THE Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) on Thursday said it has made a representation to the Government for stimulus package for the hospitality sector which is reeling from huge losses due to cancellations of bookings after the coronavirus outbreak. “Almost all tourism verticals have been severely impacted by the crisis. However, it is the hospitality industry that has been hit the most. Our members have reported cancellations reaching a critical stage of 90 per cent,” FHRAI Vice-President Gurbaxish Singh Kohli said.
Kohli also said that forward bookings, which may have helped buffer the impact, are also negligible because of the uncertainty in containing the disease spread globally. He said, the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE), wedding tourism, and other kinds of celebrations have been negatively impacted.
“Hotels and restaurants are facing a catastrophic situation with revenues plunging drastically,” he added. The hospitality industry is highly labour-intensive and is the biggest employment generator of both direct and indirect jobs. “The industry employs the largest workforce and hoteliers have a responsibility towards taking care of their employees. This includes ensuring that they are paid on time as well as their well-being, especially now in the face of the pandemic,” FHRAI Joint Honorary Secretary Pradeep Shetty said.