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Wednesday, 27 May, 2020, 12 : 12 PM [IST]

MoT extends approval for hotels, tour operators till June 30

The Union Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has extended the validity of approval or certification of hotels and the travel agents, tour operators, adventure tour operators, domestic tour operators and tourist transport operators till June 30.

According to a note issued to this effect on Tuesday, the Ministry said the decision was taken "considering the current situation when the hospitality industry is going through a very difficult time in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown that has severely impacted the accommodation sector, it has been decided that validity of approval or certifications of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approvals and classification have expired are deemed to be extended till June 30."

As of now, the MoT classifies hotels under the star rating system to conform to the expected standards for different classes of tourists.

Under this system, hotels are given a rating, from One Star to Three Star, Four and Five Star with or without alcohol, Five Star Deluxe, Heritage (Basic), Heritage (Classic), Heritage (Grand), Legacy Vintage (Basic), Legacy Vintage (Classic), Legacy Vintage (Grand) and Apartment Hotels, Homestays, Guest house etc. The classification is valid for a period of five years. The extension that the ministry granted on Tuesday will apply to all.

Similarly, the Ministry also has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators etc. the idea being to encourage quality, standard and service in these categories so as to promote Tourism in India. The validity period of approvals for this category too has been extended till June 30.

Apart from giving relief to the accommodation industry, the extension was also on the cards owing to the postponement of inspection work and application scrutiny during the lockdown period. The relaxations, however, would apply only if previous approval expires during the lockdown period.

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