Tourism dept nod mandatory for restarting hotels

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Panaji: Signaling the lifting of lockdown on the hospitality industry in the state, the government has asked all hotels to seek prior approval from the department of tourism before restarting operations. 

Hotels that want to resume operations will have to log on to an online link provided by the tourism department.

“Permission will be given only if hotels give an undertaking that they will comply with the guidelines of the central government,” said Menino D’Souza, tourism director.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, D’Souza said that the department so far has received 30-odd applications from hoteliers who wish to resume operations.

“Hoteliers will have to apply online giving their details. The tourism department will take a decision and then give a final date for re-starting subject to hotels fulfilling the requirements of the guidelines and the protocols,” added Nikhil Dessai, managing director of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC).

Hotels in the state have been asked to submit their applications along with a self-declaration form to the department of tourism website at goaonline.gov.in and at www.goatourism.gov.in under ‘Application for the commencement of Hospitality Business.’

The standard operating procedures (SOP) that need to be followed will be modified as per the requirement of the state after scrutinising the applications of the hotels and knowing the issues that they may face while reopening the hotels.   

Nilesh Shah, president of TTAG, said that the government has taken the right step in allowing hotels to reopen. He said that many hotels may not restart because of the staff issue.

“Less hotels starting up is likely to allow the industry to start in a calibrated manner,” said the TTAG president.

Hotels have been permitted to open from June 8 under the MHA guidelines which says that hospitality service providers can resume operations outside the containment zones with standard operating procedures (SOPs) prescribed by the ministry of health and family welfare in a phased manner.

While permitting restaurants in the state to start from June 8, the government has not yet announced the date for hotels restarting.