Ten days after the Tamil Nadu government granted permission to reopen hotels and lodges, facilities run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (TTDC) are reporting poor occupancy.
Along with private hotels, TTDC reopened its units, named Hotel Tamil Nadu, in different parts of the State, including in Tiruchi, Mamallapuram, Thanjavur, Rameswaram, Kanniyakumari, Tiruchendur and Madurai, on September 1 after a gap of over five months.
Besides on-site bookings, TTDC resumed online services too. However, the bookings are yet to show encouraging signs. Almost all 22 hotels, which have restaurants and bars, have reported poor bookings. The occupancy rate hovers around 5% in most hotels.
Of the 30 rooms that include budget and A/C suites in Hotel Tamil Nadu in Tiruchi, located near the Central Bus Stand, just two rooms were occupied on Thursday. The same trend prevailed over the past 10 days.
Sources said that TTDC hotels in Thanjavur, Rameswaram and Kanniyakumari, which cater mainly to tourists, also received poor bookings. There were hardly any enquiries for bookings for the next couple of weeks.
Tourism Minister Vellamandi N. Natarajan told The Hindu that TTDC hotels had put in place safety precautions in accordance with the standard operating procedures issued by the State government.
However, most hotels had received just one or two bookings in the last 10 days. The movement of pilgrims and business and marriage travellers had not picked up yet.
“We need to admit that apprehensions do prevail among people about contracting COVID-19. We are taking … steps to enhance customer confidence in TTDC hotels. We hope the bookings will pick up gradually,” he said.
He said the resumption of public transport and train services was expected to lead to an increase in bookings in the days to come.
Instructions have been given to hotel managers to carry out deep cleaning of rooms and washrooms on a daily basis. Guests should be admitted after they are screened with a thermal scanner, he added.