New Delhi: India’s hotel industry has welcomed the Centre’s norms under ‘Unlock 1, which allows them to recommence operations. These norms are part of the fifth phase of the nationwide lockdown which was announced on Saturday for the containment zones till June 30, providing relaxations for the hotel industry from June 8 onwards. This phase relaxes many restrictions on businesses. Hotel Association of India Vice President K.B. Kachru said: “The pandemic and consequent lockdowns have had a disastrous impact on the hotel sector.” “We welcome the government’s decision to allow restaurants, hotels, and malls to open in areas outside the containment zones from June 8. We hope this landmark decision will pave the way for a graded resurgence of the hotel industry,” Kachru said.
He urged the Centre to consider setting up of a Tourism COVID 19 Fund for enabling the tourism industry to meet its salary and working capital needs. Major Industry players such as Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO – OYO Hotels & Homes said: “We welcome the government’s decision to reopen hotels. We are excited and prepared to host guests with the new sanitized stay experience. Similarly, Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC, and Chairman of the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), thanked the Centre for reallowing the commencement of business operations of hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality services under Unlock 1.
“We welcome the government’s decision to reopen hotels. We are excited and prepared to host guests with the new sanitized stay experience. At OYO, our topmost priorities are maintaining the health, hygiene & well-being of our guests and staff. Right from our app to hotel teams, we are working to ensure proper sanitization of hotels as well as maintaining social distancing with the guests. We are displaying a ‘Sanitized Stays’ tag for properties that clear background audit checks for sanitization, hygiene, and protective equipment. We along with our asset partners, look forward to delivering a safe, secure, and comfortable experience for our guests,” said Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes.
On its part, Merrill Pereyra, Managing Director, Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent, said: “This is a welcome announcement from the government and all our stores are fully prepared to serve the valued customers. All our stores are equipped to offer contactless dining wherein right from accessing the menu to making payments, the process will be digital.” According to Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group: “We are already pushed to the wall. A little more extension of lockdown would have done irreversible economic damage. We welcome the government’s move to allow us to operate.”
In a statement, Zubin Saxena, Managing Director and Vice President, Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We are looking forward to resuming operations within the government guidelines. “Apart from hygiene, our go-forward business model is concentrated on leveraging the synergies of our network which we believe will work in a sustainable manner to ensure business uplift over time. We remain dedicated to exceeding guest expectations in the new era of hospitality that awaits us.”