Advance bookings dip to 10 percent, leaving stakeholders worried

Shimla: The decision of imposition night curfew by the state government in four districts of the state till December 15, owing to Covid restrictions has not gone down well with those involved in the Tourism and hotel Industry.

They rue that instead of reviving the tourism business, it has only made matters worse sending wrong message to the tourists wanting to visit the state.

According to them the much anticipated revival of tourism industry that has suffered huge losses has once again been adversely hit owing to the night curfew decision.

The arrival of tourist around the year end for the New Year celebration has witnessed a steep decline.      

Travel Agent Association President, Naveen Paul said,

“There has been cancellation of advance hotel bookings from 50 percent to 10 percent for the year end. The night curfew between 9.00 pm to 6.00 am has sent a wrong message across to those tourists interested to visit Shimla.”  

The state government had decided to open the borders for entry of tourist, despite opposition from the people of the Hotel industry, Travel Agents Association, he said, adding that they were even ready to brave the Covid crisis for some more extended period.

“Now with tourisim in jeopardy, it is again left the hoteliers and taxi operators in the lurch as they are finding it difficult to pay salaries to their staff they recalled,” he said.        

Member of Shimla Hoteliers and Restaurant Association, Vandana Bhagra said that the timing constraint in terms of the night curfew is weighing heavy on the minds of the tourist intending to visit Shimla.

“While, we are assuring of compliance of the Covid protocol, SOPs, and precautionary measures, however there is much query on imposition of night curfew from the tourist, which is affecting their travel plans,” she added.