The new provision of classification has come into effect immediately, said a senior Tourism Ministry official.
As per the new guidelines, hotels in the categories of 5-Star and 4-Star in non-heritage sector and classic category hotels in heritage sector can now be classified as 5-Star with alcohol service, 5-Star without alcohol service, 4-Star with alcohol service, 4-Star without alcohol service, classic heritage with alcohol service and classic heritage without alcohol service.
At present, Tourism Ministry classifies various hotels on voluntary request in the categories of 1-Star, 2-Star, 3-Star, 4-Star, 5-Star and 5-Star Deluxe in non-heritage sector and in the categories of Basic, Classic and Grand in the Heritage Sector.
Under the guidelines of the ministry till now, alcohol service was essential for hotels seeking classification under the categories of 4-Star, 5-Star, 5-Star Deluxe, Classic Heritage and Grand Heritage.
The decision would provide flexibility to hotel owners and management to take considered decision on whether to provide alcohol service or not in their units, the official said.
However, to protect the customers' interest, the Ministry has made it compulsory for all classified hotels to make their precise classification status shown on the opening page of their (hotel's) website and also declare such status clearly on their (hotel's) promotional and marketing material without any abbreviation.