The Karnataka Tourism Society (KTS) Wednesday wrote a letter to the state government asking it to lift the weekend curfew to help the sector operate as usual.
In the letter, addressed to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, K Shyam Raju, the president of the society, also asked the government to revise the night curfew timings.
The letter comes after several stakeholders and even BJP leaders, albeit internally, sought the night curfew to be lifted. Bommai too has said that a decision will be soon taken after a discussion with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Friday.
In the letter, KTS has also sought bars and restaurants to be permitted to operate with 50 per cent occupancy. “Considering the current shape of our industry since the outbreak of the Covid-19 wave, this would help alleviate some pain that each hospitality institution is undergoing,” the letter mentioned.
It added, “The recent bout of the third wave of Covid (in various variants) is striking the entire sector. The situation as on date is that many hoteliers have permanently shut shops, many small time taxi operators have lost their livelihood and are struggling to stay afloat, tour guides pushed to oblivion on account of lack of business and many employees serving the industry are thrown out of jobs. it is estimated that the job loss is in excess of 5,00,000 and the revenue loss to the industry is approximately Rs 75,000 crore in the last 18 months.”
“We are recovering from the last two to three months and are trying to survive and revive. Many tourists have booked their holidays to travel in this month well in advance. Most of the weekend destinations, viz Coorg, Chikkamagaluru, Naragahole, Bandipur, Mysuru, etc are booked. Many tourists have booked even for weekends to our neighbouring state destinations viz Ooty, Yercard, Yelagiri, etc and they are expected to travel via Bangalore. Imposing weekend lockdowns will be a big blow for the trailing sector which has suffered the maximum,” the letter said.
KTS is the representative of the travel, tourism and hospitality sector (including tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers and resort owners, transport operators, taxi service providers and coach operators).