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Hotels may reopen soon, but keys with states – ETtech.com


Hotels may reopen soon, but keys with states
The government is likely to take a decision on a calibrated reopening of hotels soon, said officials and industry executives aware of the matter.

“We have been told a 1.3b decision on the matter is likely in the next two to three days, but again, just as in the case of airlines, implementation will depend a lot on the states,” said a person, who did not wish to be identified.

Hotels and other hospitality services have remained prohibited in phase four of the lockdown as per the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order, except those meant for housing police and government officials, healthcare workers and stranded persons, including tourists, and those offering quarantine facilities.

Industry bodies and associations have made repeated appeals, seeking a gradual reopening of hotels after the government allowed airlines to resume operations in a calibrated manner from May 25. Tourism ministry officials said tourism minister Prahlad Patel has also put in a fresh request to the MHA to consider a gradual reopening of the sector.

On Friday, a delegation of industry executives including MakeMyTrip executive chairman Deep Kalra, Yatra.com CEO Dhruv Shringi and Oyo Hotels & Homes group CEO Ritesh Agarwal, met tourism minister Patel and discussed calibrated reopening of hotels and accommodation units and post-lockdown protocols for safety and hygiene.

ET was the first to report, on May 13, that the tourism ministry was working on guidelines for post Covid-19 protocols to ensure minimum, uniform standards for social distancing and safety measures for hotels and other accommodation units and had sought industry feedback on the matter.

Hotel chains including Marriott International, Indian Hotels Company, Lemon Tree Hotels, ITC Hotels, Accor and Roseate Hotels & Resorts, have also been working on standard operating procedures at their end for ensuring safety and security of guests at their hotels.

Dipak Haksar, chairman of the CII National Committee on Tourism and Hospitality, said several representations have been sent to the government for a calibrated reopening of hotels. “We are hopeful of a decision being taken in a few days by the government. However, it will also depend on the decision taken by the state governments,” he said.

“Certain states such as Karnataka and West Bengal have understood our sectoral concerns and are keen on moving forward with a graded opening with the right procedures and hygiene protocols in place. There is complete consensus within the industry that a graded opening in unaffected areas is absolutely critical for its survival and we are keeping our fingers crossed,” said Haksar.

Aashish Gupta, CEO of the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality, said he is optimistic that the body’s ongoing discussions with multiple ministries will lead to some positive announcements. “We hope that the coordination between the states and the Centre is highly synchronised to avoid traveller discomfort,” he said.





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