Press Trust of india

Hotel Association raises concern over raids, fines on hotels in J&K

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New Delhi: Hotel Association of India on Wednesday said it has raised its “deep concern” with Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha over raids and imposition of fines and alleged threat of legal action on member hotels in the UT.

In its representation, the association (HAI) pointed out that these impromptu actions by the administration were motivated by complaints of exorbitant prices and service deficiencies from tourists, it stated.

The association said it supports the government’s role in curbing unfair business practices but recommends that it be process driven.

“The hospitality industry is well-recognised for its significant contribution to employment creation and promotion of inclusive growth. The government could have followed the path of consultation on their concerns instead,” the HAI argued.

The HAI emphasised that its member hotels in J&K are well established, reputed, have invested heavily and have been engaging with local communities in taking  several initiatives for their welfare.

In response to the complaints raised by tourists in J&K, HAI argued that in an open and free economy like India, the price is determined by the market forces of demand and supply.

“The hospitality industry works on the same principle and operates on system of dynamic pricing or Best Available Rate (BAR). Several other factors that impact the price of products and services are related costs, seasonality, location, market positioning, market segments, distribution channels among others,” the Association stated.

It further said the hotel websites and booking aggregators display the room rates in a transparent manner and the traveller is free to choose from the options based on their budget and requirement.

Stressing that the hospitality industry has barely begun to recover as the pandemic subsided and the situation started to normalise, the HAI requested the government to not disturb the recovery process and suggested to jointly work out a solution in the larger interest.

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