The Himachal Pradesh Assembly on Thursday passed the HP Tourism Development and Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeking to amend nine sections of the 2002 Act and making registration of all tourism units, including home stays, mandatory. The Amendment Bill, 2023, was introduced in the assembly by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Wednesday.
Under the provisions of the amendment Bill, all the operational units would be required to apply for registration within 30 days but they would not have to pay any fee till the expiry of the existing registration license.
The new units would have to apply for registration and units operating illegally without registration would face action. The registration of the tourism units would have to be done within 90 days after fulfilling all the formalities.
A provision of six months imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 had been made for the units running without registration under the 2002 Act. The amendment Bill seeks to do away with imprisonment, but the amount of fine would be increased to INR one lakh.
The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development and Registration Act enacted in 2002 had not been revised and changes were required as the tourism sector has undergone tremendous changes in terms of scope activities and the number of persons involved in tourism and allied activities. Besides, proliferation of tourism units, several other activities like water sports, adventure sports, home stays and other such units have come under the ambit of tourism. The concerned department is facing the challenge of regulating the tourism sector and other functions like registration of tourism units.
It also seeks decriminalization of offences and imposition of penalties.