Do not start tourist activities till October: Himachal hoteliers
Hoteliers say with few tourists expected to visit the state amid pandemic opening hotels was inviableUpdated: Jul 01, 2020 12:48 IST
In wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Himachal hoteliers have urged the state government to not start touristic activities in the state till October despite the state government issuing standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding the same last month.
All Himachal Association of Hospitality and Tourism spokesperson Ashwani Bamba said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the tourism and hospitality sector. Hotels have been closed for the three months and no revenue has been earned. While we are concerned about the survival of our industry, loss of revenue, our staff and families, we cannot put the health and lives of our society at risk.”
“At present, there is no vaccine available to cure the coronavirus. The people are afraid and will not prefer to venture out of their homes and stay in hotels,” he said.
In a letter to chief minister Jai Ram Thakur and the tourism secretary, Himachal’s hoteliers have said that tourist activities should not be permitted for the next few months as Covid-19 cases are increasing at an alarming rate in India and the world at large. As per expert opinion, the Covid-19 pandemic will be at its peak in July and August.
In summer, tourists from Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu flock to the state but these states are gravely infected and are in the red zone. Inviting tourists to visit Himachal will put our public at risk, the letter said.
Railways will not be operating till August 12 and airlines have also suspended their operations till July 15.
‘MOST PATIENTS ASYMPTOMATIC’
The letter says that as most of patients are asymptomatic, even if all precautions are taken and social distancing is maintained we will be putting the lives and health of our hotel staff at risk.
Bamba said hoteliers were not expecting many tourists to visit Himachal in July and August and as such it will be financially inviable to open the hotels.