The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Local links, global goal

A rethink on the taxation burden weighing down business, inclusion of one and two-star and heritage hotels under the zero-duty import ambit, encouraging response towards formation of a tourism advisory council at the state level, land pledged for an international-standard catering technology institute in Calcutta…

The local hospitality trade sees a plethora of pluses in the recently-concluded 39th annual convention of the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), held in the city after a gap of eight years. Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who inaugurated the national summit, stressed the need to develop eco-tourism, heritage tourism and golf-driven tourism in the state.

“We are extremely happy with the unstinting support extended to the trade by the state government and will do our best to showcase Bengal’s tourism potential to not just a national, but a global audience,” said S.K. Khullar, outgoing FHRAI president.

Khullar, owner of Amber restaurant, who handed over the president’s mantle to Vivek Nair of the western zone, will continue to be vice-president of the federation from the eastern region, while Rajesh Mishra of Mishra’s will be the honorary treasurer.

The Calcutta Declaration, an agreement among hotel industry representatives, tour operators and travel agents to meet every two months and discuss issues affecting all the arms of the hospitality trade, was hailed by S.S. ‘Baba’ Kothari, president, Hotels & Restaurants Association of Eastern India (HRAEI).

“A regular platform for interface will help all the parties involved in the business, and address common issues like undercutting, off-season occupancy, new trends, etc, in a focused manner,” Kothari added.

A significant feather in the cap of Calcutta’s food trade came in the shape of the FHRAI award for the ‘Young restaurant entrepreneur of the year 2003’, which went to Nitin Kohli of Grain Of Salt.

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