Representational image (Photo Credit: Representational image)
A nondescript hotel-cum- restaurant on a highway in Gujarat's Banaskantha district has become a popular selfie point among travellers all thanks to its name Hotel Corona. When he named his establishment in 2015, little did hotelier Baakar Ali know that it would garner so much attention at a time when the whole country was reeling under the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The hotel is located on a highway connecting Gujarat with Abu Road in neighbouring Rajasthan and passes through Amirgadh town of Banaskantha. Although it remains temporarily shut because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the name of the establishment has stopped many passersby on their tracks, causing them to wonder why anybody would name their hotel after a dreaded pandemic, which has brought the world to its knees.
Several awestruck travellers make a stop at the hotel, just to take selfies with its signboard in the background. "People can't believe that a hotel is named after a global pandemic, which has killed so many people. Travellers stop here just to take selfies," said Ali, a resident of Siddhpur town in Patan district. Ali said he had chosen the name Corona for his hotel, as it meant crown or a bright circular ring. "In Gujarati, it denotes Tej-chakra or Prabha-Mandal. But now, everyone links the word corona with coronavirus," he rues, adding that he may consider changing the name if he sees a drastic drop in customers after the pandemic.
The picture will be clear only after the restrictions are lifted and hotel opens for business, Ali said. Till then, the hotelier will have to be happy with the fact that any publicity was good publicity.