India’s new board to put hotel projects on fast track

RESPONDING to the growing need for hotels in India, a Hospitality Development and Promotion Board (HDPB) has been set up for the approving and facilitating of hotel projects, allowing for speedy clearances.

Announcing the new initiative at the Hotel Investment Forum India, Tourism Minister Kumari Selja said: “We are aware that hotels require multiple permissions, up to 64 in some cases, for start-up in India…HDPB will be operational soon and we hope to encourage greater investment in this area.”

The board will be chaired by the Secretary (Tourism), Government of India, and members of the board will comprise representatives from relevant ministries and departments as well as two non-official members who have knowledge of the hospitality sector.

As requirements and permissions for hotel start-ups vary from state to state, state governments will also be encouraged to set up similar state-level boards.

India currently has 159,000 hotel rooms, out of which 63,542 fall into the branded category. Among the latter, less than half belong to foreign hotel brands.

Another 62,000 rooms are expected to be added by 2015, and Horwath HTL India has predicted that the country will need 375,000 rooms in eight to 10 years.

By Anand & Madhura Katti

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