Cancellations due to Coronavirus and hotels levying retention charges
Covid -19 updates
27th January 2020
Mr. Puneet Chhatwal
Hotel Association of India
Managing Director & C.E.O
The Indian Hotels Company Limited
Dear Mr. Chhatwal,
Sub: Urgent - Cancellations due to Coronavirus and hotels levying retention charges
As you know Coronavirus is spreading fast out of China and tourists movement from China is getting badly affected as Chinese nationals have been advised not to travel out of the country, in Wuhan, residents have been advised not to even go out of their homes as per newspapers reports.
Restrictions have been made for travelers going to and coming from 13 Chinese cities, including Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou, with countries both in the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere initiating body temperature checks at airports and railway stations to stop those at risk of carrying the virus. On arrival in India, people arriving from China and other affected countries are being thoroughly scanned for medical checkup. Similarly Indian Government has also issued advisory for the India Travellers to not to travel to China.
In this regard, advisories have been issued by General Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Government of China and China Association of Travel Services and have advised suspending domestic and foreign group travel and have requested to properly handle the reasonable demands of tourist itineraries, cancellations and refunds and minimize financial losses. (copies enclosed).
All this is being done to ensure that Coronavirus does not spread into our country.
Apart from China, countries such as Canada, France, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. have reported cases of the infection.
All this is resulting lot of cancellations being received by some of our members especially handling China Market as informed by our members.
We have been informed by some of the members that hotels are not agreeing to waive off cancellations charges for such cases or refund, which is beyond any one’s control and is under force majeure of natural calamities.
May I request you that as President Hotel Association of India to kindly advise all your member hotels to honour such cancellations and do not charge the Cancellation charges and make refund in case of advance as per force majeure clause, which is beyond any one’s control. A copy of the letter being sent by your office to the hotels may please be sent to IATO also.
We need to keep our country’s image high in such a situation and cooperate with foreign counterparts/clients in this difficult time.
Looking forward to your support and cooperation
Thanking you and with best regards,