The Galliyat Development Authority (GDA) has called on the provincial government to take swift action to support the tourism and hospitality sectors in Galliyat, including the provision of interest-free loans, tax incentives and protection of workers against unemployment.
The blockade imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, while necessary to save lives, has caused colossal losses to the tourism industry in Nathia Gali, Donga Gali and other tourist destinations in Galliyat, said the director general of the GDA, Raza Habib, speaking to The Express. Grandstand.
He said that the GDA has submitted a document making policy recommendations to the provincial department of tourism, stating that the restoration of the tourism sector should be the center of policy dialogue and measures should be taken for the recovery of tourism. economy.
Interest-free loans will be provided to hospitality and tourism companies to prevent their collapse and provide financial support to SMEs in the tourism sector that are willing to introduce digital products.
Habib said that the recommendations made to the provincial tourism department to protect the tourism industry in Galiliyat and the entire province will be submitted to the chief secretary and chief minister for approval.
He pointed out that there are currently hundreds of jobs at stake in Galliyat and many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) related to the tourism sector are at risk of closing their businesses, so measures to support tourism and hospitality must be taken.
He revealed that the hotel industry in the area alone has incurred an estimated loss of Rs 60 crore due to the closure.
He further said that matching grants should be offered to affected businesses in the tourism, food and beverage sectors and that financial grants could be given to workers in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Responding to a query, Habib said that they have done everything possible to present their best recommendations for the reactivation of the economy in the area, but that these recommendations would be incorporated into the policy developed for the entire province.
He noted that GDA is in favor of incentivizing existing businesses and asked the provincial government to do a full sector analysis based on last year’s performance as a baseline. “Based on this analysis, a matching grant should be offered to affected businesses in the tourism, food and beverage sectors, and financial grants can be awarded to protect the livelihoods of hotel industry workers,” he said.
Similarly, interest-free loans will be granted to hotel and travel and tourism companies, as well as SMEs in tourism value chains to prevent their collapse, the official said, adding that government taxes on the tourism sector should be waived during at least one year.
Posted in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2020.