After Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted towards a lockdown 4.0, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has appealed to the government to offer some relaxations to the hospitality sector, especially in green and orange zones.
With travel being curbed due to the lockdown, the hospitality and tourism sector, which accounts for 12.75% of employment in India is staring at a potential job loss of around 38 million, which is 70% of its total workforce, due to COVID-19.
â€śThe Indian hospitality sector is one of the worst hit by the lockdown and is looking for any reasonable means to keep the industry alive,â€ť FHRAI said in a statement.
In a bid to mitigate the hardships being faced by the sector, FHRAI has proposed to the government that hotels and restaurants in the green zones be allowed to operate to 100% capacity and at 50% capacity in orange zones.
Further, with the lockdown being eased in several regions, the FHRAI anticipates the need for accommodation and food for those serving during this period.
"Even today, containing the spread of the virus remains the countryâ€™s first priority. But we also have to take into account that the hospitality and tourism industry employs roughly over 43 million people. These people are relying on hotels and restaurants resuming operations for their survival. Every lockdown extension is making it more and more difficult for establishments to keep people employed as well as to sustain. Since the Government is relaxing operations for several industries to keep the wheels of economy moving, we are hoping that it allows our industry some relaxation too,â€ť Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI said.
He further added that according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), 75 million travel and tourism jobs are at risk worldwide. He also expressed concern that a sector as large as this has not been spoken about by the government yet.
â€śWe want to know if the government has any plans at all with any kind of stimulus for the industry or not. We pray that the Hon FM keeps the hospitality sector in mind in the next tranche of economic measures to be announced,â€ť Kohli said.
FHRAI is hoping to resume operations soon and adhering to all the safety measures strictly.