will act as a single window that will in turn fetch all licenses from the relevant departments on the Board and have the investors pick them up from the same window. It will also ensure that the permits are granted within a set time frame. The presentations made by Accenture include topics as curbing the number of licenses, permits, NOCs and registrations from 112 to 20 for opening new establishment as well as renewing existing licenses, appraisals for special tourist zones that would remain open round the clock and abolishment of archaic drinking permit rules among other. If sanctioned and implemented at the earliest, the proposal holds capacity to boost tourism and bring India on the International map as one of the most preferred tourist destinations,” says Mr. Kamlesh Barot, past President, HRAWI.

Hotel & Restaurant Association of India (HRAWI) is the apex body of Hotels and Restaurants in Western India. One of the strongest four pillars of Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), since 2010 it is a nominee in the core committee of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
CCI Newswire 

 
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