The three letter word called ‘GST’ (goods and services tax), has certainly made its mark. It has turned out to be the hotspot of most discussions across businesses. From serious debates and deliberations to some tongue in cheek comments, there seems to be discrepancy across sectors, with hospitality and tourism being no exception. Amidst all the confusion and lack of clarity, there was some good news coming in for the hospitality sector. The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) welcomed the revised GST slab on hotel room tariffs that widens the slab of 18 per cent to tariffs ranging between Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500. With the revision, the highest tax rate of 28 per cent is assigned to tariffs of Rs 7,500 and above. Along with the revision in the slabs for room tariffs, the tax rate for air-conditioned restaurants, including restaurants in five-star hotels has been fixed at 18 per cent, effective from July 1, 2017. So far so good. However, there are certain challenges in the tourism business that still needs to be addressed. For the benefit of our readers, FHW has also brought in expert opinion from a law firm on the GST story (on page 12 of this issue).
The Central Government recently announced another list of 30 cities for development as Smart Cities, taking the total cities picked up so far to 90 under the Smart City Mission launched on June 25, 2015. According to the government, 45 cities contested for 40 available Smart City slots but only 30 were selected. Please refer to our website for the complete story.
Last but not the least, is our very own growth story. The 31st edition of Food Hospitality World held in Goa saw another show of networking, knowledge exchange and growth opportunity. After being inaugurated by the tourism minister of Goa, the three-day show successfully ended with the participants gaining a new outlook of Goa’s hospitality market. Now it is time to welcome the fraternity to our 32nd show in the city of Bengaluru from August 9-11, 2017.