Hoteliers layoff staff, snap internet, cable connections
Pahalgam: Hoteliers here are taking severe cost-cutting measures – including layoffs – as near zero tourist footfall this autumn has put severe dents their revenues.
Most of the hotels remain locked, while the ones still open to guests maintain minimalistic operations.
The October-November window, hoteliers say, used to be a bustling period for business in wake of holidays in most parts of India – Kolkata and Gujarat in particular.
However, the number of tourists that visited this tourist resort in autumn this year has been negligible for second consecutive year. “Last year, it was the uprising and now god knows what,” an exasperated hotelier, Reyaz Lone, told Kashmir Reader. “You can see there are no tourists here.”
“Our hotel internet and cable connections have been disconnected for the last three months and nobody complains because we have almost no guests,” Mushtaq Ahmad, another hotelier, said.
He said he used to have all forty rooms in his hotel occupied this time of the year. “These days, not even three rooms are occupied on an average.”
The laying off has left dozens of local boys jobless. “I have been working at a hotel for the last five years, but two months back, the owner asked me and other staff to leave. The only person working at the hotel right now is the watchman,” Showket Ahmad from Yanner area of Pahalgam said. He said that he was planning to move to Shimla for work.
Tourism officials, aware of the depressing state of tourism this year, claim that efforts were being made to revive the industry.
An official said that a team from the department was in Lucknow to ensure bookings for the next year. “We are not even thinking about this year as of now. We are trying to lure tourists for the next year. Fingers crossed, I am hopeful for a revival in 2018,” the official said.