Hotels and restaurants have urged the state government to ensure industry status for the hospitality sector, which has been struggling with skyrocketing maintenance costs.
The occupancy rate was affected for the second year in a row with the impact of COVID-19. Until the pre-COVID period, the occupancy rate was around 70% and it reached 90% in October and November with the start of the wedding season and economic activity during Deepavali.
With the continuing fear of COVID-19, many businessmen have stopped visiting Vizianagaram district. As many of them prefer to transact via online calls and video conferences, the occupancy rate did not even exceed 50% in October.
“The hospitality industry directly and indirectly provides huge jobs. Thus, the government should address the issues and ensure industry status for the sector. The statute will certainly offer concessions in electricity costs and other charges, ”said Gudisa Shivakumar, Honorary President of the Vizianagaram Hotels Association. He added that the hundreds of local young people would also get jobs when the government and the hospitality industry jointly go through short-term training programs for them.
“The hospitality industry is ready to provide free continuing education for young people when AP Skill Development Corporation presents a list of likely candidates,” he added.
Vizianagaram Hotel Association President G. Srinivasa Rao urged the government to promote tourist sites and major temples in the district by operating buses and vehicles from Visakhapatnam. “Tour tourism is the best option to encourage the hospitality industry. Hotels and restaurants will overcome maintenance costs when the flow of visitors is good, ”he said.
According to him, Vizianagaram Fort, Thatipudi Reservoir, Ramateertham Temple, Sri Pydibamba Temple, Sri Rama Narayanam, Astalakshmi Temple were the suitable places for tour tourism in Vizianagaram district.