‘Industry’ tag for hospitality sector in Karnataka

The State government has assigned ‘industry’ status to the hospitality sector. This is particularly aimed at the revival of star hotels, which have been suffering owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant slowdown in the tourism sector.

The government’s decision was taken as a large number of people working in star hotels lost their jobs during the lockdown and the pandemic. ‘Industry’ status will ensure many concessions for star hotels, Tourism Minister C.P. Yogeshwar said on Saturday. Star hotels will have to pay water charges, electricity tariff, property tax, development tax, floor space index, and other charges, as per the industrial tariff, from April 1.

The new rules will be applicable to hotels registered with the Centre’s Tourism Ministry. Tax concessions will be provided to star hotels for a five-year period. There are 62 star hotels in the State. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting held on Thursday.

The Maharashtra government provided industry status to its star hotels in December 2020.

Star hotels will also be provided support and concessions available in the State Tourism Policy 2020-25. Talks will be held with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Energy, Urban Development, and Industry and Commerce departments to extend industry concessions to hotels, and an order will be issued soon, the Minister said.

The Tourism Department has also proposed to provide concessions to visitors to star hotels. The department has a plan to provide concessions to non-star and small hotels also, the Minister said.

Nandi Hills

On the development of Nandi Hills, he said the hills were transferred from the jurisdiction of the Horticulture Department to the Tourism Department. A plan has been mooted to provide cable car and other services, with private investments, to attract more tourists.

Kemmangundi hill station and historical places such as Badami, Hampi, Vijayapura, and Belur will be provided with more facilities to tourists with the support of the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd., Mr. Yogeshwar said. Water sports are planned in reservoirs/dams of the State with the support of the KSTDC and Jungle Lodges and Resorts, he added.

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