Lockdown: 'Travellers whose trips were cancelled, likely to get credit note of total amount paid'
Kolkata: Three associations of tourism stakeholders in Bengal have decided that travellers and agents who paid for a trip that later got cancelled because of the lockdown and COVID -19 pandemic will get a credit note for the full amount with one-year validity. Tourism is among the worst-hit sectors in the Covid-19 pandemic.
"It is not possible for us to refund the money that has been paid as advance for booking of resorts/ hotels, transport etc by tourists with the sector under complete closedown from March 24 till the first week of June. So we have decided that in this extraordinary situation, we will treat the money paid as credit note to be adjusted during the next visit which will have to take place within a year of his scheduled trip, " said Nilanjan Basu, general secretary of Travel Agents' Association of Bengal (TAAB). So, if a tourist had booked for a package that was scheduled to start from June 15 , 2020 he may avail the
same package within June 15, 2021.
TAAB, Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators' Association (EHTTOA) and Himalayan Hospitality & Tourism Development Network (HHTDN), which represent travel houses, hoteliers, transporters, homestay owners and others, have unanimously agreed on this which they feel will expedite the industry's revival. Sandipan Ghosh, general secretary EHTTOA it has been decided that the operators may also adjust alternative package as per preference of the tourist to the best extent possible. "We will also allow the option for any relative or friend of the person who has booked the package to avail the same package if the person who has booked it cannot travel himself for some reasons. The particular person who has booked the package will have to give reference of his relative or friend who will be availing the same," Ghosh added.
A hotelier in Siliguri regretted that the Centre which has announced relief packages for the pandemic and the lockdown has made no allotment for the tourism industry.