October 15, 2020 tourism

Many hotels facing closure due to lack of business

The tourism sector has been completely paralyzed by the coronavirus crisis, and suffers unprecedented losses that continue to this day, while 42 hotels are being affected by losses of revenues amounting to KD17.8 million dinars per month, Chairman of the Union of Hotel Owners, Ghazi Al-Nafisi, revealed to Al-Anba daily.

Al-Nafisi added that 60% of the hotels in Kuwait are currently dormant so far or have been forced to shut down under the current circumstances, mainly due to the limited operations of the airport, which is not at full capacity as part of anti-coronavirus measures, and hotels depend on the influx of tourists and foreign visitors.

As news circulates about a second closure in the coming period, Al-Nafisi admits that this might give a fatal blow to hotel owners even as most of the hotels are operating at 5 percent in the present time.

Highlighting the variety of reasons for the reluctance of people in Kuwait to book hotels, he pointed out it was mainly because of Hotels following the health measures, including the closure of swimming pools, banning parties, seminars and conferences, and the suspension of gatherings and buffets during breakfast, lunch and dinner, while limiting services to only providing meals through room service to occupants until further notice.

Warning of imminent crises the sector may face in the future, Al-Nafisi revealed that his group owns four hotels, three of which are closed to date, and mentioned the impact on workers who may be unable to remain employed, seeing as the Hotels incur such losses persistently on a monthly basis.

Many hotels and restaurants in Kuwait have been forced to reduce their employees’ salaries and prompted them to take three months leave to reduce the financial losses incurred by the implementation of precautionary measures, he added.

He pointed out that the damage is not limited to only the hotel sector, but also extends to many other productive service sectors such as food, transportation, construction, maintenance and others.

Expressing hopes that the next stage will be positive for the hotel sector, Al-Nafisi offers the opportunity that if direct flights restarts from the 34 banned countries, then those arrivals can be subjected to institutional quarantine in Kuwaiti hotels, instead of the expats from the ban country list opting to quarantine in hotels in neighboring countries of Dubai, Turkey and others before traveling to Kuwait.

He revealed that it is worth noting that hotels, since returning to the third phase of Cabinet’s plan to return to normal life, have adopted many measures to ensure the safety of both guests and employees with the help of the latest technologies currently available in the market, including scanners or thermal cameras.


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