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Too many complaints: Bengal govt to balance hotel tariff and amenities

For non star-rated hotels, the government will fix tariffs depending on location and amenities. These hotels will be featured on the state tourism department’s website.

kolkata Updated: Feb 27, 2018 18:45 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Bengal,Tourism,Hotel
Bengal has a number of tourist attractions from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south.(HT Photo)

After cracking down on private schools and hospitals with the objective of controlling their fee and cost of treatment, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to clamp down on private hostels, lodges and guest houses by fixing their rates on the basis of their location and amenities offered.

Those hotels and lodges that would abide by the fee structure will get a certificate of adherence from the tourism department and will be promoted on the website of the department.

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Star rated hotels will, however, be kept outside the purview of the regulatory plan.

According to Bengal tourism minister Gautam Deb, the government wants to ensure that tourists who cannot afford star-rated hotels get a minimum level of comfort and amenities in private hotels at reasonable rates.

“It is quite possible that some hotel authorities might like to follow their own tariff structure. In that case they will not feature in the website of the state tourism department. Most tourists coming from other states check the website of the department for accommodation facilities. Hotels having state government’s certificate of adherence will naturally attract more tourists than those without it,” said Deb.

Read: Budget 2018: Finance ministry planning tax cuts to boost tourism, travel

The minister also said that he does not know of any state following this practice.

An official of the state government said the proposal was mooted following two sorts of complaints against a section of the private hotels and lodges.“First, they charge exorbitant prices during the peak tourist seasons. Second, often the amenities they promise are simply not there,” said the official who did not wish to be named.

The government is drawing up a multi-slab tariff depending on location and amenities. Things such as size and quality of rooms, toilets, beds and furniture, adequacy of water supply facilities will determine the tariff. Rooms with air-conditioning, hot water supply, TV sets and wi fi facilities among others, will attract higher tariff.

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Last year chief minister Mamata Banerjee cracked the whip on private hospitals and schools and asked them rein in their bills and fee structure for the benefit of the common people.

On February 22, 2017, she held a meeting with several prominent private hospital authorities, where she pulled up some of them for shoddy service and overcharging patients. She also set up a health regulatory commission for the people to take their complaints against hospitals to.

On May 31, 2017, she met the authorities of some private schools, some of which faced her wrath for ‘exorbitant’ fee structure. At the meeting, she constituted a committee with representatives from the government as well as the private schools to regulate the fee structure of schools.

First Published: Feb 27, 2018 18:45 IST