Government launches unique rating system to stimulate competition and quality
In a pioneering move, India's Union Tourism Ministry is poised to introduce a hygiene rating system for hotels and homestays nationwide. In-depth discussions are taking place between the Ministries of Tourism, Urban Affairs, and the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation to establish a comprehensive rating framework. V. Vidyavathi, the Union Tourism Secretary, unveiled this exciting development at the CII Tourism Summit, emphasising that this initiative remains a work in progress.
The suggested rating system will encompass all tourism industry sectors, including hotels and homestays. Initially, participation will be on a voluntary basis, aligning with the tourism ministry's commitment to promoting sustainable tourism through its Travel for LiFE programme. This innovative step is motivated by the aspiration to augment the influx of foreign tourists and transform India into a year-round tourist destination. Vithal Kamat, the founder of Orchid Hotels, asserted that competition drives quality and ratings will spur companies to strive for ever higher levels of quality.
India's tourism landscape faced a significant setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, indications of recovery are now becoming apparent, with 5.7 million tourists arriving in the country between January and August this year. Noteworthy source markets include Bangladesh, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. The tourism ministry is optimistic that foreign tourist arrivals will return to pre-pandemic levels by the following March.
Vidyavathi highlighted the encouraging prospects for tourism recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. She observed a notable upswing in inbound travel, partly attributed to India's G-20 presidency, which has sparked significant interest in the country. Their core objective, Vidyavathi stated, is to establish India as a year-round destination and entice repeat visitors. Director General of Tourism, Manisha Saxena, further underscored their efforts, including close collaboration with Indian diplomatic missions for promotional activities, revamping the Incredible India website, and organisation of roadshows to enhance awareness.