|Covid-19 leaves Meghalaya hospitality sector in doldrums|
SHILLONG, June 29 - The impact of Covid-19 has hit the hospitality sector in Meghalaya to the core and hoteliers are suffering very badly.
The owner of Indiana Hotel, who is also the president of the Federation of Shillong Hotels, Parambir Singh said on Sunday that the Covid-19 pandemic has left the hoteliers in a very tight situation with no inflow of tourists and no tourism activities whatsoever.
“We are holding on to our staff members, but with no revenue coming in right now, we are suffering,” Singh rued.
He also said that his staff members are essentially on paid leave at the moment.
Informing that at present his hotel has also been requisitioned as a quarantine centre by the government, he, however, said that the government has not come clear on how much it is going to pay hoteliers and guest houses which are being used as quarantine centres by the government.
“We are hoping that the government bails us out by paying us for the use of our hotels for the quarantine and it should also tell us how much it is going to pay us for the requisition,” he said.
Informing that only a few hotels and guest houses have been taken as quarantine centres by the government, he said, “I am more worried about those hotels and guest houses that are totally under lockdown.”
Stating that there are between 500 and 600 hotels and guest houses in East Khasi Hills alone, he said that most of his colleagues who are hoteliers are presently facing great hardship without any revenue coming in.
He also said that the electricity bills are a very high component in the hotels and guest houses which has added to their miseries.
“We have written to the government to help us this time since we have been suffering for almost seven months right from December when law and order problems started affecting tourism even before the national lockdown because of Covid-19 started,” he said, while adding that the future is grim because the tourism industry will be the last to pick up from the effects of Covid-19.
Stating that the bigger hoteliers might be able to survive for some more time, he said, “There will be a number of guest houses and hotels that will start closing because they will not be able to sustain without any revenue coming in.”
“The government should come up with some plan and help the hoteliers which could be by paying the salary of the staff members and electricity bill or paying the rent for the hire of the premises, whichever is applicable, just for us to survive.”