COVID-19 3rd wave: Restaurant owners struggle to survive, 50% of hotel reservations canceled : Tourism stakeholders

Srinagar: Amid rising positive cases at J&K and weekend lockdown, restaurateurs in Kashmir are struggling to survive as those associated with touring and travel said around 50% of bookings have already been cancelled.

Sheikh Feroz Ahmad, chairman of the Restaurant Association of Kashmir (RAK), said restaurateurs had mostly suffered for three years and with the new weekend closure restrictions they were struggling to survive.

“Due to the economic crisis, business was already down and the elite class stay out of the valley in the winter, so work was already down, but the weekend lockdown further hurt our businesses” , Feroz said.

Feroz said that for a few years new young people have opened their cafes and restaurants, but due to losses at the initial stage, they are now in depression.

“During the weekend lockdown, tourists are also suffering as they find it hard to get cultural dishes like wazwan and are forced to eat lunch at their hotels,” he said.

“Our economic situation is very bad at this point and we are unable to understand what we will pay our employees after the end of this month,” Feroz said.

Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK) chairman Farooq A Kuthoo told KNO that about 50% of bookings were canceled after cases started to rise at J&K.

However, Kuthoo said that since experts predict that this surge will not last long, we are hopeful that it will start functioning normally again.

“We have started to receive inquiries again, but not in large numbers, but we hope it will resume soon,” he said, adding that our losses from the third wave are quite significant—(KNO)

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