By Amit Damani
In the last two years, the homestay and vacation rental industry has experienced an inflection point. Frequent getaways have become an inherent desire as a result of shifting consumer dynamics of experiencing lockdowns. Affluent Indians, on the other hand, have been buying second homes and luxury villas in record numbers. The enriching relationships between guests and property owners have made the space profitable enough for many more individuals to become ambitious.
The upcoming budget should include lower taxes, better infrastructure, and interest-free financing choices. About 4.5 million people work in the hospitality business, which accounts for about 9% of India’s GDP (GDP). The Indian hospitality industry has been seriously impacted, and we will require support from the Union Budget 2022.
Because of the epidemic, millions of people in the hotel business lost their jobs, either owing to company closures or downsizing. The hotel sector is critical to India’s post-pandemic recovery, and it should be given special attention in the incoming 2022 budget. As a result, further national guidance on homestay villa regulations and tax procedures is required. This part is always unclear. Homestay and B&B regulations vary by state at the moment. Every rental property in the country should be registered nationally, as a B&B, to make the process easier. Homestays have evolved into an important part of domestic tourism, as well as a source of employment and revenue for the communities where they are located. As a result, we anticipate recommendations in this year’s budget.
To help ourselves and the industry recover from our losses, we must make rapid improvements. Government policies that promote business and sales can lead to considerable increases in both. We all need a backup plan after the last two years have thrown us all for a loop.
It would be beneficial if the government could implement programs to boost rural tourism. Incredible India was an extremely successful campaign run to attract international tourists. We need a domestic campaign to sustain the interest of Indians in exploring their culturally and geographically diverse country.
The next big step is to promote sustainability. Solar panels, farm-to-fork initiatives, and rainwater collecting all help to promote sustainability by reducing carbon emissions and transportation costs. This lessens our reliance. Such actions should be recognised in order to encourage homeowners to adopt sustainable practices.
We must keep in mind that this country is endowed with natural resources. If given the opportunity, we can grow at a faster rate. Rural tourism has the potential to solve some of India’s employment problems. Small firms can benefit from special programmes devised by legislators and regulators. Innovation and enthusiasm are desperately needed in rural areas.
(The author is Co Founder, Vista Rooms. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)