Indians are definitely
travelling a lot more these days. The unprecedented mad rush witnessed during last long weekend (15-18 Aug
2014) of people trying to get way from Delhi was a good example. Many had to eventually
come back for lack of hotel accommodation. I had to skip breakfast because all eateries
were overcrowded and was unable to cater to the sudden rush. You cannot afford anymore
to travel without prior confirmed hotel booking, especially on such long
weekends. People are travelling to even remote unheard of destinations. Hoteliers
are reaping huge profits of this sudden charge of tourist ready to travel any season. The ever burgeoning travel cost had sent alarm
First piece of news came in the last week of August, 2014 from
none other than the Union Minister for Tourism. PTI reported quoting him that
the Union Tourism Ministry has appealed to the Finance Ministry to lower
taxation on tourism products and related services, which will result in
increasing footfalls in the country. "We have requested the Finance
Ministry that the taxation on the tourism products and related services should
be lowered so that we can attract more visitors to the country," Union
Tourism Minister Shripad Naik told PTI. He said that the services like tourist
taxis, hotel tariff should have lower taxes, which will make destinations cheaper
compared to international rivals. "The tax rebate can be offered to
hotels so that they will have low tariffs. We have also asked the ministry to
consider cutting down the visa fees. We have 100 US dollars as Visa fee
while Sri Lanka
charges only 25 US dollars. We need to bring visa fee at par with other world
destinations," Naik said. He said that the Finance Ministry has
in-principle agreed to look into the demand and lower the Visa charges.
Things like lowering Visa charges can directly impact tourism as
more tourists will be inclined to come. On my trips to Singapore, Malaysia
I had paid Visa fee of 1250, 850 and 2000 rupees. Thus at $100 or roughly 6100
is definitely pricey. This percolates
down to entire tourism industry, specially the hotels. I beg to disagree with
the honorable Minister that inflated prices of hotel charges are because of
high taxes. It is because of greed of
hotel owners. I had written an article earlier – ‘Is travelling in India
cheaper’ where I explained why travelling to Phuket or Langkawi is cheaper than
to Andamans. Hotel prices in India
are much higher than its competitors Thailand
Even the dirty, filthy hotels in India tend to charge around 1500
these days. If you are looking for decent accommodation, then you need to be
ready to shell out 2500-3000 per night. Most of my travel is for wildlife
photography. Crores of black money had been invested in building luxury resorts
across most wildlife parks in India.
The tariffs of some of these resorts during season will make you giddy. The
published AP rates for many of these resorts are around 8000-10000 rupees per
night for two. Fortunately no frills alternatives are available for people like
us. I do not go to wildlife parks for a swimming pool, spa and gym. However, I
do go to these places during off-season when parks are closed for monsoon, to
enjoy these facilities at half the price.
As travelling to Thailand or Malaysia is cheap, many Indians prefer
to spend their holidays in those countries. One of my guides in Bangkok politely queried
if income of Indians had gone up significantly because she had observed that
number of Indian tourists had gone up significantly in recent times. Disposable income had certainly increased with
economic growth, but mindset had also changed. If your holiday budget is 40K
per head, then one would prefer to spend it on a foreign trip. Because of
relatively lower hotel rates, tourists tend to stay for longer duration awhile
travelling abroad. This is probably one of the reasons for Indians figuring
among highest spenders on hotel overseas.
These stats should open the eyes of Indian hotel industry. Rather than
looking to profiteer and mislead people in the name of high taxes, they should
look to improve occupancy by better services. Indians travel all season. So
rather than making quick bucks in so called high season, one should look to
make entire year a season with improved occupancy.
Labels: news, Travel
posted by Rupankar Mahanta at 9:27 PM
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At November 01, 2014 5:25 PM,
shine india said...
Thanks for sharing informative information….
Very nice blog
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At January 19, 2015 5:15 PM,
monika singh said...
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