The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has raised concerns over the government’s plan to open up more homestays, to make up for the deficiency of hotel rooms in the country.
The proposal, which allows residents to offer tourists stays at their homes, will not attract any kind of taxation or commercial tariffs. And the hotel industry is said to be sceptical about the outcome as it may not assure guest safety and could affect employment and tax revenues.
“The primary problem with homestays is that there are no standardisations or categorisations. There have been multiple cases of exaggerated promises, misrepresentations, disagreements and conflicts with guests, hygiene issues and intimidations among others. Because homestays are unregulated, there are no redressal systems in place,” said Bharat Malkani, president of HRAWI.
He added that homestays are not required to send details of foreign guests to the police.
HRAWI also questioned the relevance of subjecting hotels to administrative clearances, liquor permits and other licenses, while homestays providing the same services are exempt.
“Tourism cannot afford to run or prosper without hotels and the government will have to consider an alternate plan that can either allow hotels to operate with the same relaxations as would be given to homestays or vice versa,” said Malkani.