Amid surge, Punjab's hospitality sector sees losses again

Sore at restrictions on gatherings, curfew; accuses govt of no help

Amid surge, Punjab's hospitality sector sees losses again

A fresh surge in cases across the state has brought the hospitality sector back to square one. - File photo

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 28

A fresh surge in cases across the state has brought the hospitality sector back to square one.

With the rollout of the vaccine, the sector was hopeful of business returning to normal, but with the cases rising and even employees of some private hotels also testing positive, restaurants and eating joints are facing decline in footfall.

Punjab Hotel, Restaurant Association chief Satish Arora said: "The hospitality sector is facing difficult time for the past one year. Earlier, lockdown hit them hard, then bird flu scare and now restrictions on gathering and night curfew in around 10 districts is affecting the business hard."

Further, he claimed that hotels and restaurants had high fixed expenses, which they had to bear even if the hotel didn't work. "We are also disappointed at no support from the Centre and the state government. We sent representation to both the governments repeatedly, but to no avail as no one has come to support us to date," he said.

For weddings and social gatherings, permission has been granted for only 100 persons. The period from March to May, which is the peak season for weddings, has started witnessing cancellations. The ancillary businesses like catering, decoration, photography and video shooting, music and DJ, lighting, bar tenders, flower decoration and others have also been hit hard and are suffering losses. Arora said: "Lavish resorts and banquets have been affected badly as big fat weddings have dried up in the state, upsetting the entire event industry."

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