Manali Association Decides To Keep Hotels Closed Till September

Manali: The Manali Hoteliers Association decided collectively to keep hotels closed till September this year. The decision was taken at a meeting of the executive members of the association at Manali.

They said the central government should arrange to give proper training to tourism entrepreneurs for Covid- 19, so that the opening of other business related activity of tourism is secure and safe for guest and staff.

Giving this information to the journalists, Anuparam Thakur, president of Manali Hotels Association, said that although tourism industry is closed since lockdown in March due to the Covid 19 epidemic and tourism industry have suffered a huge losses but cannot open tourism industry at the cost of risking peoples life. Thakur said that it was decided collectively to keep the hotels, guest houses, B&B etc closed as suggested by the Members of Manali hoteliers Association.

The president also disclosed that most of the panchayats around Manali has requested not to open hotels, Guest House,B&B and home stays in Manali and its surrounding .Panchayats have stated in letter that hotels in their areas will not be allowed to open. Thakur said that 90 percent of Manali hotels, guest houses and B&B home stays are located in rural areas. Anup Thakur revealed till now the hoteliers have completely followed the Guidelines issued by the government for Covid 19. He said majority of the tourist visit Manali from Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra,in such places the cases of Corona versus is max and they come under red zone. Therefore, hoteliers are in favor of shutting down their hotels.

Whereas FOHRA ( The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant association of Himachal )is of the view that the government has reopened the tourism sector with a hasty decision, without considering FOHRA PANEL’s SOP recommendation .The SOP where recommended keeping in mind the ground reality of the business, considering the current situation. FOHRA convener Budhi Prakash said the SOP declared by the state government lacks some practical aspects, non-readiness and safeguarding the risk factor of the people of the state.

Budhi said Government should Development a Travel App in the name of “ATHITHI” by Department of Tourism and make it mandatory for every traveler to load all of the required details pertaining to their past / present and future travelling, irrespective of his objective to travel in the state. He disclosed ATHITHI 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. He added that in this letter it is said that Tourist and Travelers 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.

The influx of tourists has become a cause for concern for local people in Kullu district. On Monday, the Kullu police forced 41 tourists to return from the border of Kullu district because they were not carrying Covid-negative reports.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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