Coronavirus impact: More than 350 hotels in Darjeeling will be closed from July

Kolkata, June 03: Darjeeling, one of the major tourist destinations in West Bengal, has had a major impact on the hospitality industry due to the widespread panic caused by the lethal global pandemic coronavirus.

More than 350 hotels here, under the banner of Darjeeling Hotel Owners Association (DHOA), have decided to shut down from July. With this move, more than 10,000 hotel staffs are expected to be unemployed.

DHOA Secretary General Vijay Khanna said, Coronoviruses have had a major impact on tourism resulting in the means of income are over. Our primary tourism season is over and we do not expect the current situation in the country to boost tourism so we have decided to cease operations from July.

“Each hotel has more than 350 registered hotels under the banner of DHOA with a workforce of between 60 and 20,” he said.

He added,” We don’t know when tourists will come. If we continue to run our hotels then we have to involve the workers. However, we fear that without any source of income, we will not be able to pay them.

“April, May and June are the tourist seasons which are a source of income for the whole year. There is a short tourist season of about 10 days during the puja, followed by winter inflow. However, the hotel owners ‘union said their workers’ salaries would be paid by June,” Khanna apprised.

According to the DHOA, some workers had complained to the Labour Department about the owners’ reluctance to pay the entire salary, on this Khanna said, initially we wanted to pay one percent of their salary for April and May after the lockdown. However, some of our members of the association complained. We decided to pay 35 per cent of their salary by June. Also, it is not possible for us to pay them

However, the association clarified that they would be looking for ways to sort out woos of the hotel staffs.

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