Govt guest houses opened to public but at steep prices

Tourism minister says all such guest houses to enjoy five-star status

Shahid Hamid August 14, 2019
K-P Governor House. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: The provincial government opened up several government-owned guest houses to the public following a cabinet decision. However, the government has decided to charge steep prices for a night’s stay in any of these sprawling mansions located close to scenic spots across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

In a meeting of the K-P cabinet on Friday, it had been decided to open up all government-owned guesthouses, including official residences such as Chief Minister House, Governor House, K-P Assembly Speaker and Police House to the public and to allow the public to rent out rooms to stay in some of these properties to earn much-needed revenue for the government.

In this regard, it had been decided to open up some 169 government guest houses located in tourist hot spots.

“Around 49 guest houses will be opened for the public in the first phase,” K-P Senior Tourism Minister Atif Khan told The Express Tribune over the phone.

However, the rates set by the provincial government in some instances are in line with some of the highest rates charged by the best private hotels in the province.

If anyone desires to spend a night in the historic Governor House in Nathia Gali and to enjoy the scenic views of the Hazara division, it will set them back Rs40,000 for a room.

If they wish to book out all the eight rooms open to the public in the guest house, it will cost them RS320,000 per night.

Similarly, the CM House has four rooms available and the government has decided to set the room rent at Rs24,000 per room in hopes of raising Rs96,000 per night at full occupancy.

The K-P Assembly Speaker House in Abbottabad has eight rooms available and the government has set the rent at Rs16,000 per room per night in hopes of raising a total of Rs128,000.

Similarly, the K-P Police House has eight rooms available and rent has been set at Rs12,000 per room per night to raise Rs96,000 at full occupancy.

Atif said that the public will be welcome to enjoy these facilities, adding that no references will be accepted in booking rooms.

He added that they will start taking online bookings for rooms in these facilities after the Eidul Azha holidays.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2019.


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