The hospitality sector in Pakistan has great potential and the government should grant industry status to it in order to reap maximum economic benefits, said Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Shakeel Munir.
Talking to a delegation of Islamabad Restaurants Association on Tuesday, the ICCI chief highlighted that Pakistan, being an emerging market, had huge business opportunities for hotels and restaurants, but due to the lack of industry status, the sector had still not developed to its potential.
He was of the view that the grant of industry status would help increase investment in the sector, which would create plenty of job opportunities.
Thousands of people were employed in the hospitality sector and due to the Covid-19 pandemic the sector had suffered huge losses, he said, urging the government to provide a relief package in order to ease their difficulties.
He assured the association that the chamber would extend all possible cooperation in resolving its issues.
On the occasion, Islamabad Restaurants Association President Khurram Khan lamented that many small hotels and restaurants faced closure due to Covid-19, but the government did not provide any relief to them.
“It is not possible to restore the closed hotels and restaurants without government support,” he said, adding that the government should provide relief in electricity and gas tariffs and should also announce a relief package for reviving the business activities.
He highlighted that a large number of people working in the hospitality sector had lost their jobs due to business closures. “The government should come forward to support the revival of closed businesses,” he said.
Stressing the need for granting industry status to the hospitality sector for its growth, he highlighted that the demand for good hotels was increasing in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2021.
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