FHRAI has submitted a Representation to Prime Minister’s Office outlining the challenges posed by the crisis
The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), in the ensuing outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), has asked the hospitality fraternity to remain vigilant and act as the guardians of people at large. It has advised its members to keep in mind the Indian cultural code of conduct with ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ and to put in extra efforts to serve the community under all circumstances. The apex Association has expressed that while the sector is bleeding with plummeting sales today, maintaining a positive attitude and staying on toes will go a long way during the recovery phase. In the interim, the FHRAI has submitted a representation to the Prime Minister’s Office outlining the challenges posed by the crises, its impact to the industry and the support hoped from the Government.
It may be noted that hotels in the country across all segments have been receiving cancellations impacting the entire value chain. All the major metro cities in the country including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad have witnessed almost 100 per cent cancellations and there are no future bookings. The footfall at restaurants too has reduced by a minimum of 80 per cent over the last couple of months since the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI says “The total contribution by travel and tourism sector to India’s GDP is expected to increase from Rs.15,24,000 crore (US$ 234.03 billion) in 2017 to Rs.32,05,000 crore (US$ 492.21 billion) in 2028. This projection is an indicator and a reminder of what is in store for the hospitality industry and its players. While the pandemic has hurt us bad today and may inflict panic in the short term, it would only be wise for us to remain focused and deal with the situation on hand as pragmatically as possible. The FHRAI reasserts that hotels and restaurants follow the protocols and advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to ensure safe operations of their establishments”.
It may also be noted that the industry constitutes of 500,000 restaurants in the organized sector, an estimated 400,000 in unorganized sector and over 53,000 licensed hotels which together account for 7 per cent of the total employment generated in the country. The hotel and restaurant industry supports 33 million jobs directly and indirectly across India.
Pradeep Shetty, Jt. Honorary Secretary, FHRAI says “We are a labor intensive industry and presently our focus is on taking all preventive and precautionary measures to control the spread of the virus. This also means that everyone remains extra watchful and careful while at work. It is important that the staff be updated on a daily basis on the dos and don’ts in their routine tasks. The management needs to instill faith in its staff and also express appreciation for their services during this tough phase. Historically, the hotel and restaurant industry has always put in extra efforts during any crises to serve the community”.
“The Indian hospitality industry is built on the foundation of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ and we will continue working in the larger interest of the Nation. However, we also plead that the Government sees us through in these tough times in the interest of the industry and for safeguarding the jobs of the massive workforce that is employed by it,” concludes Mr Kohli.