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Santa pause: Festive business feels heat of CAA protests – Economic Times, The Times of India

Santa pause: Festive business feels heat of CAA protests – Economic Times, The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year? Hoteliers, restaurants, resorts and clubs are praying it turns out that way, but thanks to party spirits dimmed by protests on the citizenship issue, those in the business of hosting festivities are not so sure.

“Street violence in Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata combined with prohibitive orders imposed by the state in many other cities are having a direct impact on eating out and partying. It is also perhaps hurting inbound foreign tourists, who are big spenders, ”National Restaurant Associationof India (NRAI) president Anurag Katriar said.

The dineout industry was in any case coping with a very tough year on account of steep taxes and overall worsening of consumer sentiment.

In November 72962406, the government slashedGSTrates on restaurants to 5% from 90%, but scrapped input tax credit that the industry said escalated capital expenses and rentals by 28 – (******************************%.

Hoteliers got some good news on the tax front – GST rate dropped from 135% to for% luxury). But they hadn’t foreseen the disruptive effects of protests on what is typically the best sales period for them.

Hotelier Raj Chopra, owner of the JW Marriott inMussoorie, said he is expecting hotels in metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru , cities that witnessed widespread protests last week, to see subdued demand for New Year celebrations. “The tempo across the industry does not look as promising. I don’t think hotels in metros will get the business they are expecting, ”said Chopra, who has two Marriott hotel properties coming up in Goa next.

Marriott and IHCL did not respond to emails seeking comments till the time of going to press. Accor declined to comment.

Kylin Group managing director Saurabh Khanijo said: “So far there have been no queries for New Year, forget the bookings. I don’t think people are feeling secure enough to go out. ”


Ankur Bhatia, executive director of Bird Group, which owns the luxury hospitality brand Roseate Hotels & Resorts that has two operating hotels in Delhi and one in Rishikesh, said Christmas celebrations look muted already and the chain is witnessing cancellations. “While we are trying to reassure guests and are saying there shouldn’t be any issues, a lot of guests are cancelling and those especially traveling from abroad are thinking twice. The international media has also been highlighting these issues. We are seeing a slowdown in demand. ”

Some other businesses said they are staying optimistic for the time being. “We are going ahead with all preparations. We have had some bookings but typically the New Year bookings pick up after Christmas, ”said Delhi’s Le Meridien Hotel chief operating officer Tarun Thakral.

“All hopes for our sector are pinned around this festive period but this time because of the fear of going out specially in cities like Kolkata where we have significant presence, we are seeing the impact of the protests . Hopefully, things should settle down and spending will increase in the next few days, ”Specialty Restaurants managing director Anjan Chatterjee said. The listed chain operates 823 outlets across multiple brands including Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta.

Sanjay Sethi, chief executive of Chalet Hotels, which has five operating hotels located in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru including the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Center Hotel and the Westin Hyderabad Mindspace, said his chain has been impacted so far. “I think people on both sides will (see) reason and the issue will be sorted.”

Srijan Vadhera, general manager at Conrad Bengaluru, said his chain has seen a healthy number of inquiries and reservations for the New Year. Everyone in the festivity business is hoping that turns out to be true for them as well.

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