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New Delhi, May 27, 2020
The Ministry of Tourism has extended the validity period of approval/classifications of hotels and other accommodation extended till June 30 in the wake of ongoing restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry also granted six months’ relaxation or extension of the approval given to all categories of Tour Operators, Travel Agents and Tourist Transport Operators.
The Ministry of Tourism classifies hotels under the star rating system to conform to the expected standards for different classes of tourists. Under this 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, Homestays, Guest house, and so on. The classification/ certification is valid for a period of five years.
Considering the current situation when the hospitality industry is going through a very difficult time in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown that has severely impacted the accommodation sector, it has been decided that the 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 the period (24.03.2020 to 29.6.2020) are deemed to be extended till 30.06.2020, the Ministry said in a press release.
Similarly, the Ministry has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators, 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 of Tourism 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 subject to the following conditions:
The previous approval expired or the current approval expires during the period of 20th March 2020 (i.e. the date of issuance of the order by the Ministry for discontinuation of inspection work by India Tourism offices) till continuation of lockdown, and that they had applied for renewal before expiry of their current/previous approval.