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With the emergence of Kerala as the most preferred holiday destination for domestic and international tourists, the demand for world-class accommodation too is on the rise. God's Own Country brings to the world, hospitality with a difference, by providing visitors with the best of products and services. The hotels are evaluated and approved based on the facilities and services provided. And to sustain and enhance quality of standards through regular maintenance and expansion projects, the Government provides timely incentives in addition to initiating periodical evaluation.

Approval at project level

The Department of Tourism, Govt. of India, approves hotels at project stage based on documentation, which enables the hotels to get certain benefits from the Government as announced from time to time. The documents required for project approvals are listed below.

  • Project approvals are valid for 5 years. Project approvals of the Department of Tourism, Govt. of India cease 3 months from the date that the hotel becomes operational even if all its rooms are not ready. The hotel must apply for classification within these 3 months.
  • The Department of Tourism, Govt. of India reserves the right to modify the guidelines/terms and conditions from time to time.
  • In the event of any changes in the project plans, the approval must be sought afresh.
  • Authorised officers of the Department of Tourism should be allowed free access to inspect the premises from time to time without prior notice.
  • The hotel must immediately inform the Department of the date from which the hotel becomes operational and apply for classification within 3 months of this date.
  • The promoters must forward regular progress reports for each quarter failing which the project approval would be considered withdrawn.
  • All documents must be valid at the time of application and a Gazetted Officer or Notary must duly certify copies furnished to the Department. Documents in local languages should be accompanied by a translation in English/official language and be duly certified.
  • Projects, where it is proposed to let out part or whole of the hotel on time-share basis will not be eligible for approval.
  • For any change in the category, the promoters must apply afresh with the requisite fees for the category applied for.
  • Any changes in the project plans or management should be informed to the Regional Director, India Tourism Office, 154, Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002 (for 3, 2 & 1 Star categories) or to the Member Secretary (HRACC), H&R Division, Department of Tourism, Govt. of India, C-1 Hutments, Dalhousie Road, New Delhi 110 011 (for 5 - D, 5, 4 Star and Heritage categories) within 30 days. Otherwise the approval will stand withdrawn/terminated.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Hotel classification

  • Classification for newly operational hotels must be sought within 3 months of completion of approved hotel projects. Operating hotels may opt for classification at any stage. However, hotels seeking re-classification should apply for re-classification one year prior to the expiry of the current period of classification.
  • If the hotel fails to reapply 1 year before the expiry of the classification order, the application will be treated as a fresh classification case.
  • Once a hotel applies for classification/re-classification, it should be ready at all times for inspection by the HRACC. No requests for deferment of inspection will be entertained.
  • Classification will be valid for 5 (five) years from the date of issue of orders or in case of re-classification from the date of expiry of the last classification provided that the application has been received within the stipulated time mentioned above, along with all valid documents. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Hotels which propose to let out part of or all its rooms on time-share basis are not eligible to be classified.
  • Hotels will qualify for classification as Heritage hotels provided a minimum 50% of the floor area was built before 1935 and no substantial change has been made to the facade. Hotels, which have been classified/re-classified under Heritage categories prior to issue of these Guidelines will continue under Heritage categories even if they were built between 1935 - 1950.
  • The hotels will be classified according to the presence and quality of facilities and services evaluated against a prescribed checklist of requirements.
  • New projects will be required to adopt environment friendly practices and facilities for physically challenged persons.
  • Existing hotels being classified will need to conform to a phased plan for adding Eco-friendly practices and facilities for physically challenged persons.
  • The hotel is expected to maintain required standards at all times. The Classification Committee may inspect a hotel at any time without prior notice. The Committee may request that its members be accommodated overnight to inspect the level of services.
  • Any deficiencies/rectification pointed out by the HRACC must be complied with within the stipulated time, which has been allotted in consultation with the hotel representatives during inspection. Failure to do so will result in rejection of the application.
  • The committee may assign a star category lower but not higher than that applied for.
  • The hotel must be able to convince the committee that they are taking sufficient steps to conserve energy and harvest water, garbage segregation, and disposal/recycling as per Pollution Control Board (PCB) norms and following other Eco - friendly measures.
  • For any change in the star category/heritage category the promoters must apply a fresh with a fresh application form and requisite fees for the category applied for.
  • Any changes in the plans or management of the hotel should be informed to the HRACC, Govt. of India, Department of Tourism within 30 days otherwise the classification will stand withdrawn/terminated.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. All cases of classification would be finalized within three months of the application being made.
  • The Govt. India Department of Tourism reserves the right to modify the guidelines/terms and conditions from time to time.

Application procedure

  • The fees payable for the project approval and subsequent extension in Rs.
    • 1 Star - 5,000
    • 2 Star - 6,000
    • 3 Star - 8,000
    • 4 Star - 12,000
    • 5 Star- 15,000
    • Heritage category - 12,000
  • The application fees payable for Classification/Re-classification in Rs.
    • 1 Star - 6,000
    • 2 Star - 8,000
    • 3 Star -10,000
    • 4 Star - 15,000
    • 5 Star- 20,000
    • 5 Star Deluxe - 25,000
    • Heritage (Grand, Classic & Heritage categories) - 15,000
  • The duly filled application form in the format available at the Department of Tourism, along with application fee, prescribed clearances, NOCs, certificates etc. should be sent to the Regional Director, India Tourism Office, 154, Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002 (for 3, 2 & 1 Star categories) or to the Member Secretary (HRACC), H&R Division, Department of Tourism, Govt. of India, C-1 Hutments, Dalhousie Road, New Delhi 110 011 (for 5 - D, 5, 4 Star and Heritage categories)

Incentives & Supports

  • Hotels classified by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India will be eligible for claiming 10% state investment subsidy subject to a maximum of Rs. 10 lakhs. Additional incentive of 15% of the investment subject to a maximum of Rs. 5 lakhs for pollution control measures
  • Support to avail loans from state financial corporations
  • Concession in electricity charges
  • Guidance and publicity support from the State Government