Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For many skilled hoteliers, the pandemic has turned out to be a nightmare. “This is the first time in my life that the business is running in loss,” says M O Balakrishnan Nair, who has been within the resort enterprise for over 32 years. The enterprise was getting in full swing for the resort proprietor till the pandemic outbreak introduced his life to a grinding halt.
“For the previous one-and-a-half years, the enterprise has been a complete disappointment. Though takeaways and residential deliveries have been allowed, it doesn’t generate a lot revenue for us. With zero dine-in, now we have barely 20 per cent of our pre-covid enterprise now.
On some days, there’s hardly any enterprise,” stated Balakrishnan, proprietor at Murali Hotel in Thampanoor.Balakrishnan says practically a lakh of individuals within the state depend upon the resort and restaurant trade and they’re struggling ever for the reason that authorities imposed restrictions on eating in. “There were about 11 employees in my hotel but currently we are functioning with just two of them as it is difficult to pay their salaries,” he says.
Thampanoor, one of many prime spots within the metropolis consisting of a lot of vacationers lodges and motels, has been hardly getting any visitors since March 2020. “As Nipah cases are reported in the state, there has been a fall in the number of people visiting from the Malabar region which has further affected our business,” says Balakrishnan, who can also be the Thampanoor unit president of the Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA).
However, some eating places have made non permanent preparations for his or her prospects to have their meals conveniently, particularly retailers functioning close to hospitals. “My family has been running a vegetarian hotel near the SP Fort hospital for more than a decade and we have a large customer base. Although we have been able to do about 60 per cent of our usual business, the hotels near us serving non-vegetarian dishes are having a tough time. Our customers are mostly people visiting the hospitals. Since dine-in has not been permitted, often the bystanders at the hospital are forced to have their food near the roadsides. So, we have arranged a temporary area in our parking space,” says S Krishnakumar, proprietor at Sri Udupi Hotel and Lodge.
Krishnakumar, who’s a fourth-generation restaurateur says “We were forced to reduce the staff during the second wave. Not just the staff, those supplying plantain leaves and toiletries have also been affected by the restrictions on dine-in service. We hope that we get a positive reply from the government soon.”Meanwhile, because the chief minister assured KHRA of a constructive answer to their issues after a gathering to be held on Tuesday, the organisation have put a maintain on the protest on the secretariat which was scheduled on September 16.
“Takeaways and deliveries account for only 40 percent of the business. Though dine-in is permitted in assembly canteens, collectorates and police canteens, it is not the same with hotels and restaurants. Most restaurants are going through a severe financial crisis but are still forced to pay building rent and other taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax. Some hotels owners have died by suicide. There are others, who are on the verge of suicide. We hope that the issue is resolved soon,” says B Vijayakumar, secretary of KHRA Thiruvananthapuram.