Category Archives: Technology Trend

How GST Return Filing Works For The Indian Hospitality Industry

Filing tax returns poses as a very vital step towards maintaining the country’s economy and one’s business. That’s why, with new tax regime rolled out in India comes the major responsibility of GST return filing; which is going to be a monthly deal from September 2017.

Previously, we researched and analyzed the impact of GST on the Indian hospitality industry. Adhering to the slab-wise GST structure for the industry, the hoteliers and restaurateurs will need to be discrete and accurate with the sales and purchase data and clear up the disputes and amendments.

Ergo, following our impact analysis, we’ve come up with the action steps you as a hotelier (or a restaurateur) need to take for GST return filing for your hotel (or a restaurant).

Temporary Steps for July and August: GSTR-3B Form Submission

What do hotels and restaurants need to know?

Mandatory for all GST registrants, GSTR-3B is a simple and summarized form introduced by the government to let you file GST returns for the months of July and August*. You’ll need to file GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 for both these months later in September.

GSTR-3B won’t be applicable from September onward, and you’ll have to file complete GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 forms for your tax returns.

You won’t need to provide detailed invoice information for GSTR-3B, and rather only the total amount pertaining to each field in the required format of the data.

Filing GSTR-3B is mandatory for hotels and restaurants who fall under the GST regime. If you’ve had no transactions at your property in these two months, you need to file a nil GSTR-3B form.

Subject to the announcements made by the government to not accept GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 in future for any reasons whatsoever, it’ll be mandatory for you to file GSTR-3B for that month.

What is GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3?

Under the GST law, a normal taxpayer will be required to furnish three returns monthly and one annual return. The three returns monthly are said to be as: GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3.

All three of these returns are mandatory for all GST registrants. You’ll need to file NIL returns if you’ve had no transactions in that month. In addition, Input Tax Credit will have its own mechanism for these returns, such that, CGST credit cannot be set off against SGST liability and vice versa.

What is GSTR1?

GSTR1 will include the outward supplies you made to other registered businesses (B2B) at invoice-level and that to the unregistered businesses at rate-wise level.

The GSTR1 form contains 13 tables in all, according to which you’ll need to submit the sales data of your property of that month. Considering your hotel (and/or restaurant, as the case maybe) type and the sale you made, only some tables will be applicable for you and not all.

Using your GSTR1, the government will populate the GSTR 2A of the recipient (or guest) who purchased from you and your GSTR3. Once GSTR 2A is populated, you’ll be able to accept the sales; which will in turn lead your recipient to file his GSTR 2 in next 5 days. That’s why, you are given 5 days time to amend your GSTR1; post which you won’t be able to make any revisions in the return.

What is GSTR2?

The GSTR2 will contain details of the inward supplies you purchased in the month. The supplier you purchased from will be able to make the amendments to his GSTR 1A after you’ve uploaded your GSTR2 form.

In this form, you’ll need to mention whether you’re eligible for Input Tax Credit or not. If yes, you will have to fill the amount of eligible Input Tax Credit as mentioned in the invoice.

What is GSTR3?

Most of the details in the GSTR3 will be auto-populated from GSTR1 and GSTR2. Only some information, you’ll have to verify and add. If you have not filed your GSTR1 and GSTR2, you won’t be allowed to file your GSTR3.

The process goes like, once your GSTR3 gets generated, you’ll have to pay off the tax credit and then file the GSTR3.

Steps hotels and restaurants need to follow after September

The GST return filing is going to be a 3-step detailed process mainly, followed by the actual payment. This is how its going to work:

What’s the timeline for GST return filing?

Following is how the revised GST returns filing dates look like:

For the Month GSTR-3B GSTR1 GSTR2 GSTR3
July 25th August, 2017 1st-10th October, 2017 31st October, 2017 10th November, 2017
August 20th September, 2017 1st-5th October, 2017 6th-10th October, 2017 10th-15th October, 2017
September onward –NA– 10th of next month 15th of next month 20th of next month

How can hotels and restaurants file their GST returns?

Filing GST returns under the newly introduced GST regime is extremely pivotal as the delay or mismatch or absence of filing the returns will influence the credibility of your business, your compliance rating and prompt returns. There are primarily 4 ways in which you can file your GST returns. Nonetheless, you’ll have to solve the disputes yourself regardless of the method you choose to file your GST returns.

  1. Directly via the Government Portal: The most simple and straightforward method to file your GST returns. Calculate, form and submit your returns manually on the government portal, make amendments and finalize the tax payable.

    Submission Amendments Cost Efforts
    Manually via the portal Manually via the portal NIL 10-12 days to gather data

    Major Hassle: Since you need to gather and submit all the details manually, it can give way to errors and inaccuracy.

  2. Through a Certified GST Practitioner: Considering the current scenario, most of the hoteliers and restaurateurs rely on their GST practitioner to submit their GST returns.

    Submission Amendments Cost Efforts
    GST Practitioner Guided by GST Practitioner ~ INR 5000/month 10-12 days to gather data

    Major Hassles: Coordination with GST practitioner, troubles of gathering the data and eventually having to make amendments and resolve disputes manually under the guidance of the practitioner.

  3. Through a GSP: Either you can directly contact any GSP from the GSTN approved 34 GSPs across the country, or choose a hospitality solutions provider who has a ready integration with GSP with their hotel PMS and restaurant POS systems.

    Submission Amendments Cost Efforts
    GST Software of the GSP GST Software of the GSP Cost of the GSP 10-12 days to gather data

    Major Advantage: You’ll be able to make amendments in the GSP software directly from the interface itself, thus reducing your hassles of downloading the file and manually solving the disputes. Besides, an accounting software may or may not be suitable for hotels and restaurants, but any GSP will be ideal for the industry.

    Note: We have ready integration with JioGST GSP, such that, you’ll be able to submit your GSTR1 data directly from our systems automatically to the GST software. Cost of getting JioGST GSP will be INR 2000/month with JioFi device and unlimited 4G data connection.

  4. Through Tally Accounting Software: Tally is a certified GSP as well a GST-ready accounting software, which will provide you with all of your purchase data accurately in the required format.

    Our GST-compliant hotel and restaurant management systems have a ready integration with Tally. On that account, if you choose this option for filing your tax returns; you’ll have GSTR1 data ready from our software and GSTR2 data ready from Tally.

    In addition, Tally being a GSP; you will be able to directly submit your tax returns to the government through Tally’s GST software.

    Submission Amendments Cost Efforts
    Through Tally Through Tally Cost of Tally software 3-4 days to gather data sales data

    Major Advantage: Since Tally is a GSP and a GST-ready accounting software, you’ll be cutting down a step here to get GSTR2 data and submit your returns through a single means.

Why having a hotel or restaurant software is recommended?

In either of the above cases, you’ll have to collect and submit your sales (outward supplies) and purchase (inward supplies) data from your accountant (if you have). Consequently, while gathering the sales and purchase details; your hotel or a restaurant will need help from both – the practitioner/accountant and the PMS or POS software you use. Automated operations, ready data, and several other benefits of a GST-ready hotel and restaurant software can help you in filing GST returns.

  • Available Data: GST-compliant PMS or restaurant POS systems will provide you with ready GSTR1 data right from the system, thereby in the long run, easing your efforts of filing GSTR1 and even in filing annual returns.
  • Cost-effective: Whether you choose to go via the government portal directly, or hire a practitioner, or any other way, getting a hotel or restaurant software and an accounting software will prove to be considerably cost-effective and time and effort-saving.

    Compared Costs*

    GST Practitioner Cloud PMS On-premise PMS On-premise POS Tally Software
    Cost/Month = ~INR 5000 Cost/Month = ~INR 2000 per 10 rooms One-time license fee = ~INR 46000 One-time license fee = ~INR 23000 One-time license fee = INR 18000 for one user
    Cost/Year = ~INR 60000 Cost/Year = ~INR 24000 Optional AMC Charges = ~INR 6900/year after 1st year Optional AMC Charges = ~INR 3450/year after 1st year License Renewal Fees = INR 3600/year

    *The prices shown here may tend to change as per your requirements.

  • Interface with GSP: The all set interface of the software with a GSP will help you submit your returns automatically from your hotel and restaurant software through the GSP software and to the government.
  • Error-free: Without a software, the returns that you submit may be prone to manual errors and calculation glitches. But with the PMS or POS software’s automated operations, you have minimal worries about accuracy.
  • Manual Amendments: In case of any amendments, you’ll have to manually download the file from the government portal, make the necessary changes and upload the JSON file (mediator file) again, thence making it a tedious process.

Suffice to say that, purchasing a software for your hotel or restaurant will be highly beneficial for your business, and help you in your GST return filing; regardless of the option you choose from above.

We have GST-compliant cloud PMS, on-premise PMS and on-premise restaurant POS system to give you everything you may need in managing your taxes and operations, in addition to offering customized GST reports and GST-compliant invoices.

Handling and filing multiple returns may take a toll on your business sooner or later. Solidify and streamline your operations in this prevalent GST regime with GST-ready hotel software and restaurant management system.

Check out our GST-compliant systems:

eZee Absolute Cloud PMSeZee BurrP! On-premise POSeZee FrontDesk On-premise PMS

Note: All the information given on this page is subject to the notifications passed by the GSTN and Government of India.

How to save hotel business from closing down: Turnaround tips

If it is a business, it has got risks involved.

Here the word risk holds true in every sense. When you fail in risk management, your business fails. Same goes for hotel business plan. Hospitality is all about relationship between a guest and a host, wherein host receives guest with goodwill, including reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. (That’s what Wikipedia says) This very nature of hospitality business makes it inherently competitive, volatile and thereby subjected to go downhill.

Hotelier worrying about his failing hotel business plan

The industry is at a touch-point where hardly one-third of hospitality business start-ups sustain and make it longer than a decade. Evidently, most of the properties that are opening up now won’t be around in next couple of years. With low overall profit, hotel businesses might struggle to outlast an average business lifespan.

Hospitality industry as a business

When it comes to running a hotel business, there is a lot more than just people checking in and out. Hotels operate 24/7.

Hotel management covers diversified operations and departments such as customer service, staff management, inventory and assets management, hiring, training, marketing, accounting. Therefore, it takes immense expertise to sustain the business and last long in industry.

My business is working very well. Why should I read this?

Because precaution is better than cure. Simple!

It is better to safeguard your business from a set of events and situation leading to close-down than trying to fix when the ship starts sinking. Send this research to your fellow hoteliers for them to stay mindful of these key practices. Nevertheless, this guide shall give a slight hint of what can cause a turmoil in your smoothly running business and how to overcome it.

Reaching to the root of the subject under consideration, Customer Success Team at eZee approached some businesses to figure out why a hotel business plan would collapse. Here’s what they found:

What do hotel businesses do wrong?

Businesses don’t fail just like that; at times, they simply fail to reach their full potential. Economy, guests influx, places, expenses, wage and goods costs and management can be hard.

Not all reasons are responsible to collapse a hotel business plan, but these are factors that could erode your profit. Presented below is just a collection of how-and-why-it-happened. You can mitigate risk of damage by keeping in mind these strategies in order to radically elevate business performance index.

Stay prepared and take insights from this compilation and you’ll learn what to do and what not to do. Let’s explore!

Bad reviews by guests speak a lot about you!

Bad reviews are never healthy for any organization, let alone hotels. Poor customer satisfaction renders negative reviews. When a guest is not happy with services they often take it to internet and it can be hazardous to your business.

Unfortunately, one such bad review can attract plenty of other bad reviews too. Impact of testimony is so severe that it can influence many other potential guests. Ripple effect is you might end up losing existing guests for life. Displeased guests can spread the word about your not-so-good services like anything. And online review websites allow them to speak aloud about their experience with you.

The best way to deal with negative reviews is to RESPOND to them, quickly and politely. Justify their pain points and restore their faith in you again.

Mind well, your response to a negative review helps other guests decide whether to visit you again or not.

Solid burns: Unfavorable market conditions

The neighbourhood your hotel is standing in changes with each passing moment. The market you operate in is no different. When economy is at the downturn, value fluctuations of assets and business; and subsequently revenue; can be dead expensive. Poor market timing, declination in year-over-year, resulting in compact RevPAR, all these are signals that you are falling through cracks.

If only you have ample capital/refinancing resources and workforce, you can pull through the distressed downturn environment and possibly recoup your CapEx. Otherwise, it may bring about foreclosure or bankruptcy.

If you don’t have comprehensive knowledge of conventional operations in industry, market behaviors; then all that you need is a concrete advice.

Incompetent staff leading to amateurish performance

Hiring inexpensive readily available staff can cost loads to your business. When a hotel project is administered by amateur hands, it would eventually lead to subpar results and probably a complete disaster too. The incompetent people in operations create impedance for an organization to operate in full swing. When your staff is not adequately skilled, it increases cost contingency.

However, recruiting right people can prove to be a difficult job. The right people with a solid track record have diligence to directly impact business performance to the bottom line.

Employee dissatisfaction

The properties that do not have a defined ‘people culture’ always face a hard time in business. How would a discontent staff create a pleasant ambiance for guests? When your hotel is resolute to serve guests in the best manner, you need a victorious team.

You cannot build a winning team if people keep coming and going.

Educate your staff, provide them with growth and advancement, cultivate the harmonious mindset among them and reap the reward.

Huge debts, non-payment of loans, cost overrun

When cash flow reaches the bottom, your last resort would be reserved assets or liquidation. But when even this fails, you default and simply lose the property. Incidentally, higher leverage typically renders a hefty interest rate. Simply put, as capital cost and debts go higher, so does risk to reward ratio.

When you borrow money (for renovations, maintenance, property extensions, or for any sane reason) and accrue huge debts, you put your hotel business plan at stake. In case if you fail in repayment, then you have no choice but to close down.

Not to forget, upon failing to abide by loan agreements, lenders can legally recover the loan amount by liquidating hotel assets.

When your reserved capital is insufficient, it results in reduced profit and thereby quality; brand erosion, and eventually lifespan of business – something that took years to build.

The remedy is a disciplined approach to managing cash flow and CapEx. You should stress test entire business plan in order to safeguard from potential downswings of seasonal impacts and industry cycles.

Rule of thumb
Always set aside a contingency amount that you can sustain on for at least 6-12 months for repayments or operational essentials. Keep a check on expenditures, Because, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Old school business model: Non-adaptability to market changes

Some businesses still operate as if they are in stone age. Is yours one of them?

  • Are you relying solely on past guest referrals and walk-in guests?
  • No additional efforts to escalate growth rate?
  • Have boring old-world menus and services?
  • Are you miles away from creativity and contemporary swag?

If you have these symptoms then you are suffering from ‘non-adaptability issue’ and you are prone to definite eventual business failure.

Only treatment is to implement new dynamics of hospitality technology to take business to a new level, and those are,

  • Staying updated with new industry trends and tools,
  • Technology: Installing a Hotel Management System,
  • Booking Engine and Channel Manager to capture online bookings (70% of travellers book a room online! Did you know that?)
  • Adapting practices and systems that bring in higher productivity and effective returns.

Lack or absence of Marketing/Internet presence

If you are still not able to let go of those obsolete marketing methods, matter-of-factly death bells are ringing for you.

There was a time when just putting a neon sign for vacancy outside hotel entrance, you could bring in guests looking for accommodation. But times have changed! A neon sign does not work anymore.

Today, marketing has grown to be deeply sophisticated and systematic. You can target guests you are looking for. There are segments of audience, channels to approach them, and all tools to get global: Online travel agents, distribution systems, software to capture bookings, and websites; everything to help you showcase your services right from your desk.

Then you have emails, mobile apps, and social media to connect with your guests in each and every corner of world. Travellers have gone digital!

Get yourself enrolled in an online marketing class to learn nooks and crannies and to master all those modern marketing and advertising strategies and tools. However, before jumping in unpredictable results, all you need is right systems and right strategies to achieve long term growth.

Bottom line is, you should be able to attract right guests in right season, utilize complete inventory, drive more profits and manage business like a boss!

Lastly, perspective matters. Take time to analyze what your guests seek from you. And channelize your efforts and resources accordingly to deliver what is expected.

Bad location

Your location can be quite weak to expect reasonable guest influx or it can weaken over time due to changing landscapes of a location.

How easily your guests can find you? Is parking available? Are you close to popular entertainment or sports venues attracting high footfalls? These factors signify right location as well as property valuation.

Sometimes, property is located at a wrong or marginal location, hence wrongfully calculating potential business variables might lead to downfall. Once infrastructure is built, it becomes a permanent address of your hotel till it running, it cannot be moved. Nevertheless, market condition would always change, in your favor or against you.

In a Nutshell
The location based factors such as cash flow, ROI, asset valuation, exit value, and everything that you can imagine; always speculate them as early as you can to withstand varying location dynamics.

Shortcomings in management

When management thinks they can do away with business, that is when downfall starts. If there are,

  • Disparate views in managerial body,
  • End of contract or lease for property,
  • Discontinued investment,
  • Underwriting and liability risk,
  • Groundless assumptions made in hotel business plan,
  • Disputes with landowner,
  • Or, Real Estate issues.

Then, the governing body might show inflexibility, leading to foreclosure.

Low occupancy rates

When room occupancy rate in market hits low, you have no choice but to wait.

Increase in accommodation facilities in your area or (comparatively!) higher prices of your rooms in market; can lead to lower occupancy rate.

Have you heard about Revenue Management Services? They have expert methods to optimize occupancy and thereby revenue. Give it a try. At last, breaking even is better than operating in losses.

Absent or poorly structured business plan

Your hotel business plan must be structured so as to define marketing and development strategies, budget and expenditure speculations and more.

You need a plan to know your target. Wondering why you have no control over your business? Because you don’t have a plan.

Increasing competition

If your competitors are doing better than you, then definitely they have a better shot at business than you. Strongly positioned competitor, be it new or renovated; can nudge you out of market.

Competition is inevitable. you cannot escape it. Only way out is to develop a “Warrior Mindset”.

Thus, values plunge with increasing competition, making it difficult for you to survive. Then, only time and rise in demand would decide recovery duration.

Little or no understanding of Business Metrics

As a business owner, it is imperative for you to understand key elements and performance indicators that determine and control business course. Identifying break even points, contingency, known-unknown-fixed-variable costs, contribution margins, wages, asset values, gross profits, and suchlike ascertain how your business is doing at any point in time.

Build systems and standards along with KPIs in order to measure business performance without having to be present at property.

Technologically challenged

Lack of integrated business systems can lead to poor administration and execution in recent times. Using pen and paper or, excel sheets and old computer in name of technology simply will pin you down.

Try using advanced hospitality technology that gives you

  • Power of operation automation,
  • One touch information,
  • On the go access,
  • Single dashboard administration.

There are plenty of services and solutions that suit your hotel business plan and property type, implement and make the most of it. You will be rewarded with more efficient staff, quick services, and giant reduction in operational costs.

Other reasons include,

  • Poor property maintenance
  • Wrong business model
  • Demolition of the building, new infrastructure to replace it
  • Business disconnected with local community
  • Failure to control theft and nuisance activities around property
  • Tax policies of local government and business regulations.

Coming to a conclusion, we can believe that success and failure of hotel businesses are driven by several factors. Troubles materializing from both, internal and external sources make the industry challenging. Additionally, modern travellers laden with all the information at fingertips will make it no less challenging. Only tactically dealing with those troubles helps a business sustain.

To make it easier, here is a checklist for you. While you go out and strategize for a perfect hotel business plan, don’t forget to check this up!

The Master Checklist

A detailed review of the market
Analysis and understanding of demand driving factors and future changes
Understanding competition and its impact on business
Detailed study of periodic performance reports and stats
Trying and implementing new hotel management technologies
Timely review of contracts, agreements and licenses
Creating and keeping in check the back up systems

Final Thoughts

If you learn and assimilate in advance every nuance of how to avoid such mistakes, you would soon become a seasoned hotelier. Way to go!

Hospitality is a service industry, unlike other businesses. It needs to be actively managed consistently day after day. You need to have systems, processes, policies, plan and a purely analytical mindset to survive and succeed.

However, when you get vibes that it is falling apart, take quick and wise actions. Don’t just sit back and hope for it to get better eventually. So now that you have read this guide, you are all set to dive in hotel business and rock it! Thank me later.

Impact Analysis Of GST On Indian Hospitality Industry

Hospitality industry is a versatile field encompassing accommodation and entertainment services, accounting, food and beverage, event management and above all, guest satisfaction.

With that, there comes an imperative need for this industry to walk hand-in-hand with latest updates of the market, and seek for all-inclusive technology solutions which can help them in governing their hotels and restaurants effectively. Wider the utility, greater their exposure towards taxation and other compulsions from the government authorities. Along these lines, the Indian hospitality industry gives way to heaps of levied taxes and scores of highly paid services. So, as India warms up for GST, the hospitality industry should get ready with GST compliant hotel software. The impact of GST will go far and wide, enabling everyone, right from a manufacturer and a supplier to distributor and consumer to give their part in improving the country’s economy.

Here, we have carried out a complete impact analysis of GST on the Indian hospitality industry. Read on to get a detailed overview.

Taxation In India

Taxes ensure that, whatever the government provides you for your progress, is duly paid back after a certain pre-calculated ROI, eventually generating income for upcoming projects.

Whether it’s a direct tax, or an indirect tax, or just rolled out Goods & Service Tax; whether levied by the central or the state governments, taxes are a mandate which come along with anything you produce, manufacture, import, buy or sell regardless of the industry you may belong to.

Taxes in India have been a surefire way to do that ever since the Constitution of India has allocated the power to levy taxes to the Central and State governments.

The current taxation scenario in India states two major and distinct types of tax regimes in India: Direct Tax and Indirect Tax, contrasting primarily in the way they are implemented. Direct taxes are those which you pay directly to the government, namely, income tax, wealth tax, corporate tax, property tax, including others.

 

Whereas, indirect taxes are those which are not directly levied on the taxpayers, but rather levied on the goods and services you consume; such as, the value added tax (VAT), service tax, sales tax, excise duty, customs tax, and others. The indirect taxes are added to the price of the goods and services, leading to a higher amount being paid for them.

The Need For GST In India

According to the current indirect taxation scenario running in India; state government imposes VAT, luxury and entertainment tax, entry tax and taxes on betting and gambling; whereas the central government levies excise duty, service tax, customs duty and central state tax.

This shows that, for goods produced or manufactured within the country and then consumed later on; VAT is computed on a value which includes excise duty. And with different government imposing them, the credit of VAT is not available against excise and vice versa.

This indicates a cascading effect of taxes, that is, a currently functioning tax over tax regime.

This leads to a high-cost and inefficient tax structure prone to revenue leakages. Thence, the need for a comprehensive indirect tax structure came up, giving way to Goods and Service Tax. So, a short while ago, the government of India passed the long overdue GST bill, taking the whole country in a wave of extracting the corresponding act and reforms.

India will be now, one of the 160 countries worldwide, to have implemented GST in it’s economy.

Similar to Canada, India will have a dual-GST model; wherein the tax will be administered by the central as well as state government, Brazil being the only other country to adopt a dual-GST model. For a sale within the state, SGST (State GST) and CGST (Central GST) will be applied. Whereas, for a sale outside the state, IGST (Integrated GST) will be levied. The CGST and IGST will be collected by the central government; and SGST by the state government. Along with this, the GST council has narrowed down on a 4-tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent; such that 12 and 18 percent will accommodate most of the goods and services.

Impact Analysis Of GST – What does it bring for Indian Hospitality Industry?

In the current indirect tax regime, the hospitality industry is plagued by multiple taxes of service tax, VAT and luxury tax; eventually being a victim of tax over tax. The GST with rate dependent on annual turnover of the hotels and restaurants along with the tariff they impose and services they provide will subsume all of these taxes and bring them under one single entity. Moreover, it will help reduce multiple taxation, giving a significant boost to the hospitality and tourism industry.

Presently, the centrally administered service tax is levied at 9 percent in the hotel industry and 6 percent in the food & beverage sector. Besides that, the luxury tax and VAT are state-dependent.

Therefore, the effect of GST will be liable to the location of your property as well as the annual turnover of your property.

Hotels and lodges with a tariff less than 1000 INR will be exempted from GST, whereas those having their tariff between 1000 to 2500 INR will attract a GST of 12 percent. The hotels having tariffs in the range of 2500 – 7500 INR will be imposed a GST of 18 percent, whereas luxury and 5-star hotels will be imposed a huge GST rate of 28 percent, bringing a dampening effect on the sector. Take a look at how hotels in India will be effected post GST rollout:

Tariff Range GST Rate
< INR 1000 No tax
INR 1000 – INR 2499 12%
INR 2500 – INR 7499 18%
> INR 7500 28%

Additionally, the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector is going to have a neutral to marginally positive impact due to GST depending on the restaurant’s turnover and services they offer. Owing to the high abatement rate of 60% in the sector, the overall tax comes close to 18.5-20.5% currently. Therein, a major impact will fall on AC restaurants inside 5-star and luxury hotels, which have attracted a GST of a whooping 28%. Here’s how the restaurant industry will fall under GST:

Turnover & Services GST Rate
< INR 50 Lakh 5% (Optional)
Non-AC Restaurants Restaurants Without Liquor License 12%
Restaurants with AC or Central Heating 18%
Restaurants Serving Alcohol 18%
AC Restaurants Inside 5-star Hotels & Above 28%

Supply of food and drinks, banqueting and outdoor catering will fall under a GST of 18 percent rate, including alcohol, food and other supplies as a bundled service.

The major impact of GST will fall on banqueting, wherein the effective tax comes up to ~23-35 percent, following the luxury tax applied by selected state governments.

The GST of 18 percent will thus lead to banquets becoming reasonable consequently offering a huge haul to the hospitality industry.

In a nutshell, the GST is going to have a neutral impact on the indian hospitality industry for the most part, except the banqueting services, luxury hotels and restaurants.

Technology In GST Compliant Software – An Important Factor

Hospitality industry has always been a competitive and an ever progressing one. Because of it’s widespread exposure across the world, technology becomes an unavoidable and pivotal factor to maintain it’s reliability and newness. That’s why, when one talks about recently introduced tax reforms, government rules and regulations for this industry; a major part of it is taken by hospitality software.

As the GST has hit the sub-continent with a wave of brand-new tax regime, it is substantial for all hoteliers and restaurateurs to go for GST compliant hotel software. eZee Technosys, being one of the very few companies to offer a complete package of integrated hospitality solutions; has always been up-to-date with any technological or economical trends of the industry. And it efficiently manages to keep it’s users in pace with contemporary updates.

Be it regional or worldwide, eZee has proved itself as a pioneer in the industry. Following a successful customization of our solutions as per GST compliance for our users in Malaysia, we have developed our solutions as GST ready hotel software for India.

 

Considering the demands of GST norms, billing and tax calculation for hoteliers and restaurateurs in India, eZee solutions will let you manage your property efficiently and impart exceptional services to your guests through accurate tax calculation, GST-compliant invoice and receipt generation, submission of multiple GST returns on a timely basis and more.

Our cloud PMS, on-premise PMS and restaurant POS software are now GST compliant, ready to accommodate your GST requirements. Sign up for our GST ready software right now.

GST Compliant Cloud PMSGST Ready Restaurant SoftwareOn-premise GST Friendly PMS

Suffice to say, it’s a known fact that taxes play a vital role in the growing economy of any country, giving way to a streamlined and well-maintained growth structure.

*Note: This information is subject to the tax reforms employed by the Government of India.

Exploring TripAdvisor Programs: TripConnect Instant Booking and TripConnect CPC

Connecting the world of travellers with prospective hotels, inns and B&Bs to formulate their upcoming travel plans, TripAdvisor TripConnect introduced 2 powerful programs of TripConnect CPC (cost per click) and TripConnect Instant Booking. Launched in 2014, both programs quickly became a market favourite for accommodation providers as well as travellers all around the world. TripAdvisor truly believes that both programs will significantly increase monetization, as the travellers all around the world establish a direct relation with the hotel through the trusted medium of TripAdvisor.

However, understanding the difference between both the services can be a little bewildering. Nonetheless, I will help you differentiate between TripConnect CPC (cost per click) and TripConnect Instant Booking and get a hang of both the services.

Explore the TripAdvisor programs to increase hotel revenue

TripConnect Instant Booking

Being one the largest review platform, TripAdvisor enjoys more than 10 million unique visitors on daily basis. Travellers from all over the globe rate, review and now even book travels with the online review giant. The unique feature of Instant Booking allows hoteliers to take advantage of their ‘pay-per-booking commission’ model and enrich their online bookings. Instant Booking offers the traveller opportunity to immediately confirm the booking at your hotel without even leaving the metasearch site of TripAdvisor.

Functions of TripConnect Instant Booking

Along with hotel reviews, the metasearch engine also allows the traveller to compare the real-time rates and availability of your property. Furthermore, the Instant Booking model offers the booker to instantly confirm the hotel booking by clicking on ‘Book on TripAdvisor’ button. Adding to the advantage, TripAdvisors delivers all the guest information to you from the first point on, and you are directly in contact with your guest without any interference of the middle agent.

As the entire concept works around the ‘pay-per-booking model , you only pay commission for the confirmed booking. Additionally, the travel giant offers you 2 different commission rates to choose from, 15% commission per booking ensures that you receive half of the bookings received on TripAdvisor. On the other hand, the commission rate of 12% brings in the hotel on 1/4th of the booking through Instant Booking. The remaining booking which are not claimed by your hotels is passed on to the OTAs connected to your hotel with you ultimately paying the OTA commission.

Moreover, the simple yet innovative service of Instant Booking requires no bidding, no deposits and the commission to the company is only paid after the guest stay.

Click here to enrol your property with TripConnect Instant Booking. 

TripConnect Cost-Per-Click

Another program introduced by TripAdvisor is the TripConnect Cost-Per-Click (CPC). Similar to Instant Booking, this program also allows travellers to view real time rate and inventory of the property. However, instead of offering the traveller option to book from TripAdvdisor platform, TripConnect CPC offers direct booking to the hotel by redirecting the booker to your hotel’s website.

Functions of TripConnect CPC

Contradicting the Instant Booking plan, the TripConnect CPC program works on ‘cost per click ’ programme which requires you to bid the amount you pay per person, visiting your website through TripAdvisor. The hindrance here is that the place of your hotel on the price comparison search bar is determined by the price of your bidding. Thus, the bidding structure gets a little complex here, as the highest bidder is placed on the top of the price comparison search bar as you are once again competing with the might OTAs ( you are connected with) for direct bookings. The CPC model ranks your hotel’s position according to your bidding, and higher your ranking more you get noticed. As soon as the booker clicks on your property’s website link, he is redirected to your hotel’s website to further confirm the booking. In this policy, your hotel is charged for the click regardless if the traveller actually completes the booking or not.

You can refer to TripConnect CPC user guide

You can enroll your property for TripConnect CPC programme from TripConnect website

Which program is better for your property-TripConnect Instant Booking or Cost-Per-Click?

Through both the programs, TripAdvisor is offering hoteliers a power and low costing platform for gaining a tremendous online exposure. Identifying on you requirements and expectations you can choose either of the programs to increase your online sales or you can benefit immensely by strategizing a combination of both.

image 2 - Explore the TripAdvisor programs to increase hotel revenue

The eZee Connection

eZee is a Premium Partner of TripAdvisor TripConnect and has established a s

Which way to go while selecting hotel software?

Legacy Hotel Software v/s Cloud PMS

The hospitality industry is ever evolving, replacing the manual management with various automated software technology is one of the most predominant change in the market. Particularly, for efficient property management,the developing technology has contributed two types of hotel management solutions. The foremost is the widely accepted and locally installed desktop based hotel management solution, while the other explores the power of SaaS and cloud computing and is a web based PMS. Thus, hoteliers are no longer bound to one type of management system, they are given an opportunity to analyze their own requirements and select the most appropriate for their property. 

Even though, both solutions have demonstrated their efficiency and benefits, not all of them are right for all hotel type and choosing the most beneficial PMS for the business can be a daunting task. To aid hoteliers select the accurate software, eZee has researched few foremost requirements from hotel point of view to explore the pros and cons of both server based and online property management software.

Desktop Vs Web PMS

Maintenance and specific requirements

 System-computer-icon  A desktop PMS requires a comprehensive and detailed infrastructure in terms of technological requirements like spectacular hardware, local servers and different license for each hardware. However, a legacy PMS is not dependent of internet connection and can be very useful in remote areas with low connectivity.

1439829229_icon-132-cloud One of the greatest advantage of an online PMS is that it requires no special installation or downloads. All it requires is a browser and a favorable internet connection. As a cloud PMS can be accessed from anywhere, hoteliers can run the front-desk functions even during power cut of with help of a laptop, tablet or even a smart phone. Moreover, as all the functions are run on cloud the software needs no specific hardware or even an IT personnel for maintenance.

Easy accessibility- any time, any where

System-computer-icon A legacy system has the advantage of being locally installed and doesn’t rely on remote server, thus all functions are robust even during downtime. Correspondingly, it ties the user to a particular machine and shuts down completely during electricity cut off.

1439829229_icon-132-cloud As discussed earlier a web based hotel management system requires no special downloads and can be accessed any time and any where, using any type of device be it desktop, tablet or mobile. As a result, you can use from remote location while traveling or in case of multiple properties, where you can retract reports and other data of any of your properties sitting far away.

Favorable financial estimate

System-computer-icon Majority of installed front-desk system a very heavy number of detailed and complex features making the solution significantly more expensive than a cloud solution. Moreover, the periodic maintenance, upgrades and requirement of IT staff members can further increase the expenses.

1439829229_icon-132-cloud A cloud PMS offers a significant reduction in capital investment, mainly due to its low costing technology and subscription based pricing strategy. Adding to the advantage, majority of online hotel systems are robust and require no download, no installation, no service and not even an IT personnel. However in the long run, the cost sometimes can be either equivalent or more when compare to the cost of a legacy system.

Feasibility and proficiency

System-computer-icon A desktop PMS is incredibly complex and exceptionally detailed, offering a myriad of integrated third party solutions. It is always available due to local installation, and can effortlessly manage any type of property including full service hotels.

1439829229_icon-132-cloud Alternatively, online property management solutions are easily up-gradable and are up to date with the latest market trends. As a result, they integrate effortlessly with variety of other solutions like a channel manager and booking engines leading to an enhanced online exposure.

When it comes to choosing the correct PMS for your hotel, it all depends on type of operations you run. Cloud technology has come a long way in automating various time consuming manual tasks. The introduction of this revolutionary technology transformed the face of hotel management and a lot of properties are migrating from a legacy PMS to cloud PMS. If you own a small, independent hotel or a small B&B, a cloud hotel software should be perfect for you. Nevertheless, if your property is large and requires more detailed functions, the complex yet sophisticated technological infrastructure of the locally installed hotel management solution is a tried and tested way to go as well.

Parameters to select the best hotel software for your property

In this digital age, where the exponential advancement in technology has completely revolutionized hospitality industry. Now more than ever, hoteliers need to stay abreast with the latest trends and technology to administer a successful hotel business. Additionally, investing in an all inclusive hotel management software could be a principle point for hotelier to enhance profitability.

A Property Management System is extremely useful when automating day to day operations while ensuring that the guest experiences a delightful stay at the hotel. A smart hotel management solution can aid the hotelier to easily manage booking and reservation trends, room occupancy patterns and expedite hotel operations like housekeeping and reporting. In addition, an all in one PMS will be able to provide hotelier with a complete analysis of these information and help you strategize hotel operations to increase bookings and further expand the business. Although, finding the most accurate hotel software for your hotel can be tricky, if you are looking at the right place and asking the correct questions the task can be made easier. Below is a list of few questions to ask and scrutinize the hospitality solutions provider.

Select the perfect PMS for your hotel

Stage One: Self Analyzation

Investing in property management software is important to enhance work quality and increase business. Hence, it is vital to fathom the needs and requirements of your hotel and identifying what kind of software you need before purchasing the solution. Asking the below questions to yourself will help you to identify your hotel needs, and help you choose the most appropriate solution.   

rrqqb2vlppy_3 How will the system help in automating day to day operations?

Installing a PMS can help you automate numerous manual operations, making them smoother and faster. Check the features of the software carefully and understand how and which operations will be made easier by installing the system at your property.

rrqqb2vlppy_3 What will be your financial estimate?

Keeping in mind the capital needs and hotel expenditure, formulate a budget and think out how much you should invest in a property management system and calculate the quick return of investment  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 What are the goals you want to accomplish with the help of an automated PMS?

Defining you expectations with the new PMS will help you acknowledge what sort of PMS do you need- a web based  PMS or a desktop based one. Also this will help you strategize a quick ROI as well as your future business plan.

Stage Two: What to expect from the vendor

By this stage, you have already decided what kind of solution you will require at your property. The next step is to source the best vendor for you solutions and once again you need to ask the right set of questions to the solutions provider/ vendor. Below are the list of questions that will help you select the right solution as well as help you acknowledge where to source it from.  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 Does the PMS fulfill all your requirements or not?

Make sure that the system you are purchasing actually includes and automates all the operations you require at your hotel. Don’t get confused with the jargon of the industry, verify that the services you are paying for are actually required for your property management.

rrqqb2vlppy_3 How will the PMS help resolve the hotel challenges and boost the revenue?

An all inclusive PMS will reduce the cost of operations, decrease the consumed time and increase Revenue per Availabl (RevPAR). More over, the automated and detailed reports along with overall data analysis will further aid you to strategize future business plans.  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 How many modules and features does the software include?

Generally, hotel software are crammed with attractive yet not practical features, which do very little for your property but somehow blow up your budget way out of proportions. To avoid this, research appropriately if the software offers modular pricing. In this type of solution you pay only for the features and modules your property actually needs and uses.  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 Who will be responsible for the security of your hotel data?

The security of the data is one of the most important function you need to know about the solution you choose. Generally, desktop based property management solution store the database on a local server while a web best server store the hotel data on a dedicated online server provided by the solution provider.

rrqqb2vlppy_3 Does the HMS support third-party integration? If yes, which?

No solution is self-sufficed, to expedite day – to day operations it is essential for your PMS to be able to interface with third party application like accounting software and key card locks. Make sure the solution you are adapting to, offers third party integration or are willing to establish an interface with the service you require.

rrqqb2vlppy_3 Is the software user friendly and will the hotel staff be able to understand the advanced system?

A front desk hotel management system is detailed and comprehensive, and using it for the first time can be stressful. Check the training program of the solutions provider and inquire if the they offer on-site software training for the staff or free online training whenever required.  

rrqqb2vlppy_3 How effective is the after sale support of the solution provider/ vendor?

Your hotel is running 24×7, and you may require support at any time. Make sure the solution you choose offers 24×7 online and offline after sale support. You can even check the reviews of their existing client, this will help you understand the market position of the solution as well.  

In conclusion, make sure you acquire a software that serves all your needs and purposes. The queries raised above are few common inquiries to be cleared before obtaining the software. However, every hotel has their own set of needs and requirements; you can add your own questions based on your own experience and your hotel expectations.

Select wisely!

Features Guide for a Property Management System

Property Management Systems help hotels to manage their day to day operations with higher efficiency and heighten quality of service they offer to the guests. A good property management system simplifies the diverse operations via features which the staff performs on a steady base.

We are going to cover key features which a hotelier should look for in any good Property Management System.

Front Desk Operations

The very basic of the operations in any property, regardless of its type or size is the Front Desk Operations. A good system will allow easy check-in and checkout process for the staff. Just like any other operations, the front desk staff may have to make changes to reservations such as room change, change dates, assign rooms, and so forth. This should be relatively easy to carry out in a secure system, the modifications should take immediate effect and should make the process easy and not hinder it.

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Booking & Reservations Management

Booking and reservations are important functionality of a hotel management system. Traditionally, hotels received bookings from limited sources such as travel agents and direct bookings. Today, the story is very different as bookings come from diverse range of sources such as hotel’s website, travel websites, business source like a corporate clients and airlines, travel agents, etc. The system should be able to handle walk-ins, bookings from online travel agents, traditional agents, business sources and from corporate website with ease. An efficient system will easily distinguish between the different sources and update the records for future reference.

Billing and Payments

Stability is of the utmost importance when it comes to billing and settling payments with guests. Guests today use multitude methods of settling payments, the system should accommodate multiple payment methods per reservation including cash, credit cards, check and online payment gateways. In addition, it should have the ability to post adjustments, advance deposits, split receipts, extra charges, settlements, folio printing and taxes. The staff must be able to check and modify tasks related to billing and payment at any time according to changing requirements.

Housekeeping

Housekeeping is another central characteristic which a hotelier should look for in a PMS. The important thing a hotelier should look for in housekeeping is the flow of real time information. The housekeeping module should highlight the status of rooms and provide the ability to delegate chores to the housekeeping staff.In addition, built in inventory management for cleaning supplies and linens is always a plus.

Reports

A good system should offer the different departments the ability to generate a diverse set of reports. Given the diverse set of hotel operations and different departments working together, it is imperative that every department is able to generate reports according to their need. These reports can help management to make sound decisions and also help them build better sales and marketing strategies.

Third Party Interfaces

A good hotel management system needs to integrate and work successfully with a multitude of third party hardware and software. The interfaces for your hotel will depend on factors such as size of hotel, facilities offered and operational style. A standard hotel today usually have PABX, Door Lock, ID scanners, cash drawers, payment gateways and financial accounting software. It is always beneficial to go over before hand how compatible the PMS is with third party or they are exposed to new ones.

Conclusion

Traditionally, the hotel software came with features that covered basic hotel operations. Today, choosing the right solution for your hotel is more complex than it has ever been as the processes have become more complex. At the final stage, a good Property Management System should provide solid features that satisfy the requisites of the hotel and should be easy to adjust and carry out. Another key factor is the software provider, the provider should possess the industry expertise and experience and provide high quality post-sales support.

A good Property Management Software is the key to your hotel’s success.

How to Increase Bookings with TripAdvisor

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Everyone knows and most likely have heard of TripAdvisor at this point in time. For the uninitiated, TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site with up to 280 million unique visitors each month, 32 million members and over 150 millions reviews and opinions available online.

It is traveler’s first stop to learn about a hotel they are looking into and see what other people have to say about it. And it is only growing with 90 user generated reviews per minute allowing travelers around the world to be make more informed decisions.

TripAdvisor with its Business Listing service give options to hoteliers around the world to take complete advantage of the exposure they can receive. With a Business Listing you can share your hotel’s contact information, special offers, website link, and directly connect with your guests. In addition, your contact information will be displayed on your mobile listing page as well.

Business Listings will give hotels access to :

Direct Contact Information:

Add up-to-date contact details to your hotel’s profile page making it easy for your travelers to book directly.

Special Offers:

Perfect place to highlight special promotions and offers attracting more travelers.

TripConnect:

This service will allow hotel subscribers to appear in Hotel Price Comparison search showing rate and availability to users.

Property Dashboard:

As a Business Listings subscriber, you get exclusive access to Property Dashboard which lets you access important analysis such as competitor metrics, local market trends, visitor details and overall performance of hotel on TripAdvisor.

Sideshow and Announcements:

This will let you post important updates and news for the readers. In addition, the photos uploaded will automatically be converted into a slideshow for your travelers viewing pleasure.

So now you got your hotel in Business Listings, So how can you make the best use of the tools provided? Read on to find out:

Reply To Reviews:

Probably the single most important thing you can do is to reply the reviews posted by users, after all that’s what people read the most on TripAdvisor. Regardless if your hotel has received a positive or negative review, it is very important that you reply to it no matter what. Just a simple a reply can put big impressions on travelers. If possible, have a dedicated person who looks after reviews online and establish the practice for managing online reviews.

Update Information:

It is more common than you think that many times hotels might have the wrong number listed or the page has not been updated. This is probably the worst thing you could do, the traveler will most likely avoid your hotel if the information is wrong or is not up to date.

Write Proper Descriptions:

Spend quality time on the description which potential guests are going to read. It is very important write a proper and detailed description of your hotel, as you are the best person to do so. Description should Speak the strengths of your location and services you provide, setting yourself apart from the competition.

Right Photos:

The best way to showcase your hotel is to have the right combination of high quality photos of your property. Have a diverse collection of pictures that not only show your rooms and lobby but also other facilities. Get creative with your pictures, take pictures of art and decor in your lobby, show case rooms with different view points, pictures of views from your hotel rooms etc.

Showcase Awards:

TripAdvisor regularly rewards hotels with their Travelers’ Choice Awards which cover various categories. If your hotel has received one, make sure to highlight that on your hotel website and TripAdvisor page.

TripAdvisor with various options available for hoteliers, allow them to maximize their online presence. Hoteliers with the right practice in place can have the same exposure like big brands and increase their bookings.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web DesignThere is enough said and written about importance of mobile presence for businesses for the hospitality industry. As the sheer amount of mobile devices and tablets to connect the web is increasing daily. A Responsive Web Design (RWD) becomes more important, as businesses have to deliver their end users a uniform experience across various kinds of devices of all screen sizes.

Responsive Web Design is basically a technique to build web pages by using CSS3 media queries. It has a single URL and HTML code for the page which works uniformly across all the devices regardless of their screen size and type.

RWD provides whole range of benefits for businesses especially in the hospitality industry and perfect tool to drive traffic to hotel websites.

Superior User Experience

Imagine your website adjusting itself on different devices according to the screen size; the layout will automatically realign, the font size will change, and the images will resize. That is the main benefit of responsive web design, offering users a superior experience regardless of the device they use.

Easy Maintenance

Traditionally, the practice was to build a different website for mobile devices and desktop, then came the tablets, now you have to worry about 3 different websites. So when you have to update content on your website, you have to triple your efforts which is time consuming and hard on your pockets. RWD solves that issue right off the bat, you have a single HTML code to worry about, and you update that and that all it takes. This allows you to update content and keep making changes to the website according to changing requirements without much effort and keeping it relevant for a longer period of time.

Recommended by Google

Google recommends responsive web design when it comes to websites for desktop and smart phones. Reason being, it is more efficient for Google Bot to crawl the website, index and organize the content that is available online. It makes it easy for Google to locate your business as there is a single URL and HTML code. Responsive Web Design will not only give your business a higher visibility in searches but you can just maintain a single SEO campaign for your website without having to worry about users using different devices.

Conclusion

Responsive Web Design will have a great impact on overall impression of your website’s functionality and user experience. It will greatly improve the satisfaction of end users and generate higher traffic for your website across all devices. It provides the perfect unified approach to maintain a competitive edge and making your website more relevant over longer period of time.

Custom Hotel Applications will be the Key in Engaging with Customers in 2014

2013 was the year when people using internet on their mobile phone outnumbered the people using internet on personal computers. Connecting with customers will be easier and faster that it has ever been.

Hospitality industry has already been experiencing the trend for last couple of years with rise of mobile booking engine, mobile websites and custom hotel apps. In 2014, custom hotel apps and other travel apps will be leading charge when it comes to researching, planning, and booking a holiday.

With majority of the travelers now using smart phones, it has become imperative for the hotel to have a mobile app. Travelers have become so accustomed to variety of travel apps on their smart phones that they naturally expect hotels to have one as well. This is a great opportunity for the hotels where they can have total control over their content as well as engagement with guests is more personalized. Mobile App makes it very easy for the customers to do bookings, connect with the hotel, find out directions with Geo tagging and continually keep in touch with their favorite hotel.

Hotels can control and transfer huge amounts of data directly to their guests via video sections showing events and updating gallery showing new amenities in the hotel. Such features not only help hotels to connect with customers but also promote the location tourist friendly.

Hotels can collect huge amount of data when it comes to understanding their guest’s behavior without having to do major campaigns and not to mention the long term loyalty it could build among the customers. This is crucial as the new generations of users offer a new behavioral pattern which is constantly evolving and Application can be the main tool through which a hotel can understand that change.

Mobile App will become a major tool for hotels in their marketing strategy and reaching out to global audience in 2014.