Kuakata hotel business slumps as Covid curbs return

After the issuance of new guidelines, the number of tourists to the resort town of Kuakata in Patuakhali district has declined at an alarming rate, resulting in immediate losses for hotel and motel owners. Photo: Sohrab Hossain

“>



After the issuance of new guidelines, the number of tourists to the resort town of Kuakata in Patuakhali district has declined at an alarming rate, resulting in immediate losses for hotel and motel owners. Photo: Sohrab Hossain

Hotel and motel owners in Kuakata, one of Bangladesh’s most popular tourist spots, are once again paying high prices as reservations are canceled due to the latest spike in coronavirus cases.

The latest blow came amid the peak tourist season after the government moved to tighten rules to limit damage from the ongoing third wave of infections.

For all the latest news, follow the Daily Star’s Google News channel.

As the coronavirus situation deteriorates, the government issued an 11-point directive on January 12 to protect the public from the rapidly spreading coronavirus variant Omicron.

After the directive was issued, the number of tourists to the southern district beach town of Patuakhali declined at an alarming rate, causing immediate losses for hotel and motel owners and others involved in the industry. hotelier.

Md Shahin, manager of Banani Palace, a hotel, said he had a reservation for 250 people for an annual Saturday picnic. The reservation was canceled two days ago.

The hotel has 32 double rooms, but there were tourists in only two rooms on Friday. As the remaining 30 rooms were empty, the financial loss was Tk 45,000, he said.

“Now it has become difficult for us to pay staff salaries and allowances.”

Abdur Rahim Khan, the owner of Khan Palace, said the hotel had accommodation reservations on Saturday for 150 tourists from Dhaka. But they canceled the reservation on Wednesday.

Also, 40 tourists from Jashore were supposed to come to stay on Jan 20 and 21 but the bookings were also cancelled, he said.

Jashim Uddin, general secretary of a district teachers’ association, said: “We have booked hotel rooms for a team of 50 people for an annual picnic at the end of this month. But due to the worsening Coronavirus situation, we had to cancel the Reservations.”

There are 130 standard residential hotels in Kuakata. Among them, 70 are members of the Kuakata Hotel-Motel Owners Association. These hotels have a combined accommodation capacity for 10,000 tourists, said Motaleb Sharif, secretary general of the association.

The number of tourists generally remains high on Fridays and Saturdays. But only 300 tourists were in Kuakata on Friday, leaving hotels with a financial loss of Tk 75 lakh to Tk 80 lakh per day.

Sharif says the tourist destination’s hospitality industry has lost thousands of taka crores in lost revenue since the pandemic hit the country nearly two years ago.

“We have to count more casualties now that coronavirus cases are increasing,” he said.

He says the burden of financial loss has become so heavy that some hoteliers are planning to close their operations permanently.

He asked the government for incentives for tourism-related businesses in Kuakata so that they can overcome the new financial problems.

Comments are closed.