Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Book on Indian BnBs: A perspective on Environmental feasibility in the Hospitality sector

Wishing you a very Happy World Environment day 2018! This blog is an attempt to bring to light the various issues that the Mother Earth is facing and how we can all focus on them from a Tourism and Hospitality perspective. In addition to this, I shall also throw light on my co-authored book, ‘Indian BnBs: An emerging disruptor in the Hospitality sector’ and present how Bed and Breakfast accommodations (BnBs) are environmentally friendly!

About World Environment Day 2018

World Environment Day is a UN Environment-led global event which takes place on June 5 each year. It is celebrated by thousands of communities worldwide. It marks a day when 7.6 billion (as on June 2018) people spread across the globe are expected to take ownership of their environment and to actively engage in the protection of our Earth.

World Environment Day 2018: Beat Plastic Pollution

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day 2018 is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. The objective is to urge all stakeholders ie. Every single person on the Earth to come together and explore sustainable alternatives to energy production and consumption.

As a Tourism and Hospitality expert and academician, I shall throw light on how you as a tourism stakeholder can reduce the stress on Mother Earth. Whenever we think of travel and tourism, the first thing that comes to the mind is the relaxation of mind and enjoying a few moments in luxury. However, do you know the Environmental cost attached with the term of ‘Luxury’?

Hotels vs BnBs: Environmental sustainability check

Hotels are the luxurious way of living with a waiter serving you like you were of royal lineage and everything available at the ring of a phone. Is such a luxurious treatment costing anything on the environment or is the environment is in full charity mode since decades?
My co-authored book, Indian BnBs: An Emerging disruptor in the Hospitality sector throws light on the environmental feasibility of hotels and how such an issue can be overcome through alternate accommodation option like Bed and Breakfast accommodations (BnBs).

Book "Indian BnBs: An emerging disruptor in the Hospitality sector"

In India, not only hotels are in shortage, there are other bigger problems to meet the demand for more hotels in Indian cities. It is mentioned in my book that availability of any additional room in 5 stars or 3 star or equivalent category costs INR 10 million and INR 3.5 million respectively. Thus, huge investment is required in this sector. High-cost impediment is clubbed with other rigmaroles like seeking 62 Licences/permissions right from building plan, firefighting, FSSAI certificates, bar license etc. Land is too scarce in cities and our latest land acquisition policies make it further difficult to think about new hotel to come up.

BnBs as an alternate mode of accommodation

Among the alternatives in the accommodation, sector are BnBs / homestays, which are carved out of existing rooms in the homes. At present, there are about 10,000 rooms all over India are registered to be used as  “ stays option for tourists”. India is always bubbling with activity be it a fair, religious event, conference, sports extravaganza like the IPL or for medical facilities etc. Such events and activities attract larger footfall. Naturally, organizers and stakeholders are in search of homes where incoming guests /spectators/participants would be accommodated. Such homes converted into BnBs/Homestays could be a very useful way of matching demand and supply of rooms. No authority or agency can create temporary hotels to meet the intermittent demand of rooms in the wake of such fair/festivals/tourist meets.

A homely Bed and Breakfast (BnB) in Delhi

So as tourism expert, I can foresee the future of homestays as a disruptor in accommodation aka hospitality industry. This demand is being met by international players like Airbnb which court controversy on and off. It is claimed by Airbnb that there are already 75000 rooms listing in Indian cities through hardly 5%  or so are registered or authentic. Can you stay in a home who is not accountable to the government? Thus, registration of BnBs is a necessary prerequisite.
Question is how BnBs will disrupt hotels? Sooner or later market share of BnBs is going to increase in India.

In next 3-4  years, tourism development authorities /corporations in states and UTs are expected to handhold BnBs’ registration process to provide convenience and develop confidence amongst aspiring home owners to convert some of their rooms into BnBs. Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka are already taking leads while northeast states are also catching up with rest of India.
India has to go a long way to meet rooms requirement and further longer way to get existing vacant rooms to be converted into “ authentic BnBs”.

Here’s wishing luck to Indian Hospitality sector and to the BnB owners!

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