The hospitality industry was slowly getting into a recovery mode on the strength of domestic tourism – leisure and events, only to be plunged back into uncertainty on account of the omicron threat. It is critical to protect the industry during such prolonged periods of flip-flop in business prospects. The support required from the government cannot be emphasized enough.
Policy interventions are imperative for the sector’s survival and its early and quick re-bound to normalcy. According hotels the status of ‘Infrastructure’ will resolve a large number of the issues being faced by hotels and hospitality companies. It will also help survive operationally and encourage investments in the sector.
Access to softer funding, longer periods to repay loans, resultant shortening of the gestation period will make hotel investments more attractive and sustainable. More hotels would mean more jobs, more development. The sector’s cascading effect on the economy has already been well established and documented. Infrastructure Status will also enable hotels to avail benefits of lower taxation, utility tariffs and simplified approval process for projects.
Additionally, the road to recovery can also be aided through measures like extended moratorium, rationalization of taxes and facilitating ease of doing business.
HAI has submitted detailed suggestions to the Finance Ministry on some easily doable policy reforms which will greatly help in revival of the industry and will also enable it to flourish in the long run.
Hospitality industry contributes 9% to India’s GDP employing nearly 4.5 crore people and providing livelihoods to around 16 crore people. Due to the pandemic, the potential shock to livelihood of millions working in the hospitality industry is enormous. The Indian hospitality sector has a critical role to play in the post pandemic economic revival and has been announced as the fourth pillar of the Indian economy.