With Covid-induced lockdown spelling doom for the tourism industry and no relief coming from the government, a number of hoteliers in Dharamsala have been resorting to distress sale of their properties.
Of the over 1,000 hotels in Dharamsala, about 50 had been put on sale, said Ashwani Bamba, the local hotel association president. Even the property prices were 25 to 30 per cent down compared to five years ago, he said. “Hoteliers are being forced to sell their properties as they don’t have money to repay bank loans,” he said.
Ruing the lack of support from the government, Bamba said no financial assistance had been offered despite the hotel industry contributing about 18 per cent to the state’s GDP.
Sources said about 50,000 people had lost their jobs in Kangra alone, a district that has over 3,000 hotels, due to the Covid pandemic.
Dharamsala BJP MLA Vishal Nehria said the hotel industry’s grievances were genuine. “I will urge the government to at least waive the annual pollution licence and tourism registration fee,” he said.