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Himachal

Posted at: Sep 15, 2018, 1:14 AM; last updated: Sep 15, 2018, 1:14 AM (IST)

HPTDC mulls leasing out loss-making units

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 14

Faced with stiff competition from private players in the hotel industry, the state government is contemplating leasing out some of the 36 loss-making hotels out of the 55 properties owned by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC).

The HPTDC is undertaking an exercise to look into the reasons for the losses incurred by many of its prime properties for the past several years. The HPTDC is earning about Rs 100 crore every year but fails to earn any profit due to expenditure on hefty salary component and upkeep and maintenance of the properties.

The HPTDC, which provided services in the most remote areas of the state where the presence of the private players was non-existent even a decade back, is finding it tough to match up to the professional services being offered at much lower tariffs by private players. The HPTDC has a total of 55 hotels, 64 restaurants and 14 cafeterias.

Surprisingly, some of the loss-making units are located in locations with very high tourist arrivals. The loss-making units include Hotel Silver Moon (Kullu), Angler Bungalow (Katrain in Kullu) and café raft Kullu and café Nihal in Bilaspur. The profit-making units include Hotel Holiday Home, Hotel Peterhoff, Palace Hotel Chail and the Lift on the Mall.

“High employees ratio, hefty pay structure, disadvantageous locations and lack of proper upkeep and maintenance of many of the properties has created a situation, where we are struggling hard to make ends meet,” said an official. He admitted that despite successive regimes being aware of the pressing need to gradually hand over hospitality sector to the private players, no government has been able to take a firm stand on it.

The BJP regime has however chosen to tread very cautiously with the issue of roping in private players being a very contentious one. Attempts by the previous regime in this direction have been being met with stiff resistance, especially from the staff of the corporation.

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