AP’s Hotel Industry continues SOS call to CM

Hotel 2

Sector burdened with High Taxation & Excessive Licensing

There is no denying the fact that the hospitality sector, which functions as a powerful vehicle for economic growth, is directly and indirectly responsible for regional development, numerous types of job creation and supporting many other industries and sub-industries, is among the most affected sectors due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

Having come to almost a standstill during the lockdown imposed in 2020, the hospitality business started its journey to recovery when the restrictions were eased, only to be again hit hard by the brutal second wave of Covid-19. 

Considering the damage has been extensive, the hospitality players in the state say the sector requires a helping hand from the government to find its feet. Expressing gratitude for whatever support the government has extended so far, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Andhra Pradesh (HRAAP) Vice President Mr Pavan Kartheek highlighted the urgent need for policy changes imperative for the survival and revival of the Industry. 

“The entire industry stands at a threshold of suffering and an irrevocable setback.” 

                   Mr.   Pavan Kartheek MV                    Vice President –

          HRAAP  & GM Keys Select Hotel 

“We request the government to grant industry status to the hospitality sector in line with other states like Karnataka and Maharashtra. In the light of the uncertain scenario we are facing, it is imperative for the survival and revival of the Industry. The entire industry stands at a threshold of suffering and an irrevocable setback. We would need to explore the options of a joint task force with the industry and the government to handle this crisis and prepare for the recovery from a financial, operational and marketing standpoint,” said Mr Kartheek speaking to Vizag Industrial Scan.

According “Industry” status to the hospitality sector will fasten post-pandemic economic revival of the sector as it will allow the sector to avail some benefits like lower electricity and water tariff, lower property tax, rationalization of license fees and simplified approval process for hotel projects and operations. Echoing similar sentiments, Mr Jaydeep Biswas of Park Hotel said that while this time the recovery seems a bit slower than last year, the sector is hopeful for a much more energetic second half of the financial year if all goes well. “With the rapid pace at which the vaccination drive is being undertaken, every one’s praying that it would keep the much talked about third wave away. Under these challenging times, we need the “Industry Status” to be bestowed on the hotel industry like so many other states have already done. It would bring along some relief to this segment”. 

“We need the Industry Status to be bestowed on the hotel industry like so many other states have already done.” 

                 Mr. Jaydeep Biswas   

                Park Hotel 

The sector is burdened with high taxation and excessive licensing and regulations. 

Key Hospitality Asks: 

  • Grant of Industry Status 
  • Waiver of Property Tax, water charges, Trade license 
  •  Extension of Bar License & Reduction in Licensing Fee 

Urging the government to review them, GM of Best Western Plus Tejvivaan Mr John Kiran said, “The bar license is the biggest concern for properties like us because the license fee is so high we cannot even achieve break even on it. Maybe the government can consider at least a pro-rata basis rather than a year- to-year basis for the issuing of the licence. For example, if I get a license in November, the government should think of that aspect from November to June rather than asking us to get it from July to June”. 

“The bar license is the biggest concern for properties like us. It’s so high we cannot even achieve break even on it.” 

                      Mr. John Kiran   

                      General Manager 

             Best Western Plus Tejvivaan 

 than last year, the sector is hopeful for a much more energetic second half of the financial year if all goes well. “With the rapid pace at which the vaccination drive is being undertaken, every one’s praying that it would keep the much talked about third wave away. Under these challenging times, we need the “Industry Status” to be bestowed on the hotel industry like so many other states have already done. It would bring along some relief to this segment”. 

Mr John also said that instead of guaranteed minimum electricity charges, the government should consider charging on actual consumption as it is still a long way before the business gets back to normal. 

Mr Ravi Rai, Cluster General Manager, Novotel Varun Beach, said while the AP government had extended relief measures and announced some considerations for the hospitality sector in the tourism policy it is yet to be implemented on ground. 

“All the policy changes are still on paper. No SOPs have been made, nothing has been crystallized.” 

                        Mr. Ravi Rai    

                      Cluster General Manager                      Novotel Varun Beach 

“All the policy changes are still on paper. No SOPs have been made, nothing has been crystallized. It is time for the government to actualize whatever has been communicated and committed. If that happens it should be enough for now to reinstate hotel businesses,” he said. 

 

“Capital is a big question mark but that is again yet to happen. There is no clarity on that. Corporate movement is yet to come back to normal.” 

                    Mr. Ajit Kumar   

                GM, Fortune Inn Sreekanya 

Stating that the pandemic is still far from being over yet, it’s a wait and watch situation, Mr Ajit Kumar, GM Fortune Inn Sreekanya said, “Capital is a big question mark but that is again yet to happen. There is no clarity on that. The corporate movement is still affected, footfalls in terms of food and beverage are yet to come back to normal, and there are not many projects happening in the city in terms of infrastructure. Once the projects start again and IT and other businesses open up, it will have a ripple effect on the hospitality sector and will turn out some businesses.” 

 

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