Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], June 3 (ANI): Ahead of the cabinet meeting, the stakeholders of the tourism industry gather at the capital city, Shimla on Thursday to draw the state government's attention to the grave condition of the tourism industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The stakeholders of the industry, including hoteliers, taxi operators, travel agents, adventure tourism operations, and others, gathered to discuss and plan for their demands from the government.
Talking of the major credit issue the industry is already facing, Pratap Chauhan, owner of an adventure resort at Hatu Peak, said "My business has been completely shut for almost the second consecutive year now. My major concern is of being declared as a non-performing asset, as my unit is on credit".
Requesting the government's intervention for easing the entry process and e-pass registration, Chauhan said "There are over 3,000 hotels in the state and hundreds of people have lost their job. We request the government to ease the entry process in the state so that tourists do not face trouble and we can get enough tourism to run our business, while also being safe from Covid-19".
A local travel agent, Vividh Sood said, "We were expecting things to improve early this year, but with the second wave of the pandemic, we are neither left with a job nor do we have any money to pay our employees. We are looking forward to government assistance in any manner".
Highlighting that only 1 per cent of the bigger hotels are functional in the state, Neeraj Gupta, a hotelier said, "The summer season is our main earning period and with the second wave, nothing has been earned during the period too. We had taken loans to pay salaries last year, but this year, even we are left with nothing. We demand that the state government take up this issue with the central government so that banks can give us rebate in interests."
The transporters and taxi operators of the state said that over 4 lakh people linked with the tourism industry are now jobless.
Bharat Kumar Upadhayay, a taxi operator said, "The transport and taxi business is entirely dependent on tourism business. We have no job if there's no tourism business. We are forced to pay the taxes for vehicles which haven't been on road for so long. We demand that the government help us in any manner, as there is no hope for any more business." (ANI)