Hotel Association Proposes 3-Tier SOP For Opening Up Tourism In Himachal Pradesh

Scenic Himachal

Dharamshala: Federation of Hotel and Restaurant association of Himachal (FOHRA) has proposed a 3 tier Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for opening up the state for tourism. In a letter to chief minister Jai Ram Thakur FOHRA says that the Government, Guest/Traveller and Stakeholder need to be equal participants to reopen & revive tourism in Himachal Pradesh.

Sanjeev Gandhi State Co-Convener (FOHRA) said in Dharamshsala that Government should Development of a Travel App in the name of “ATHITHI” by Department of Tourism and make it mandatory for every traveller to load all of the required details pertaining to their past / present and future travelling, irrespective of his objective to travel in the state.

“This App should be linked with the concerned hotel/accommodation guest desired to stay. This will make tourism sector to develop a database for easy tracking, said Gandhi . He said that the Medical check up/precaution/sensitization should be maintained by the State Govt at the state and district border before tourists / guests and their vehicle entering the state. “Government should also appoint a dedicated helpline 24 X 7, appoint district /town level emergency contact and if any guest found COVID-Positive during stay entire responsibility should not be put on not with the stakeholder/ hotel management. The government should also wave off various taxes/ bills during the period of lock down,” said Sanjeev Gandhi.

Night view of Dharamshala and the Kangra valley

Gandhi added that in this letter it is said that Tourist and Traveller should be made responsible for Loading of Correct data ,Covid free test certificate ,Commitment towards social distancing while travelling/staying in the state and Maintaining of complete discipline during the stay.

Regarding responsibilities of the stakeholder ,the suggestion in SOP were given in this letter are Implementation of the SOPs given by the department of tourism and In case of any indiscipline by the guest, the stakeholder reserve the right to take action and inform the contact point appointed by the govt for further suitable action.

Sanjeev Gandhi said that in the end FOHRA said, “we feel that the Government has to take a lead in freezing the desired 3 tier SOPs as recommended and should not rush in reopening the sector in order to safeguard the life/ risk factor of the public of the state. The implementation of the proposed 3 tier system of SOPs will help us to reopen the tourism and Hospitality sector by 15th July 2020 in the state.” FOHRA hoped that the government would find the proposed 3 tier system of SOPs very practical/logical and provide them with further guidelines accordingly.

He added , “ We are confident that we will fight COVID-19 and enhance the tourism contribution in the overall GDP of the state.”

The copies of these suggestions were also sent to Sh. Anil Kumar Khachi,(IAS)Chief Secretary Govt of HP, Shimla,HP, Sh. Devesh Kumar (IAS), Secretary. Tourism & Aviation) Govt. of HP, Shimla, Sh. Yunus ,Director (IAS),Tourism & Civil Aviation,Govt of HP,Shimla and All The Deputy Director Tourism and Civil Aviation.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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