Hoteliers resent govt move to sideline them on ordinance

SHILLONG: The hospitality sector in the state is peeved with the state government for not having taken it and the tourism sector into confidence on the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act ordinance.
This, despite Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s claim that the amended Residents Act will not have any adverse impact on the flow of tourists.
As per the amended Act, people visiting and staying in the state for more than 24 hours would have to register themselves with the government.
The registration can be done online and even after arriving at hotels.
However, hoteliers say that the move of the government would result in unnecessary problems for them. “Once they register in hotels, why should the guests have to do additional registration as even now, the details of the tourists staying in hotels are shared with the police,” a hotel owner said.
Stating that hoteliers in the city are desperately trying to meet the chief minister to air their grievances, he said that so far they have not got an appointment to meet him. “The government is saying that people will do another registration in the hotel apart from the normal registration, but so far, it has not even informed hoteliers on how we will carry out this exercise,” the hotelier said.
According to hoteliers, many of their bookings for December have been cancelled following the announcement that visitors would have to register themselves if they want to visit Shillong. They said they are not in a position to offer any explanation since there is no clarity on the ordinance as of now.
“The government did not even call stakeholders in the tourism sector for seeking our views before making it mandatory for people to register themselves. The government took the decision under pressure from NGOs without any consultation with the stakeholders,” he said.
It may be mentioned that the ordinance is pending with the governor for his assent.

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