Hoteliers want 5-day stay norm eased

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Hoteliers have urged the state government to relax the mandatory five-day stay condition for tourists as their losses continue to mount amid stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs).

As part of health and safety protocol, the state government has made it mandatory for tourist to have a Covid-negative report before entering the state, besides fixing the stay duration to at least five days.

Devinder Verma, president of the Chail Hotels’ Association, said, “A request has been made to the Government to curtail the five-day period to two days and three nights as tourists are reluctant to stay put at one place for five days.”

He said Chail witnessed tourist footfall after hotels reopened on July 10. Some hoteliers also managed to pay recurring expenditure such as power and water bills and some part of staff salaries. However, the business was far from satisfactory.

Another hotelier said some establishments along the Kalka-Shimla national highway had initiated a trial run for 15 days. However, only a few tourists were received and overall the business remained bleak.

Hoteliers from Kasauli said they were hopeful of the business picking up pace in October if the pandemic subsided.

“With popular festivities such as a music festival and other events that attract a large number of tourists having been cancelled, we are eyeing October to do some business,” said Rocky Chimni, vice- president of the Kasauli Residents and Hoteliers Association.

He said since interest subvention announced by the Centre would expire by the month-end, hoteliers were expecting some relaxation amid crisis.

He said staff of most hotels had shifted to other places. Whether they would return when hotels resume functioning was another cause of concern.

Source : The Tribune

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