City Tourism & Hospitality Industry in Soup Again due to Restrictions Imposed
Mangaluru: Post pandemic when the stakeholders in the travel, tourism, food, and beverage industries were getting back on track and earning good income after heavy losses during the pandemic time, are once again facing the brunt due to the recent restrictions of businesses to be closed from 6 pm till 6 am, and also due to the Section 144 clamped in the Coastal district. They have all expressed their anger on the said time restriction, which are the peak timings for a good business.
“This was not needed, and such unnecessary restrictions are putting us back into loss of business, and keeping tourists away, which has caused a major financial loss to the district. The tension prevailed after three persons were slain outside the City limits, then why even such restrictions in the City, which make no sense, rather put us into hardship? Why even make us close restaurants and hotels that serve alcohol indoors”, said a hotel owner on M G road in the City.
Another bar and restaurant owner said “Business was picking up pace after the pandemic, for the food and beverage industry. The industry hired extra staff after the situation improved. The sudden restrictions have come as a jolt. The food industry does good business during the weekend, and it’s been a washout due to the restrictions. The liquor sector pays the highest tax to the government, and yet the district administration has ordered it to be closed for several days. It is unacceptable”.
“The unprecedented evening prohibition order is not required since our city is peaceful ever since triple murders in our District which is most unfortunate and shameful. Travel and Tourism have been affected due to Probationary orders, many religious and pleasure visits to our twin districts have been cancelled and many general publics have also cancelled their travel from our District with a fear of not being able to return to the city with these types of Probationary orders. The business has been affected very badly and working people are suffering since they take daily groceries and other necessary food items due to the closure of all shops/malls and grocery stores. District Administration should withdraw such Probationary orders immediately for the public to be relaxed and to enjoy their daily life”, according to a travel agent.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Peter Nirmal, the General Manager of Taj Gateway hotel said, “A lot of guests had booked accommodation at our hotel, but cancelled their plans having learnt the restrictions in the City. If such kind of restrictions are imposed every now and then it will surely hurt the hospitality and tourism business when the tourism department is encouraging visitors to come to Mangaluru”.
The partner of Hotel Prestige, Damodar Shetty Mangaluru said, “As Mangaluru is improving with its infrastructure and turning into a smart city, we expected that hotel timing would be extended. However, what we see is the opposite, and we are ordered to shut down by 6 pm”.
Even auto-rickshaw drivers have expressed their frustration, from evening till late night are the hours they earn more income to support their families, and also pay the bank loans taken to purchase their vehicles. Now once again the district administration has extended the restriction which was supposed to end today (1 August) by two more days, ending on 5 August at 6 am.