Of all India’s service sectors, the tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors have emerged as the most important ones in recent years. India has a rich tourist culture, and the country’s historical heritage, diverse ecosystems, and territories. The many beautiful places in India make it one of the most visited places on earth.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic hindered the industry’s growth, during this challenging period, the Indian government took regular disciplinary and compliance measures to encourage the growth and development of the industry.
Unlike other service sector industries, the hospitality industry requires various permits from the central government, such as consent from the Ministry of Tourism and regional authorities.
Indian Hotels and Hospitality Rules
According to the Constitution of India, ‘Hotels and Inns’ are governed by state laws. In Entry No. 34 of List II of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India, states have the legal authority to enact rules concerning hospitality. This covers issues like gambling and betting, among other topics related to hospitality and entertainment.
New Regulations by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
Food regulatory agency FSSAI has recently mandated packaged drinking water and bottled water manufacturers to obtain Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification before obtaining a license or registration with a competent authority. The most recent guidelines came into effect on April 1, 2021. The Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Act, 2008 requires all food business operators (FBOs) to obtain a license/registration before opening any food business.
COVID-19 Guidelines for Hospitality Players
The government has declared new guidelines for hotels and hospitality units, restaurants, shopping malls, etc., to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition to mandatory thermal screening, new separate safety rules have been established permanently to wear masks, maintain social distances, thoroughly disinfect premises and keep customers at a distance of 1.8 meters.
Guidelines for Hotels and Hospitality Businesses
Separate entrance and exit should be made available for guests, staff and daily needs.
Hotels adopt contactless processes like digital QR codes for payments, electronic forms, and digital check-in and check-out processes.
For room service, communication between guests and in-house staff should be via intercom/mobile phone.
It is essential that the room and other services are kept clean each time a guest checks out.
Guidelines for Restaurants
Encourage takeout food rather than eating food on site. Food should only be served after proper precautions have been taken.
Businesses must maintain sufficient physical distances in the seating arrangement between the customers.
Digital payment methods and contactless orders need to be promoted.
The kitchen staff must follow social distancing rules and regularly sanitize the kitchen area.
What Can Hospitality Businesses do to Stay Afloat?
As the pandemic is still raging in India, times are tough for businesses, especially the hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors. But challenging times call for innovative thinking and a positive call for action. Companies can work towards their survival and revival by embracing vaccine drives run by the government.
Adhering to the guidelines mentioned above can further improve chances of survival amidst the pandemic as essential people like journalists, medical staff, etc., continue to travel in an emergency. In the end, businesses ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome is the key driver for their vitality.