Hospitality: cash crunch has left little room for growth

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018

Hospitality sector hit by liquor ban, GST as well, but e-payments was well-appreciated dessert

“The sudden announcement of demonetisation came as a shock to us,” recalls Tarun Thakral, COO, Le Meridien, New Delhi. “In the initial stage, we suffered a lot of loss. Many banquet bookings were cancelled and a lot of functions were scaled down as people were facing a cash crunch.”

“Room bookings, from where we get 60 per cent of our revenue, saw a huge decline. However, after some time things started to change for the better,” he adds.

Foreign tourists visiting India faced the heat, too. There were long queues outside foreign exchange dealers.

Dilip Datwani, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India, says: “The restaurants and hotels sector saw a huge decline after the announcement of demonetisation due to shortage of money. We lost out on 30 per cent of business. Also, taking care of the staff was really a challenge during that time.”

Further blows

The sector is still facing hiccups, as demonetisation was followed by other announcements that affected the industry. “The trigger was started by demonetisation and now we are facing issues because of the liquor ban and GST,” says Datwani

Post demonetisation, there has been an increase in the number of e-transactions and cheque payments. If fact, even those who have cash are not too keen on putting it on display, say industry insiders.

“After demonetisation, people have realised the need to have alternative payment channels,” says Amitava Ghosh, CEO of Transcorp.

Published on November 07, 2017

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