Biz hit hard, Himachal hotel associations unite to safeguard interests

Biz hit hard, Himachal hotel associations unite to safeguard interests

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 23

Severely hit by Covid-19, with occupancy rate dipping to 20 to 25 per cent and no hopes of revival in the near future, the hotel and restaurant associations in Himachal have come on a platform, under the banner of the Federation of Himachal Hotels and Restaurant Association (FOHHRA), to effectively press for their demands.

Federation of hotels and restaurants formed

  • Federation of Himachal Hotels and Restaurant Association (FOHHRA) formed to press the demands of the tourism industry
  • It was registered after consent of more than 20 city operators and other allied associations to save tourism industry from collapsing
  • President of the association Ashwani Bamba said the revenue had dipped and the hoteliers were not in a position even to pay house tax and other levies

Sanjay Sood, vice-president of the association, said the federation was registered after the consent of more than 20 city the operations in existence and other allied associations to save the tourism industry from collapse. Formation of a state-level body was the need of the hour as problems of the hotel industry had multiplied due to the restrictions imposed in the wake of prolonged pandemic.

Though the city associations, including those of Shimla, Manali, Dharamsala, Dalhousie, Chail, Kasauli and Palampur, were raising the issues like staff unemployment and waiver of taxes and levies, it was noticed that at times there were divergent views in different parts of the state which sent a wrong signal to the government. The federation would take up the issues in a holistic way on behalf of the entire tourism industry, Sood maintained.

Demanding a full waiver of load charges from the state electricity board, resumption of inter-state luxury and Volvo buses and effective implementation of interest subversion scheme, president of the association Ashwani Bamba said there were no chances of revival of industry in the near future. Impacted by low occupancy, the industry was on the verge of collapse.

The revenue had dipped and the hoteliers were not in a position even to pay house tax and other levies. AC buses were not operating, railways were yet to resume normal operation, sentiments of the tourists were down and families were not venturing out. Also, tourists from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bengal, who used to travel in bulk during the Dasehra/ Diwali holidays, were not travelling to Himachal this year due to Covid fear, he said.

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