By Engr Muneeb Ur Rehman
It was my bad luck or lack of experience about hotels when I decided to stay there for the night. It took me almost 2 hours to search out the various kinds of insects hosting the customers whose bad luck makes them to stay in this guest house.
A couple of days back I stayed for a night in Gilgit city. Though Guest houses in Gilgit city have always been a scary thing for me, but somehow I manage to do that. This time I searched a couple of hotels as per my pocket and finally decided to stay in one of the guest houses located in the business hub of the city.
The receptionist showed me a couple of rooms and I selected one which seemed quite alright. He asked for advance which is a common thing; I don’t know whether it’s right or wrong. Anyways after a couple of hours when I laid down to sleep I felt sorry for selecting this well known guest House for my stay.
I was curious. It seemed as if i had got some kind of skin allergy. I tried hard for two hours to sleep, but couldn’t. I was feeling like being pricked with needles all over my skin. Finally I decided to take a bath. When I stepped in the toilet, there was a family of cockroaches, unaware of family planning methods. They all seem very ‘organized’ though.
The moment I stepped in they started running around, sensing an intrusion. A couple of them started climbing up my feet.
Somehow I took a bath and rushed out.
Thinking of getting a little relief, I closed eyes and laid down on the bed. A couple of minutes later I felt like being pricked by needles all over the skin, aain. That was the moment I started looking around the room.
Here is what I found; there were Bed Bugs of various sizes and ages ( I guessed that!!). Behind the bed there was a pile of garbage, including rappers and other packages. When I looked at my skin, I was shocked. I had Spots all over my skin.
The question is not about responsibility of the guest house to provided better facilities. Our government has always been worst of its kind in management. More important is how long it will take for us to learn manners and even more importantly our claim of being educated people!
We along with our government claim to have tourism as backbone of our economy. Is this how we facilitate our tourists particularly at the very center of our regional capital?
Mind you, this wasn’t the first place where I observed such worst conditions. Many hotels are no exception. They might not have Bed Bugs in rooms but they have enough garbage to meet the criteria.
Tourists are not necessarily always having the same financial status. Every one of them is not going to stay in highly organized Guest Houses. Tourists of all income level need to be treated and served in the best possible manner. Bed bugs and garbage dumps inside the room should not be on any guest house’s list of services provided!!
Seminars are held every now and then and loud speeches are delivered claiming improvements in the hospitality industry, but the reality is quite disturbing. We, and our government, apparently are not really devoted to improving the standards of living for the tourists, and yet expect them to pour in and boost our economy.
This writing is not just for the sake of criticism; this is something which might be taken as the impression that the tourists also get.
I don’t know much about business or management but one thing I know for sure, i.e. being a common man I am very disappointed about this situation. Whoever is responsible for taking care of this needs to wake up and do something.