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GST Just Sounded The Death Knell For Tourism, Industry Says

High GST rates on hospitality will be the "final nail" in the coffin for the sector which is already reeling under demonetisation and liquor ban along the highways, according to industry players.

The high incidences of taxes will make India uncompetitive when it comes to tourism as international tourists will skip the country as a destination, they said.

Under the GST rates announced on Friday, 5-star hotels will be charged 28 percent while AC restaurants and those with liquor licences will be taxed at 18 percent.

"The initial reaction is of great despair...28 percent would be the end of the industry," Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Associations of India (FHRAI) Vice President Garish Oberoi said in a statement.

He further said India's hospitality has already been suffering a lot due to various developments in the recent past.

"(After) demonetisation, liquor ban on highways, this will be the final nail in the hospitality (sector) coffin," Oberoi said.

Bharat Malkani, past-President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) One of the biggest hurdlesfor Indian hospitality and tourism, in terms of attracting international tourists is its uncompetitive tax structure.

Also Read: GST: Five-Star Hotels And Gold-Class Movie Experiences Get Pricier

The government should realise countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and others levy taxes ranging from 5 to 10 percent. India cannot afford to have these kind of complex and high GST, HRAWI President Dilip Datwani said. "This is simply not viable. Tourists will simply skip India," he added.

As per rates fixed by the GST Council in its meeting held today at Srinagar, non-AC restaurants will charge 12 percent GST on food bills. Restaurants with Rs 50 lakh or below turnover will go under the 5 percent composition.

Tax rate for AC restaurants and those with liquor licence will be 18 percent.

Hotels and lodges charging per day tariff of Rs 1,000 will be exempt from GST. Rate for hotels with tariff of Rs 1,000 to 2,000 per day would be 12 percent while those with tariff of Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000 would be 18 percent.

GST for hotels with tariff above Rs 5,000 will be 28 percent.

Riyaaz Amlani, President, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) While we applaud the government’s effort to keep GST at 5 percent forrestaurants below 50 lakh and 12 percent for restaurants without AC. We are disappointed with the high GST slab of 18 per cent for organised restaurants and 28 per cent for 5 star restaurants. This will not go a long way to promotetourism and tourism related jobs.

Striking a contrarian note, OYO Founder & CEO Ritesh Agarwal said: "A lower tax rate for budget hotels sector will ensure that the industry's quality upgrade continues while delivering standardised accommodation to millions of middle- class travellers."

Also Read: GST Rates: Colas At 40%, Refrigerators At 28%, Namkeen At 12% And Condoms For Nothing