Though opening of a new bypass has lessened the burden of heavy traffic on the roads passing through Gurdaspur city, it has proved a curse to local hoteliers whose business have affected substantially.
Gurdaspur Association of Hotel and Restaurant Owners president Romesh Mahajan said here on Sunday that there was a steep decline in the occupancy in almost all hotels in the town.
He said most of the tourists preferred using bypass over the old roads that passed through the Gurdaspur town. He said due to the bypass road, the occupancy in hotels, at the present, had gone down miserly to mere 20%.
Mahajan said the fate of hoteliers in other towns in Gurdaspur district was not different from that of Gurdaspur hotels. Mahajan said there were around 150 rooms in 19 hotels in Gurdaspur district, but only one or two tourists or customers stayed per day in them. He said the hotel industry in the district was passing through a critical phase.
The hoteliers are also critical of a series of taxes — 14.3% VAT, 5.6% and 8.4% service tax on food served at restaurants and hotels, respectively, 8% luxury tax and 8 % service tax on accommodation.
They said besides these, the hotel industry was also feeling the heat of the current economic slowdown. They sought relaxation in taxes levied on them so that the hotel industry could survive in the district.