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Delhi government allows hotels to reopen after five months


New Delhi: In a major breakthrough for the hospitality industry, the Delhi government has allowed hotels to reopen. The decision was taken in a Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) meeting on Wednesday. Stating hotels in the national capital have been under immense stress for long, hoteliers welcomed the Delhi government’s move. Hotels in Delhi have been barred from operating for usual business since March.

In a statement, the tourism ministry said tourism minister Prahlad Patel had held discussions with Delhi’s Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal to request him to accede to the demands of the hospitality industry in Delhi for permission to start operations. The ministry said prior to this, he had also taken up the matter with the home ministry. Patel said it was a positive move that will help push domestic travel and give much relief to the industry which has been readying itself with health and safety protocols.

Anil Chadha, COO of ITC Hotels said he welcomes the announcement of reopening hotels in the capital. “We look forward to welcoming our guests to the familiar comfort and warmth of ITC Hotels,” he added.

Ankur Bhatia, executive director of Bird Group, which owns Roseate Hotels and Resorts said the move is in line with hotels opening in neighbouring states. Delhi hotels had been losing business to hotels in Gurgaon and Noida.

“The hotels in the state had been under immense stress for the longest time, even though others in the country were beginning to unlock and move towards normalcy. The hoteliers can now work out their strategies and move towards revival,” said Shwetank Singh, vice president, development and asset management, InterGlobe Hotels.

Dipak Haksar, advisor to industry body CII’s national committee on tourism and hospitality which had made repeated requests to the government to consider reopening hotels said resumption of economic activities is a step in the right direction.

On July 29, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said hotels attached to Covid-19 hospitals will be released in view of the improving situation in the capital. The government had previously attached some hotels to convert them into extended Covid hospitals.

On August 6, the chief minister had sent a proposal to the LG to allow hotels, gymnasiums and weekly markets to reopen in Delhi.

Hotel Association of India (HAI) said it believes the move will slowly help the capital intensive people centric sector gradually inch towards revival.

Rohit Arora, area general manager at THE Park New Delhi said his teams are ready to welcome back guests and the chain has adopted a more stringent approach to sanitisation and hygiene standards.

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