With the costs of electricity and water weighing down the hotel industry, the South India Hotels and Restaurants Association has asked for a reduction in utility tariffs to ensure the sector weathers the economic downturn.

Addressing presspersons on Saturday, T. Natarajan, Honorary Secretary of the association, said the tariffs for hotel industry, which intensively consume water and electricity, should be made on par with other comparable industries. “Hotels are a major employment provider, revenue and foreign exchange generator.

Lowering rates will ensure stimulation of growth,” he said.

Adding to the misery is the power deficit in the states, which have forced hotels and restaurants to extensively use in-house power generators.

This has led to huge overheads, said the association which represents up to 1,100 hotels and restaurants in the four southern states.

Licenses

The Association further asked for bar license fees to be reduced among other demands. It wants the introduction of licenses — that can be more expensive than the normal license — that allow the restaurants and bars in three-, four- and five-star hotels to be opened for 24 hours.

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