The Indian hospitality industry, battered by the pandemic, is on alert mode but not panicking yet in the face of the Omicron variant threatening to derail prospects of winter holiday season business, according to industry players.
With states imposing restrictions on gatherings for Christmas and New Year celebrations, hoteliers and restaurant operators are, however, staring at possible booking cancellations even as they hope for some support from the government like what the UK government has done for the industry there.
Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) Consulting CEO Aashish Gupta said there is uncertainty within the industry about the impact of the Omicron variant with different inputs coming in from different places regarding its severity and speed of spread.
“The first scene is that everybody is on alert mode but there is no panic mode because the information itself is not creating panic. The information is like a wait and watch,” Gupta told PTI.
Terming the situation as dynamic, he said in terms of reservations around Christmas and New Year, there isn’t much of cancellation as yet as the “information is not creating those states of panic”.
“If the information changes overnight, over the next 24 hours to 48 hours and then the whole action around the holiday and the New Year will immediately change. All of a sudden you’ll see a bit of cancellation. So, everyone is very alert. It is a wait and watch the situation,” he said.
Commenting on states putting restrictions on mass gatherings for Christmas and New Year in the wake of the emergence of the Omicron variant, Gupta said the governments have put caps based on whatever information that they have and the hospitality industry will agree to it but “actually it will put a damper on their business”.