When you’re talking about a country with extreme temperatures and tap water you almost assuredly cannot drink as an outsider, a nice hotel makes all the difference. Knowing this, the nicest hotels in India are expensive even by western standards, not necessarily out of greed – but by the 28% tax on hotels over 7500 rupees per night, which is about $105. Per One Mile At A Time, India is tinkering with its taxation system, and hotel taxes will drop 10%, which isn’t small change.
One of the best values for travel in India is the Oberoi “Exotic Vacations” package, which takes hotels that can easily fetch over $1500 per night and bring them to a flat rate that’s a fraction, provided you stay at a few of their hotels, and for a set number of nights. The more nights, the lower the prices. But these “deals” were always somewhat let down by the fact that they were not inclusive of the 28% tax added on. That 28% created quite a shock to the system, when you’re talking about $1000s.
Per new directives in travel taxation, hotel taxes for high end hotels will now max out at 18%, a 10% reduction on the current rates. The changes will take place October 1st. For hotels under the 7500 rupee threshold, taxes will drop 8% as well.
Now, of course, hotels could raise rates, since travellers are used to marketed costs being higher, but since these taxes were never something the hotels shared the spoils of, there’s no directly correlated reason for them to do so. Plus, with increasing competition in this emerging market, prices seem to be going in the opposite direction.
India is one of the most satisfying tourism destinations in the world, with widely varied topography, cuisine and culture from North to South. If you do go, seeing one city simply isn’t the way to go. Be sure to plan side trips, and consider flying into the north and out of the south, or vice versa to see all that this prideful nation offers. Google “Shimla”, and you’ll have an idea about the nature part…