Dinesh Advani, president, Hotel and Restaurants Association of Western India (HRAWI), said, New Years celebrations and parties are a much awaited occasion. Having a half-hearted approach by limiting celebrations to a deadline is most likely to dampen the spirit of this occasion. Clearly Mumbaikars are discontented with the decision of putting an early deadline to celebrations. We appeal to the Commissioner of Mumbai to reconsider the matter.
HRAWI had submitted a petition to the chief secretary, Maharashtra for extension of relevant timely permission for New Year Eve function well in advance. This was done in anticipation of last minute uncertainties that had caused hindrances in last years New Year celebrations. Last year, by internal estimates, the hotels and restaurants on an average fell short of targets by as much as 45 per cent.
Kamlesh Barot, the immediate past President, HRAWI, said, If the government does not step in and reconsider the decision, this New Year is going to be lackluster. This is sure to affect the hotel industry in the long run as more and more people realise that celebrations are no longer the same in Mumbai. In the coming years, the city residents will be encouraged to celebrate New Years Eve out of Mumbai.
Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, vice president, HRAWI, said, The revenue generated for the 31st by the hotel industry is close to INR 500 crores, INR150 crores of which go toward contributing to the state taxes. Curbing celebrations indirectly translates to a loss for both, the state as well as for the industry. Needless to mention, other ancillary businesses get affected as a direct consequence of the decision.
There is disparity in the ambitious claims made by the state government and its implementation policies for boosting tourism and hospitality. While on one hand government wants to increase tourism and make Mumbai a lucrative tourist attraction and on the other hand they are trying to curb the very spirit of Mumbai by citing intangible reasons, stated Kohli.