Mumbai: Hotels and homestays in India will be ranked for sanitation and hygiene in the first such exercise by the Union Tourism Ministry. The idea behind the proposal is to give tourists more comfort and enable them to make choices.

Consultations are on between the Ministries of Tourism, Urban Affairs, and Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation to develop a rating framework.  “It’s a work in progress,” said V Vidyavathi, Union Tourism Secretary, on sidelines of CII Tourism summit on Friday. 

Will incentivize improvement

The rating framework will cover all tourism business such as hotels and homestays. For now the idea is to keep participation voluntary.The tourism ministry is already promoting sustainable tourism under its ‘Travel for LiFE’ programme. It’s latest initiative comes as it targets an increase in foreign tourists and make India a year-round destination. “Competition breeds quality. Ratings will incentivize improvement,” Vithal Kamat, founder of Orchid Hotels remarked.

India received 10.9 million foreign tourists in 2019. Between January-August, there were 5.7 million tourist arrivals with Bangladesh, US, UK, Canada and Australia as the largest source markets.The tourism ministry hopes that foreign tourist arrivals will reach pre-Covid levels by next March.

“Tourism recovery post-Covid 19 pandemic is encouraging. Inbound travel is picking up. Our G-20 presidency has generated a lot of interest about India. Our focus is to make India a 365 day destination and attract repeat visitors,” Vidyavathi said. Director General of Tourism, Manisha Saxena said the department is working with Indian diplomatic missions for promotion. Incredible India website is being revamped and road shows are being held for awareness.