Hotel Industry in Pakistan: Challenges & Opportunities
The board of investment and trade in Pakistan has shed light on the importance of the hotel industry in Pakistan. The industry needs to be flourished with supporting policies in order to promote tourism of the country. However, the pandemic has affected the industry of Pakistan just like the rest of the world. The industry has sustained a lot of economic setbacks due to the outbreak. There are other issues such as lack of standardization and complicated processes in the country which are an impediment to the growth and development of the hotel industry. But the potential of tourism is also supportive of the hospitality industry and offers some benefits which need to be capitalized on.
Issues for the development of the hoteling sector
Pakistan does not have a standard format for all business owners to follow strictly. Being a country which is looking for investors to come into the country it is unable to set out a standard. Therefore, we lack an international standard that is mandatory for all to follow. There is a dire need for infrastructure as well. You will not find a 5-star hotel in the country. H&S Hotel will be the biggest hotel in Lahore. It consists of 17 floors which make it the tallest hotel building in the city, and probably the second biggest in the country followed by Centaurus in Islamabad.
The second issue for the flourishment of the hoteling industry in Pakistan is the lengthy and complex procedures that one has to go through. These procedures are an inhibition for the investors. Pakistan has got a lot of factors that are attractive for the investors but these lengthy procedures will not allow the development to take roots. However, after the pandemic, the government made it a policy to invest in the infrastructure development. This is why the real estate sector in Pakistan has been given a lot of preference lately.
Impact of the pandemic
Public health concerns became important after the pandemic, since the hygiene of public restaurants and hotels was deemed most crucial. Following the safety precautions and use of various virucidals was the general practice for all hotels. Other things which became important as well included:
- Contact protection
- Sanitation of public areas
- Public policy impact on restaurants and hotels
- Impact on the food producers
- Impact on the food suppliers
- Impact of unemployment on the staff
The hoteling industry caters to a number of different sectors which are related with the hoteling services. Pakistan suffered heavily with the absence of income to all these segments of the industry. The industry faced a downfall which was finally alleviated with active government policies.
Pakistan’s hotel industry has got a lot of opportunities for growth and all is not lost. The country has got a lot of tourism attraction but needs a lot of quality infrastructure and internationalization of standards. Moreover, the process needs to be simplified so that a varied portfolio of investors can start investing.