Bangladesh International Hotel Association (BIHA) on Wednesday placed a six-point suggestion including allocation of Tk 300 billion under the government-announced incentive package for providing loans to pandemic-hit international hotels and resorts at 9.0 per cent rate of interest.
The BIHA's other demands include waiver of interest/dividends from existing loans of international standard hotels which have been badly hit due to the adverse impact of prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, said a press release.
Besides, the Association also demanded Tk 5.0b from the government's own fund to the affected hotel employees, exemption of electricity and utility bills from March to December, 2020, exemption of holding taxes and municipalities bills until the fiscal year 2020-21 and waiver of tax deduction from salaries of officers and employees of residential hotels and resorts.
The Association made the suggestions at a press conference held at a city hotel, where BIHA President HM Hakim Ali and Co-chairman of the BIHA Disaster Management Committee Khaled-Ur-Rahman Sany, among others, were present.
Tourism industry in Bangladesh, like other countries in the world, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 Pandemic, with its international hotel sector, a vital organ of the tourism industry, suffering the most, said the BIHA press release.
"…the unforeseen corona pandemic appeared as a sudden blow to us that has already caused a severe loss of about Tk 25 billion in the sector," said the press release.
If the situation continues, the amount of loss of hotels operating in Bangladesh would exceed Tk 70 billion by the end of this year, it added.
Citing the Asia Travel Association, the BIHA said more than 310,000 hotel workers and employees in Bangladesh are at risk of becoming unemployed as a result of the corona pandemic.