Despite easing of Covid-19 curbs, hoteliers concerned about getting business back
Thrissur: Though Covid-19 curbs are now eased and dining at hotels are allowed, another set of constraints has hit the hoteliers who keep their fingers crossed about regaining pre-Covid level business activity. The situation in Thrissur district reveals the tip of an iceberg, and how things are gloomy for hoteliers in the state.
The hotel business in Thrissur is going through a tough time. Despite the easing of Covid-19 related curbs, various factors are keeping them in toes. Shortage of labour is the prime concern these hoteliers share.
More than 25,000 employees who have been working in the hotel sector of the district are from other states. As hotels were only partially open due to Covid-19 restrictions, many returned to their home states. Due to easing of covid-19 curbs now hoteliers are recalling them.
Another factor that shuns the hopes of hoteliers is high operational cost. The price of commercial cooking gas is constantly rising and it recently got hiked by Rs 35.50. In this year alone price of the cylinder witnessed a rise of Rs 409. Similarly, the price of chicken is skyrocketing. Chicken which was in Rs 90 price range is now between Rs 130 and Rs 140.
Notably, around 80 percent of the hotels in the districts are operating in rented buildings. The individuals involved in the hotel business are seeking more time to settle the rent dues and urge the government to intervene. There are many who are troubled by debts from banks and money lenders. Recently, a hotelier who did not pay rent due has been abused and beaten up.
The hoteliers demand that unless the business regains its momentum the building owners should restructure the present rent. They also request to extend the time for paying the dues.
Meanwhile, around 70 hotels in the district were shut down due to issues with building owners. All these hotels are the ones having a seating capacity of more than 50 pax. Among the 70 closed hotels, 15 are under Thrissur Corporation itself. They were operating by paying rent in a range from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.