KB Kachru, VP, Hotel Association of India, shares why it is important to uplift the hospitality sector by giving it an infrastructure status.
KB Kachru says that an ‘infrastructure’ status is crucial for the hospitality sector. “The PM called it one of the five pillars of progress, hence, infrastructure status should be given. The moment that is done, there will be so many possibilities for investment in this sector, sustenance would be better and it would be a good industry to provide jobs,” he believes. Kachru says that HAI has already made specific recommendations in different states, but key demands remain the same. He says, “In India, certain things are handled by the Central government and certain by state governments. We are working with the federal government and simultaneously with state governments. Already, six to seven states have declared tourism as an industry, but the relevant benefits are slow to come because bureaucracy and policymaking is taking time. I must complement states like Maharashtra that have executed it in a short time. More investments will go there. Hoteliers can operate to survive initially, and they will build on it. States like UP, Odisha and MP are going all out to convert tourism to an industry, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We don’t expect everything to happen overnight, but we are optimistic that governments do want to help the industry to survive and thrive.”
The HAI VP also believes that revival depends on the industry and not only on the government. “Market dynamics have changed. We need to change ourselves and even the government must be a little pragmatic about its policies. What worked two years back will not work now. We are asking the government for things to be done comparatively faster, with more ease and without any immediate financial burden,” he points out, adding that in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, UK, Germany and Switzerland, the government has stood by the industry and provided relief that’s keeping them alive.