Odisha hoteliers ask for tourism marketing plan before lifting lockdown

The hotel guild has also listed its litany of woes and demanded a revival package to bail the distressed industry out of this unprecedented crisisThe hotel guild has also listed its litany of woes and demanded a revival package to bail the distressed
Hoteliers in Odisha have called upon the state government to prepare a marketing plan before it eases a lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

“The plan can be rolled out instantly without wasting any time. This shall be short-term and long-term. Major thrust areas are to be domestic, Indian corporates with proper guidelines and various incentives for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) segment. All Odisha based corporates can be given directives to hold their meetings, seminars, conferences and dealers meet inside the state for the next two years”, JK Mohanty, chairman, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) said in a memorandum to Vishal Dev, secretary (tourism, sports & youth affairs), Odisha government.

Mohanty suggested that the state tourism department may roll out a massive advertisement campaign post Covid-19, positioning Odisha as a safe destination for tourists. Besides, the announcement of a robust tourism policy laced with incentives can be a major impetus for tourism infrastructure in the state.

HRAO has suggested that a Covid task force be constituted with five to six members drawn from the association with the endorsement of the department of tourism. The task force members can interact threadbare with the government on all points relating to the revival package after lockdown and monitor the implementation.

The hotel guild has also listed its litany of woes and demanded a revival package to bail the distressed industry out of this unprecedented crisis.

Stating that the moratorium of three months on loans announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) won’t suffice, HRAO has demanded that the tenure should be extended to one year on all working capital, principal & interest payments and loans & overdrafts. Moreover, SMEs (small & medium enterprises) should be allowed to avail collateral and interest free loans in tourism to help them sustain and rebuild.

Mohanty has also lobbied for tax concessions considering the plight of the industry.

“SGST should be waived off till the time the situation becomes normal. It will show signs of positivity from the government side to support tourism and hospitality industry. The state government should also try and convince the central government for a similar step. Moreover, there needs to be waiver of fees for any upcoming licenses/permits renewal for the hospitality and travel industry across the state till the time revival happens”, he said.


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