Despite having the enormous potential of tourism in all segments i.e. beaches, lakes, mountains, tribes, the richness of temple architecture, heritage, eco tourism and much more to offer, Odisha gets the lower tourist traffic to the state. Odisha’s leading hotelier and Chairman – Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) J K Mohanty, CMD, Swosti Group highlights that inadequate number of star category hotels is one of the biggest hurdles in placing Odisha as the tourism hub in eastern part of the country.
According to the data released by Ministry of tourism Odisha has 08 star category hotels which is the lowest as compare to the neighbouring states i.e. West Bengal 76, Goa 48, Kerala 682, Andhra Pradesh 33, Maharashtra 106, Telangana 28, Tamil Nadu 112, Chandigarh 23, Rajasthan 71, Uttar Pradesh 56, Karnataka 40, New Delhi 47 and Gujarat 94.
“It is for this reason; the Government of Odisha must realise our potentiality and our drawbacks. Why we have the lowest tourist traffic in the country. We will not be able to compete in the domestic segment because of lack of good star category classified hotels within the state in important tourist locations other than Bhubaneswar and Puri,” said Mohanty.
Around five thousand additional number of hotel rooms in different star category should be set up to compete with the hotel infrastructure of the other states of India.
He feels this is the high time; the Government of Odisha must attract more investment in this sector. “Businessmen do not want to invest money in the hotel industry because it is a highly capital intensive and people have to wait for 08-10 years to repay back the loans. Further, hotel industry also earns low profit margin compare to other sectors.”
“We, therefore recommend that the Government should allow 30% capital investment subsidy up to a maximum limit of Rs.25 crores and 5% interest subsidy up to 11 years on repayment of term loans. If the subsidy is given only for 3 years many hotels will come up as required,” added Mohanty.
He further informed that during this pandemic situation, the announcement of RBI for six months moratorium on payment of EMIs is not at all adequate for the hotel industry. The industry needs a minimum of one year moratorium on all working capital, principal, interest payments, loans and overdrafts because after opening of the lockdown people would not be travelling for next six months due to scare of transmission of the virus.
Further, collateral and interest free loan up to 3 years for hotel industry which will help them sustain and revive. Also CIBIL should not be affected in the current business environment.