Night curfew in Ludhiana: Rise in cancellations leaves hospitality industry jittery
Imposition of night curfew within two weeks of limits on gatherings at indoor and outdoor events has led to a rise in cancellations, greatly impacting the district’s hospitality industry.
Owners of various hotels, restaurants and marriage palaces complained that within a day of the announcement of the night curfew, customers had already started calling to cancel or postpone bookings, hitting business by over 50%.
The administration on Thursday had announced night curfew in the district from 11pm to 5am in view of the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.
“Clients visiting Ludhiana for corporate visits and those planning night events have started cancelling their bookings. Uncertainty over the extent of the night curfew is certainly going to cause huge losses to the hospitality sector,” said Manjit Singh Nagpal, who owns a hotel and a marriage palace.
Instead of imposing a curfew, business owners said the administration should stress on enforcing safety protocols and bringing the violators to task.
“Footfall at restaurants increases post 9pm. If we have to shut shop at 11pm, people will simply avoid dining out. Though the severity of the pandemic is understandable, there seems to be no end to the troubles of the hospitality sector that has been reeling under losses since the lockdown last year,” said Bhupinder Basant, owner of Basant Restaurants in Ludhiana.
President of the Ludhiana Hotel and Restaurant Association, Amarvir Singh said, “The administration should understand the ramifications of the curfew on the sector. Not only will owners suffer huge losses, impact on business will translate into large-scale unemployment as well.”
“Several customers wish to shift their bookings to day time, but it’s not entirely possible, as on several days, slots are booked for both morning and night hours,” said Amarjit Singh Sant, president, Marriage Palace Welfare Association.
The hoteliers also rued that the administration had allowed factories to continue operations though they employed hundreds of labourers, while hotels, that followed all norms and guidelines issued by the government, were facing restrictions. Amarvir said they will take up the matter with the administration.