Government has decided to stop tourists from visiting Swat during the complete lockdown to be imposed from May 8 to May 16. It has caused the local hoteliers to worry for their families and managing finances.
They said that due to the ban, more than 30,000 families would suffer. They said that it was the second year that the government-imposed ban on tourists during Eid-ul Fitr holidays and this will undoubtedly make them suffer financially.
From May 8 to May 16, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to impose a ban on all kinds of tourism activities. During the ban, nobody will be allowed to visit tourist spots in any part of the country as tourist resorts, hotels and public parks will be closed.
Abdul Wadood, president of Kalam Hotels Association, told that it was the second year that their hotels were closed by the government which would inflict heavy financial losses on them.
He said that they pay annual rent to the owners of the buildings and that they wait the entire year as Eid holidays are their season for business.
“Once again we will suffer huge losses due to the closure of hotels. We wonder that all the big cities and markets remain overcrowded where people do not follow SOPs but the government only closes touristic spots and hotels.”He said.
Wadood says that the livelihoods of 30,000 people working in about 300 hotels in Kalam are dependent on tourism as
Simultaneously, some tourist operators appreciated the move and said that the lockdown was the need of time to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“I know that many people will suffer financially due to the lockdown in tourist areas but health is first and we all have to take care of our health and play our role to stop the spread of coronavirus.”Said Azharuddin, a tracking and tour operator in Swat.