Even after the recent decision by the government to allow the opening of the hotels, the hotel owners are not fully convinced of their safety during these times. Most hotel owners are unwilling to allow tourists from outside of Himachal to stay in their hotels.
After more than four months of the lockdown, the tourism industry of Himachal is left in a difficult position. The tourist season will almost end in mid-September and the government is trying to get some tourist revenue before the beginning of the winter.
Himachal Pradesh has already opened all its business operations and allowed people to open their shops and conduct regular business activities. However, all the other businesses which are connected to tourism are still going through a difficult phase. There are fear and uncertainty in the tourism sector of Himachal.
There are a few hotels in Manali, Shimla, and Dharamsala which have resumed their normal operations with all the safety protocols in place. But there are many hotels which get asked by the local villagers to stay closed. This is due to the fear that the new cases of COVID will reach their village population.
Some hotel owners have publicly said that they will stay closed for this year and will wait until a successful vaccine is released to the public.
There are still some restrictions that are making travel difficult for tourists. Some of the restrictions include the pre-booking of the hotels and mandatory stay of a minimum of 5 days. These restrictions make it difficult for tourism businesses to recover their costs of running their hotels.
There are some hotel owners that have requested the government to lift these restrictions so they can run their businesses as normal. With the hotels closed, the major part of the state’s revenue is affected.
According to the reports, a large number of hotel owners are not interested in opening their businesses and have chosen to stay safe for the sake of their local population. Some of these businesses have asked the government to waive off their electricity and water bills.
As of now, only a few hotels have opened and the decision to start their businesses is entirely up to the hotel owners.