Tourism department censures hoteliers against arbitrary tariff hike

With complaints of some hoteliers arbitrarily increasing tariffs, the tourism department has censured them against any unilateral hike and threatened to take strict action against violators.

A notice issued by the tourism department Kashmir states “with the gradual increase in the tourist influx into the Kashmir Valley during this winter season, there are reports that hotelkeepers of Kashmir Valley particularly at Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Srinagar have hiked their hotel tariffs abruptly. Tourism Sector across the world in general and Kashmir Valley, in particular, has suffered immensely during the past 18 months,” the notice reads.

The notice added at this juncture of time, it is imperative upon hotelkeepers that they would come to the fore with concessional tariffs to attract more and more tourist traffic to the Valley from the potential tourist markets within the country and pave the way to the speedy revival of the tourist activities in a sustained manner.

“Any complaints of overcharging or abrupt price hike may jeopardize the coordinated promotional efforts by the Department and Travel Trade Associations for boosting tourist activities and are sure to bring a bad name to the brand Kashmir. All the tourist traders including hotelkeepers and travel agents have a responsible role in boosting tourist arrivals into the Valley,” it said.

“It is, therefore, hereby enjoined upon all the hotelkeepers of the Kashmir Valley particularly at Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Srinagar to avoid any unwarranted hike in the tariffs under all circumstances. As per provisions of the J-K Registration of Tourist Trade Act, 1978/2011 the tariffs should be conspicuously displayed at the hotel premises. Tariffs should be commensurate to the standard of the hotels, accommodation, service, and food facilities available at each hotel, and should prevail for one season without any upward fluctuations. Any complaints received in this manner shall be dealt with strictly and swiftly as per provisions under the J-K Registration of Tourist Trade Act,” the notice reads.

An official said “We have received complaints that hoteliers who were charging Rs 10,000 per room have increased their tariffs by more than 50 percent which is not a good thing given the fact that Kashmir’s tourism is on path on revival.”