The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) said members are extending support at the regional, state and city levels. About 45,000 hotel rooms across the country belonging to ITC, Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), The Lalit, Lemon Tree and others have been set aside for quarantining.
The petition is Dineout’s way of showing support and saving the restaurant industry from taking a hit in a time like this with so many jobs at stake.
State governments are using these facilities for conversion into isolation wards in worst-affected hotspots. The Madhya Pradesh government has acquired 28 hotels, resorts and marriage gardens in the worst-affected cities of Ujjain and Indore, according to a TOI report.
“We aren’t trying to profiteer at the expense of landlords. As longstanding business partners, we are hopeful that landlords will extend their support in these times of unprecedented crisis,” NRAI president Anurag Katriar said.
The industry, with an annual turnover of over Rs 4 lakh crore and direct employee base of over seven million, is in a fighting a grim battle for its basic survival amidst the Covid-19 outbreak, the association said.
In India, deep-seated cultural prejudices about dining with “others” are likely to become exacerbated.
At present, nine hotel chains, including Lemon Tree, Radisson Hotels and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), are collectively offering 392 rooms as paid quarantine facilities (in Gurugram), according to the district administration of Gurugram. Their room tariffs have been capped at Rs 3,600.
The option is, however, available only for those who have opted for a prepaid order and not cash on delivery.
The airport hospitality service providers who had to shut down lounges following the suspension of air traffic, have requested the airport operators to provide some relief on high rentals they pay for using their facilities.
These vouchers available in Rs 1,000 denominations would help support restaurants, as Dineout will transfer the funds to the restaurants at no additional charges to ensure that they continue to receive the crucial cash-flow needed to survive these trying times, while food-lovers get discounted coupons from their favourite eateries in town.
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hotel & Restaurant Association of Eastern India has asked hotels of all categories in Kolkata to keep isolation rooms for guests irrespective of whether they are coming from abroad or within the country.
While the plunge in occupancy could be 30-40% for mid-scale and two-star hotels, the same for four-star hotels and above categories could be 20-25% for the next three months beginning March -- which is peak season due to summer holidays and weddings, the report said, citing the increasing number of cities going under full or partial lockdowns.
All the tourism verticals have been severely impacted by the coronavirus crisis.The hospitality sector which is reeling from huge losses due to cancellations of bookings after the coronavirus outbreak is now seeking stimulus packages from government to pay their large workforce and hoteliers in the times of pandemic.
The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has written to prime minister Narendra Modi stating the tourism industry is in dire straits because of the COVID-19 pandemic and is staring at mass unemployment and bankruptcies.
On Tuesday, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), which represents 500,000-plus restaurants, had advised its restaurant members to shut down dine-in operations till the end of March. Gurgaon has also enforced restrictions on public gathering of any social, religious, academic and sporting activities at 50 people in March.
It advised the members to maintain stringent checks and hygiene standards, FHRAI said in a statement, adding it does not advocate shutting down of restaurants unless there is any specific directive from local authorities in this regard.
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