The Hotels Association of India (HAI) has appealed to the Prime Minister through a letter, seeking relief measures to the crumbling hospitality sector amid the ongoing second wave of coronavirus. The HAI has sought “infrastructure status” in the concurrent list of the Indian Constitution for the sector, waiver of statutory liabilities to the authorities, and extension of loan moratorium among other requests. Chairman of Claridges Group of Hotels, Suresh Nanda has supported the demands of the HAI calling them “essential for the survival of the industry.”
“Featuring tourism and hospitality in the concurrent list of the Constitution will facilitate a stronger coordinating role for the Ministry of Tourism,” the statement read.
It has been over a year now since the hospitality industry in India has been facing business severity due to the outbreak of the pandemic. However, easing restrictions on movement since the end of 2020 came like a sigh of relief for the industry. However, when hospitality started to regain its strength, the second coronavirus wave came like a blow to the stakeholders, forcing all the allied businesses on hold once again. The impact of the recent Covid-19 wave felt harsher than the year before on the already cash-starved stakeholders.
The recent data suggests that almost 40 per cent of the hotels are already shut and a high percentage is on the brink of collapse. “All the industry wants is the breathing space. Hospitality is full of perseverance and we have proved this all along since March 2020. But strongest of strong also need some help in long and continuous testing times. Any help coming from the Government of India will help us from a collapse. I agree with the demands of the HAI and support their demands in a plea to the PM,” says Suresh Nanda.
However, he is quite optimistic about the future of the industry. “The sun will definitely rise for the hospitality industry and the sunrise is not far away.” The Indian hospitality industry is one of the biggest job creators in India. Moreover, it contributes immensely to the GDP of India and is expected to touch the INR 32 lakh crores mark by 2028. “The occurrence of the pandemic is expected to slow down our objectives. However, the Indian hospitality industry is the one that has always achieved way beyond what was expected from it. A little push will bring the industry back on traction and on the way to achieve its long term objectives,” he adds.
Suresh Nanda is an ex-Indian Navy personnel and is a well-known face in the world of hospitality in India and abroad.