In another cost-saving measure, the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has shut down its motels in northern Pakistan and has released more than 300 employees. The official statement cited that the decision was taken by the federal government and the PTDC directors due to continuous losses incurred because of the covid-19 pandemic.
The decision has faced a backlash from tour operators who have termed the decision a major disappointment and setback to the tourism industry. Mr Maqsoodul Mulk, President of Pakistan Association of Tourism Operators, termed the news “discouraging” at a time when the government is trying to promote tourism.
National Tourism Corporation Board’s member Aftab Rana had a different view. He claimed that the PTDC had accumulated a loss of 1 billion rupees, which was bound to increase since there were no tourists arriving in the country. He alleged that taxpayer’s money was being utilized to pay salaries to a staff that wasn’t doing any work. Hence, the sacking was justified. Furthermore, he claimed that the PTDC had offered a large amount as compensation to the fired employees. However, they rejected the offer and, instead, went to court for relief.
The PTDC has now closed more than 30 motels, including 6 which were shut down in March 2019.
However, it has already been decided that the federal government would withdraw from the business model of the corporation and exclusively promote tourism and that its properties will be privatised.NTCB – AFTAB RANA