PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government will provide relief of Rs77 million in the shape of waivers on registration fees and license fees for the tourism industry.
According to reports, the KP Tourism Department has waived off registration fees for hotels and restaurants and license fees for travel agencies and tour operators amounting to Rs77 million, for a period of one year.
The decision has been taken considering the adverse economic impacts of the coronavirus on KPs tourism industry.
According to a statement issued by the KP Tourism Department, in light of the decision taken during the meeting of the Cabinet on July 21, license fees of travel agencies, tour operators, hotels and restaurants have been waived off for a period of one year.
The statement added that registration fee has also been waived for hotels and restaurants which are not yet registered. Moreover, such businesses will also be exempted from paying license fees for a period of one year.
According to a survey report, the closure of the tourism sector in KP due to the coronavirus is expected to cause losses of up to Rs12 billion by August, prompting the provincial government to announce a relief package in a bid to revive the industry.
According to sources in the tourism department, the KP government has said that hotels, restaurants and rest houses are an integral part of the tourism industry, however, they are being currently supplied electricity at commercial rates.
Sources further said that consultations are underway with the federal government to provide electricity to the tourism industry at industry rates.
The KP government has banned tourist activities in the province until further notice. The decision has been taken in light of the instructions of the Department of Rehabilitation and Resettlement to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Similarly restaurants, rest houses and other tourist spots will also remain closed while seminars, conferences, sports and tourism activities in hotels will also be banned.
The provincial government has handed over 168 rest houses in KP to the Tourism Department with the aim to promote tourism in the province. Out of the 168 rest houses, 55 were previously under the Communication and Works Department, 20 were under the Irrigation Department, 21 were under the local government, two were under Police and 70 were under the Forest Department.
The orders for the restoration of these rest houses were issued by the provincial government and after conducting a survey, all the rest houses have now been handed over to the Tourism and Sports Department.