Speaking about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the hospitality industry, Sarbendra Sarkar, founder and MD, Cygnett Hotels & Resorts, said, “The pandemic has adversely affected our entire industry at large. Though in February we managed to achieve 97 percent of the budgeted revenues, we’ve experienced exponential growth in cancellations of about 90 per cent in March, while new reservations are now almost zero. We have similar numbers in terms of cancellations across all properties. April to June 2020 at this moment looks bleak, unless a vaccine is found at the earliest and the lockdown is lifted. We are looking forward to some respite in the form of reforms/schemes from the government.”
“RBI’s three-month moratorium is a welcome relief. Furthermore, we are hoping that in the coming months, the government introduces schemes/reforms that enable liquidity. In fact, to aid us with these tough times, we have requested the government for – an extension of additional six months to the moratorium on all working capital principal, interest payments on loans and overdrafts without categorising the companies as NPAs, thus ensuring business continuity; double existing overdraft limits for the industry enabling immediate ease of cash flow, thus helping avoid mass employee lay-offs; 12- month deferment of all statutory dues such as GST, Advance Tax payments, PF, ESIC, customs duties (Centre), excise fees (state government), taxes, and power & water charges; deferred renewals periods for all permits, licenses, bank guarantees & security deposits across the tourism, travel, hospitality & aviation industry. We are also hoping that they introduce short-term interest-free loans to help us rebuild the business,” Sarkar added.