Validity Of Approval, Classification Of Hotels Extended Until June End


With the global pandemic battering the economic badly, the government has given some relief to hospitality industry by extending the validity period of approvals and classification of hotels and other accommodation units till June 30.

Besides six months’ relaxation or extension to all categories of Tour Operators, Travel Agents and Tourist Transport Operators have also been given in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Hotel business has been hit badly due to the lockdown situation and the hospitality sector needs a stimulus package to survive the crisis, according to the industry.

Tourism Ministry classifies hotels under the star rating system to conform to the expected standards for different classes of tourists. The certification is valid for a period of five years.

Under the system, hotels are given a rating, from One Star to Three Star, Four and Five Star with or without alcohol, Five Star Deluxe, Heritage (Basic), Heritage (Classic), Heritage (Grand), Legacy Vintage (Basic), Legacy Vintage (Classic), Legacy Vintage (Grand) and Apartment Hotels, Home stays, Guest house etc. The classification/ certification is valid for period of five years.

Considering the current situation when the hospitality industry is going through a very difficult time in the wake of coronavirus scare and lockdown that has severely impacted the accommodation sector, it has been decided that validity of approval or certifications of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approvals/reapprovals and classification/reclassification have expired/are likely to expire during this period are deemed to be extended till June 30, 2020.

Similarly, the Ministry has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators etc. the idea being to encourage quality, standard and service in these categories so as to promote Tourism in India.

Due to postponement of inspection work and application scrutiny during the lockdown period from March 2020 onward in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry has decided to allow six months’ relaxation or extension to all categories of Tour Operators (Inbound, Domestic, Adventure) Travel Agents and Tourist Transport Operators for their approval with the Ministry of Tourism.

As per the condition, the previous approval expired or the current approval expires during the period of March 20, 2020, the date of issuance of order by the Ministry for discontinuation of inspection work by India Tourism offices, till continuation of lockdown application for renewal before expiry of their current/previous approval.

However, the relaxations are subject to certain conditions that include the previous approval expires during the lockdown period.