Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Budget hotels seek redressal of their demands

Delhi Hotel & Restaurant Owners’ Association, an umbrella organization of budget and guest house owners in Delhi are concerned about the indifference of various government agencies towards the issues raised by them almost a year ago. Many of the budget hotels do not have permission to run kitchen-cum-dining facilities and bars. While, these facilities are considered basic from hospitality industry's perspective, Delhi rules mandate separate licensing for the facilities. Also, there are issues related to taxation, usage of natural resources amongst others.

The Association has once again decided to approach different departments of the government, like Union Tourism Ministry, Delhi government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi with their list of demands. Sandeep Khandelwal, President, Delhi Hotel & Restaurant Owners’ Association said, “It would be better if we close down our guest houses during the Games rather than bringing bad name to the country by not offering the facilities which an international traveller would be looking from us.”

The Association wants the renewal period of licences to be raised from present one year to three years. In spite of orders from a top government official in this regard, the licences are still renewed annually, alleges the Association. Permission to operate kitchen, dining hall and bar to service in-house guests has been a long pending demand of guest house owners in Delhi.

“We have got assurance in this regard from Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister, Delhi in October last year. But, till date nothing has been done,” informed Khandelwal. “International travellers expect these basic services during their stay, especially at times like Commonwealth Games. If we are not able to meet these basic necessities of our guests, it would bring bad name for the country as a whole,” he added.

The Association wants Delhi Jal Board to provide potable water to these establishments all day or permit them to dig bore well in their premises. Other demands include easing of luxury tax and conversion charges and easy finance and incentives to modernise facilities in guest houses before the Commonwealth Games. “The government which gives tax holiday for classified hotels should extend such incentives to guest houses also,” Khandelwal demanded.

Recently, Ministry of Tourism has identified more than 11,000 approved guest house rooms in Delhi to be utilised for Commonwealth Games.


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