With tourism thriving in the State, the Kerala Government is planning to make licensing and classification regime strict for homestays and to ensure quality services rendered to visitors. while Kerala homestays seek exemption from tax, power tariff to woo new entrepreneurs into the industry.
Kerala’s sprawling traditional homesteads most of which are fast going to ruins. This proposal will attract new people and encourage to turn these heritage homes to tourist accommodations or homestays. This is also in view of the increasing preference shown by foreign tourists to stay in traditional buildings during their visit.
Kerala State Homestay and Tourism Association (Kerala HATS), a consortium of homestay providers and tourism promoters has recommended the state government to exclude homestays from 7A tariff (commercial power connection) and the 0.5 per cent luxury tax. These taxes have been realised from tourists as a result visitors has to pay huge amount during off season. The imposition of the luxury tax will also mean that tourists will have to pay more. Paying huge tax to the government and the amount would run into lakhs of rupees and many would have to wind up their businesses.
As per the statistics available with the Kerala HATS, the number of authorised and classified homestays in Kochi is just 65 while the number of unauthorised ones runs to more than 300. This causes concern not only to the authorities, but also to genuine and serious entrepreneurs,The industry is also keen on putting in place clear-cut regulations to ensure quality of service delivered which is vital to the growth of tourism. If Government waive the luxury tax, it will boost tourism sector on the whole.
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