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New rules to classify hotels

New Delhi, Aug. 22 (PTI): The tourism ministry has issued new guidelines for classifying 4-star and 5-star hotels in the non-heritage sector and classic category hotels in the heritage sector without insisting on a bar serving alcohol on the premises.

The new provision has come into effect immediately, said a tourism ministry official.

Under the new guidelines, hotels in the categories of 5-star and 4-star in the non-heritage sector and classic category hotels in the heritage sector can now be classified as 5-star with alcohol service, 5-star without alcohol service, 4-star with alcohol service, 4-star without alcohol service, classic heritage with alcohol service and classic heritage without alcohol service.

At present, the ministry classifies hotels on voluntary request in the categories of 1-star, 2-star, 3-star, 4-star, 5-star and 5-star deluxe in the non-heritage sector and in the categories of basic, classic and grand in the heritage sector.

Under the earlier guidelines, alcohol service was essential for hotels seeking classification under the categories of 4-star, 5-star, 5-star deluxe, classic heritage and grand heritage.

The decision will give hotel owners and the management flexibility to decide whether to provide alcohol service in their units, the official said.

However, to protect the customer’s interest, the ministry has made it compulsory for all classified hotels to make their classification status clear on the opening page of their website and also declare such status clearly on their promotional and marketing material without any abbreviation.

The ministry has also decided to simplify the hotel classification and re-classification procedure by not seeking licences and clearances issued by local, state and central authorities for operation of hotels.

These include, among others, the land utilisation certificate, building completion certificate, pollution control clearance, police clearance, fire safety clearance and health and sanitation clearance.

Henceforth, hotels would be required to submit only valid trade licence and bar licence, if applicable, an official said.