The industry says Rajasthan has to be a cheaper destination to attract large number of tourists and the argument has never carried as much weight as now when the state’s lifeline industry has been hobbled by the pandemic.
But the proposed building bylaws 2020 do not reflect the same logic. The cost of land has risen and allowing more built up and coverage area is the key to reducing the investment cost per room. That would mean the motel or the resort owner can offer rooms at an affordable price.
“If we have to remain competitive, then we have to offer rooms at cheaper rates. The proposed building bylaws need to be aligned to that rationale. For a state like Rajasthan, tourism is very important if we want to create jobs for our youths. Not only that, the sector is a huge revenue generator for the state government,” said Nitin Gupta, head of CII-Rajasthan.
Similar sentiments were echoed by other people in the tourism industry. They said every policy should reflect the reality of that time and capture the trends prevailing. Given the current pandemic, tourism needs a special attention and a different approach.
“The pandemic has shown that there is a huge demand for resorts. The trend for resorts accommodation is increasing as tourists want experiences. Rajasthan is a leisure destination and promoting resorts would be in sync with the character of the destination,” said Sunil Mehta, India head of World Wilderness Congress.
Mehta said that resorts or amusement parks need large sizes of land and unless they are allowed to have an increased built up area the economics will not be there for investments.
Gupta said that hotels, motels, resorts, and amusement parks should be allowed 10% more coverage area to reduce cost of investment per room and that will make them commercially viable. He said, the built up area should be raised from the proposed 0.60% to 1.50% for motels, resorts and amusement parks. In terms of number of floors, resorts and resort housing should be allowed G+4 instead of the proposed G+2.
Mehta also drew attention to the fact that the high cost of land has pushed many investors to opt for hotels instead of resorts even though the current trend is in favour of experiences and activity-based facilities.
“There are not many investors who are looking to build resorts and the prime reason for this is the cost of land. Given the current preferences, we should build more resorts and that will make the destination more attractive for the tourists,” said Mehta.