Hospitality major EIH, which runs hotels and resorts under the Oberoi and Trident brands, hopes for a cut in the GST rate on hotel rooms “at least” to 12%, saying much lower rates in China, Thailand and Malaysia will lure leisure travellers away from India. Currently, the GST on hotel rooms with tariffs of Rs 7,500 and above is 28%.
Addressing shareholders at the 69th annual general meeting on Wednesday, executive chairman PRS Oberoi said, “We continue to be impacted adversely by GST for published tariffs for hotels rooms charging Rs 7,500 and above. Much lower rates between 6% and 10% in Asian countries such as China, Thailand and Malaysia will attract leisure travellers away from India. With leisure spending accounting for 95% of total travel and tourism spending, it is not something that we should take lightly.”
In his address, the chairman said, “It is our earnest hope that the government will lower the GST rate at least to 12%. It is estimated that over 120 million will travel out of China to travel destinations around the world. International travellers bring valuable foreign exchanges which India presently needs. The government should take note not only of visitor numbers but also the quality of visitors.” India should take immediate steps to attract travellers from China who accounted for 20% of tourism proceeds worldwide, he averred.
EIH reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 1.13 crore for the first quarter of this fiscal, against a net profit of Rs 14.70 crore a year ago. Consolidated total revenue for the period was at Rs 358.22 crore, compared with Rs 400.35 crore for the corresponding period last fiscal. “The drop in revenue and profitability in the first quarter of current year is attributable to a general slowdown in business activity, decline in air travel and reduction in the airline catering business,” the chairman commented.
Source : Economic Times