Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru/Udupi (SP)
Mangaluru/Udupi, Apr 22: The hotel industry has been delivered a deadly blow by the coronavirus infection like a bolt from the blue. After going through a lean patch for several months, it was showing signs of some recovery when the second wave of the deadly pandemic has crushed its hopes.
As per the latest guidelines of the government, people cannot consume food inside the hotels and restaurants. Then can only collect the take away. This rule alone has deprived the restaurants of 60 percent business.
Some of the hotels, after closing for the period of the previous lockdown, never opened their doors because of high maintenance cost and decline in business. Those working in hotels and restaurants have lost their jobs. The coastal belt of Karnataka, which was once known for the restaurant business, has been going through the worst nightmare and several have committed suicide, having been unable to meet their commitments.
Many are not comfortable with the idea of taking food home for consumption. Weekend curfew has deprived the hotels of having some decent business during the week end. Because of the fact that tourism has taken a hit, the business of the restaurants and hotels were on the downslide. Secretary of Hotel Owners Association, Nagesh Bhat, explains that curfew coupled with ban on consumption of food inside hotel premises have come a shock for the industry.
Of late, because of coronavirus fear, customers are working from home and staying away from hotels. If the situation does not improve, thousands of hotels will be closed down and several thousand will be driven to streets. Hoteliers are in deep debt and they do not know how to meet salary bills of employees, rent, loan instalments etc. Udupi District Hotel Owners Association president, Dr Tallur Shivarama Shetty, says that the second wave has decimated the hotel business and most of the hotel owners are unable to meet rent, power bill, salary of workers etc.