Revenge travel is now globally acknowledged but heard of investment with a vengeance? Well, if official records be any benchmark, the hospitality industry in the desert state of Rajasthan has seen a marked increase in project registrations post-Covid.
In 2019, the state tourism department saw 187 new projects. In 2022, it increased to 206. “In the last two months, 87 projects have been registered with the tourism department. If the trend continues, this year will set new records in investments,” shared a senior government department functionary.
Rajasthan is now home to upmarket branded properties, both domestic and international. Upscale hoteliers Raffles, Grand Hyatt and W, are all work-in-progress in Jaipur.
According to Gayatri Rathore, principal secretary, (Tourism), Rajasthan has investor-friendly schemes. “No state matches the incentives we provide to the tourism industry,” she claimed.
In fact, Rajasthan is the first state in the country to provide industry status benefits to the hospitality sector. Under the scheme, hotels and resorts get 30% tariff rebate on electricity, which accounts for the biggest operating cost after manpower for a hotel. Similarly, there is 80% relief on urban development tax for the tourism units.
Ranvijay Singh, joint secretary, Hotels and Restaurants Association of Rajasthan, added: “We are not just a great tourist destination. Our policies are the most transparent and least cumbersome. Hence, investment activity in the state has been on an upswing. Even bigger cities in India do not have the boutique hotel brands that exist in Rajasthan.”
He forecasts a phenomenal growth post the “unit tourism policy.”
“We expect this policy to be better than the previous one. That will trigger another wave of investment proposals. More importantly, the tourists are coming in larger numbers and the Rajasthan is now a hot name for destination weddings. The whole ecosystem is supporting the investors,” as he put it.
The department is participating in national and international tourism exhibitions to attract more tourists. In fact, in the past two-and-half months, the proposed investments are closer to half of what had been proposed in the entire 2022.
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