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Hotels in north Karnataka yet to recover after second wave; says Association

Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 11:00 Hrs  [IST]

According to TOI, Notwithstanding the relaxation of restrictions across the state, an uptick in business continues to elude the hospitality sector in North Karnataka. Although the Covid-19 curve has more or less flattened in the region, hotels in North Karnataka are yet to witness a turnaround in their fortunes. Owners of several hotels, in fact, arranged for their workers, who had returned home in the aftermath of the second wave of Covid-19, to return to Karnataka. However, tourists appear to be wary of staying at hotels for fear of contracting Covid-19, in addition to the toll that the pandemic has taken on the fiscal condition of the people, in general. General secretary of Hubballi Hotel Owners’ Association Ravi Gaitonde said, “There are more than 350 members in our association, and the lockdown had an adverse impact on nearly all of their establishments. The situation was improving, and business booming after the first lockdown was lifted. The lockdown imposed when the second wave peaked earlier this year really affected us very badly. Even after the restrictions were lifted, we have not registered any growth.” Owner of Hotel Sri Krishna Bhavan, the oldest in Hubballi, Krishnamurthy Uchilla said that they have not increased the price of any of the delicacies served at the restaurant for the past three years. “We have been taking a loss owing to the rise in the price of other commodities, including LPG, the rate of which has spiralled upwards in the past six to eight months. Most of our old customers are returning to the hotel, we had to retain the old prices. However, some people are reluctant to have breakfast owing to the fear of the infection. But the availability of skilled labourers has increased owing to the closure of several hotels in other parts of North Karnataka,” Uchilla added. Owner of Hotel Panjurli Srinivas Oakade said, “I run a hotel that offer North Indian cuisine, and most of our business is after dusk. Despite Dharwad district recording near zero Covid-19 cases, the night curfew has not been lifted, which affects our business. Police force to close the hotel at 9pm. Catering and other small orders are keeping us afloat.”

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