Manali Hotels In Quandary Over Opening Up

Manali: With the state government having notified opening up of hotels, hotel owners who are in dire straits are expected to start business operations soon. However, all are not happy with theĀ  government having decided to open up the state for tourists at a time when Covid infections are rising. Many tourism traders in Manali are infact disheartened.

Where one group is supporting the government’s decision as a right step to beat the slowdown, the other group is advising not to open the hotel citing the risk of Corona infection. However, due to the government’s permission to open the hotel, tourists from all over the country have started preparing for visiting Manali and tourists have also started contacting travel agents. But there is still uncertainty among tourism traders.

Panchayats around Manali are not in favor of opening the hotel, but many tourism businessmen who are facing recession are with the government’s decision. Travel agents across the country have also swung into action as the government consent to open hotels in the state for tourists. If they consider, the order of the government permit tourist to book hotel in Manali .Holier are unable to confirm the booking due to the situation. Manali has around 600 registered hotels and guest houses and around 500 registered under the adjoining homes and B & Bs.

Manali town (File Photo

Hotelier Gajendra Thakur, Vikram Thakur, Roshan, Babu Ali, Satish Kachroo ,Vedram, Chaman Kapoor, Shamsher and Prem say that the government should make full arrangements to deal with Corona virus and then allows the tourists to come to the hotel properly. They say that although they are facing the recession, they do not want to take the hasty step. If the government takes full care of the corona infection then only they are ready to open the hotel.

Jagatsukh Pradhan Jeevan Negi, Vashistha Pradhan Prem, Manali village head Monika Bharti and Shanag Pradhan Pratap Thakur say that they are not in favor of opening the hotel in view of the growing case of corona infection in state. They urged the government not to hurry to open the hotel and pay attention to the safe guard from corona first.

Hotel Association President Anoop Thakur said that all the nearby panchayats are requesting not to open the hotel. The association has a meeting with Deputy Commissioner Kullu on Monday regarding the same matter. After discussions with all, then only a decision will be taken to open the hotels.

Budhi Prakash Thakur, convener of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant of Himachal Pradesh, said that a three-tier proposal of SOPs involving the government, travellers and stakeholders had been submitted to the Chief Minister. He added that the government should take the lead in implementing the proposed system of SOPs and should not rush to reopen the tourism sector. The implementation of the proposed system would help in reopening the tourism and hospitality sector by July 15.

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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