Hopes of hospitality players fly high as flights resume from May 25
Most of the approximately 300 hotels and restaurants in the city have incurred losses after the lockdownUpdated: May 24, 2020 12:33 IST
Facing losses of approximately Rs 150 crore and grappling with large-scale migrant exodus, the hospitality industry is hoping for a revival after the long-drawn Covid-19 lockdown as domestic flights resume from Chandigarh from May 25.
Hotels and restaurants in the city, except those home delivering food, have been closed since March 22 even though other commercial establishments have opened in lockdown 4.0.
“If the Central government is allowing travel by train, road and now air, then hotels and restaurants should also be allowed to open. We foresee that eventuality,” says Manmohan Kohli, chairman, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh (HRAC).
With domestic flights allowed, air travellers will require accommodation and food service, says Ankit Gupta, president, Chandigarh Hospitality Association.
Most of the approximately 300 hotels and restaurants in the city have incurred losses after the lockdown. “We estimate losses at more than Rs 150 crore in the last two months, which is likely to increase if the closure of the industry continues,” says Arvinder Pal Singh, president, HRAC.
The migrant exodus has also hit the industry. “Most of the workforce in local hotels and restaurants comes from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Nearly 50% have left after inter-state movement was allowed. If the restrictions continue then we expect still more movement of migrant workers from the local tourism industry,” says Gupta.
With migrant workers gone, restaurants too are unable to benefit from permissions granted for home delivery of food. “Most of the establishments do not have adequate staff for deliveries so they remain closed,” Gupta adds.
Hotels have also been hit because of zero occupancy in the last two months, says Anil Malhotra, executive director, corporate affairs, hospitality, offices and CSR, Nexus Malls.
On allied sectors impacted correspondingly, Neeraj Bajaj, president, Chandigarh Business Council, says, “The restaurant industry has a direct huge impact on businesses such as grocery shops, dairy product manufacturers, vegetable and fruit vendors. Employment of professionals like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians is also connected. They have also suffered loss of income,” he adds.
Enterprises running from rented spaces have taken the biggest hit. “Such establishments are unlikely to bear the losses suffered and business lost during the last 60 days,” says Kohli.