GST hits MICE hospitality adversely

MUMBAI: Almost a month into GST, hoteliers complained on Saturday that they have been “hit hard” in the hospitality industry’s money-spinner, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) segment, following close on the heels of the ban on liquor near highways.

There have been huge cancellations or postponements of pre-booked events on account of an anomaly in GST — that MICE activities held in hotels outside of home state would not be eligible for Input Tax Credit (ITC), said a top official of Hotel & Restaurant Association of India (HRAWI).

“There is an overall reduction in MICE bookings in hotels across India as compared to the same period last year, advance bookings are being cancelled and new bookings are not happening,” rued HRAWI Preisdent Dilip Datwani.

Coming back-to-back after the recent liquor ban on highways, GST has acted as a double-whammy to the industry already suffering reduced revenues and Datwani apprehends many establishments may be compelled to scale down operations or shut down, with wide ramifications.

In view of MICE Tourism as an important and fastest-growing segments of the hospitality industry, Datwani urged the government to tackle this particular aspect of GST which has a potential to disrupt growth.

For instance, the upcoming winter wedding season, one of the top grossers for the banquets division of any hotel, is predicted to be flat this year, corporate are holding events in the same state where they are registered under GST, hitting the hoteliers.


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