With the global pandemic battering the economic badly, the government has given some relief to the hospitality industry by extending the validity period of approvals and classification of hotels and other accommodation units till June 30.
Besides, six months’ relaxation or extension to all categories of Tour Operators, Travel Agents and Tourist Transport Operators have also been given in view of the current Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
Hotel business has been hit badly due to the lockdown situation and the hospitality sector needs a stimulus package to survive the crisis, according to the industry.
Tourism Ministry classifies hotels under the star rating system to conform to the expected standards for different classes of tourists.
The certification is valid for a period of five years.
Under the system, hotels are given a rating, from One Star to Three Star, Four and Five Star with or without alcohol, Five Star Deluxe, Heritage (Basic), Heritage (Classic), Heritage (Grand), Legacy Vintage (Basic), Legacy Vintage (Classic), Legacy Vintage (Grand) and Apartment Hotels, Home stays, Guest house et cetera.
The classification/certification is valid for period of five years.
Considering the current situation when the hospitality industry is going through a very difficult time in the wake of coronavirus scare and lockdown that has severely impacted the accommodation sector, it has been decided that validity of approval or certifications of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approvals/re-approvals and classification/reclassification have expired/are likely to expire during this period are deemed to be extended till June 30, 2020.
Similarly, the Ministry has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators — the idea being to encourage quality, standards and service in these categories so as to promote tourism in India.
As per the condition, if the previous approval has expired or the current approval expires during the period of March 2020, the date of issuance of order by the Ministry for discontinuation of inspection work by India Tourism offices, till continuation of lockdown application for renewal before expiry of their current/previous approval, shall stand.
However, the relaxations are subject to certain conditions that include previous approval expiring during the lockdown period.
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