HAI raises concern over raids and imposition of fines on J&K hotels
The Association pointed out that these impromptu actions by the state government were motivated by complaints of exorbitant prices and service deficiencies from tourists
Hotel Association of India (HAI) has raised a matter of deep concern to Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, Jammu & Kashmir and highlighted the recent unfair and ad hoc raids, imposition of fines and threat of legal action on Member hotels in the state. In its representation, the Association pointed out that these impromptu actions by the state government were motivated by complaints of exorbitant prices and service deficiencies from tourists. HAI supports government’s role in curbing unfair business practises but recommends that it be process driven. As a responsible industry body, HAI has always emphasised the importance of collaborative partnership with the government.
The hospitality industry is well-recognised for its significant contribution to employment creation and promotion of inclusive growth. The government could have followed the path of consultation on their concerns instead. HAI emphasised that its member hotels in the State are well established, reputed, have invested heavily in the state and have been engaging with local communities in taking several initiatives for their welfare. HAI added that a lot of their member hotels countrywide have been lauded nationally and internationally for their excellence in service. These hotels have helped in bringing Indian hospitality on the global tourism map.
In response to the complaints raised by tourists in J&K, HAI added that in an open and free economy like India, the price is determined by the market forces of demand and supply. The hospitality industry works on the same principle and operates on system of dynamic pricing or Best Available Rate (BAR). Several other factors that impact the price of products and services are related costs, seasonality, location, market positioning, market segments and distribution channels among others. The hotel websites and booking aggregators display the room rates in a transparent manner and the traveller is free to choose from the options based on their budget and requirement.
The past two years have been extremely tough for the hospitality industry as it has been one of the sectors worst-hit by the pandemic. During that phase, the revenues of hotels have been close to zero while hotel operating costs have been high and mostly fixed in nature. The industry has barely begun to recover as the pandemic subsided and the situation started to normalise. The industry body thus requested the government to not disturb the recovery process and suggested to jointly work out a solution in the larger interest.
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