Nepal | July 07, 2020

Small and medium hoteliers appeal govt to address COVID-19 impact on hospitality sector

THT ONLINE
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KATHMANDU: At a time when the the country’s economy is being marred by the extended lockdown imposed in the wake of coronavirus crisis, the Hotel Professional Federation Nepal (HPFN) has made an appeal to the government to bring in special economic package to prevent tourism and hospitality industry from collapsing.

Addressing a press meet today in Kathmandu, HPFN, an umbrella organisation of around 80,000  small and medium hotels across the country, drew the government’s attention towards the risk billions worth of investment going into a loss and towards thousands of jobs that are at stake due to the crisis.

Hira Dhoj Shah, chairperson of the association said, “We have forwarded a fifteen-point demand to safeguard the the industry from collapsing.”

“As most of the hoteliers are facing difficulty to paying rents, we demand that the government waive rent charges of lockdown period and provide 50% discount, tax exemption, discount on customs and extend period of two years for bank loan repayment, until the situation gets back to normal. We also demand thay special economic packages are announced in coordination with the local level to address entrepreneurs’ and property owners’ issues,” reads the statement.

Unlike other businesses, tourism sector will need more time to revive even after the pandemic is over, we request with the government to provide us discount on electricity, water, internet service for at least a year, association’s chairperson Shah stressed.

Coping with the difficulty posed by the pandemic, the association also urged the government to make ways for the banks to sanction ‘soft loan’ in minimal interest rate.

Keeping the probability of entrepreneurs being displaced in mind, the association asked the government to address issues related to tourism sector in it’s plan and polices and Tourism Act, 2076.

“If the government fails to address our demand, we do not have any other option rather than to stage nationwide protest,” Shah added.

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