January 18, 2021

SOP issued, but Himachal hoteliers say won’t resume operations – The Tribune India

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 10

Despite Tourism Civil Aviation Department issuing guidelines for hotels restaurants to resume operations, the owners from across the state have refused to start business, fearing for the safety of the residents their staff members.

Can’t risk lives

Since the situation is still not under control, we have decided not to resume business as we cannot risk the lives of the people living in the vicinity of our hotels or our staff. — Sanjay Sood, president, Shimla Hoteliers Association

Various hotel associations from Shimla, Kullu-Manali, Dharamsala, Dalhousie Kasauli, after holding a video meeting, have declined to resume operation.

Sanjay Sood, president of Shimla Hoteliers Association, said even the hotel staff was reluctant to return to work.

“Since our hotels are located amidst thickly populated areas in Manali, we have decided not to open as we cannot put their lives to risk,” said Anup Thakur, president of Hoteliers Association, Manali. He added that the government must come out with a plan to promote safe tourism. Hoteliers have demed that the government will have to give them more relief if they are keen to resume the tourism sector.

The 28-page Stard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the Tourism Department for hospitality units talks of setting up of a rapid response management team, check in check-out protocol for guests, room service, proper communication, training of staff, display of educative posters providing amenities like sanitizers, masks, gloves thermal guns.

Interestingly, the SOP has a protocol for hling