Hotels Report A 40 Percent Decline In Occupancy Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

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Royalton Antigua

The Head of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA) and one other senior official from the ABHTA say the impact which the Coronavirus is having on hotels across the nation has caused a 40 percent decline in occupancy.

The team reported that their two major markets are the US and the UK. At present, the occupancy rate has declined from nearly 90% before the crisis, to less than 50% occupancy.

And, though the decline cannot be predicted accurately, they are of the view that, because of cancellations, occupancy rates will drop to 10% by the end of this month.

They reported that holiday travel is being discouraged from the USA and by airlines flying from the UK; the crews are especially vulnerable and their governments are acting in an effort to slow transmission of infections between humans traveling on airliners and cruise vessels.

According to chief of staff Lionel Hurst, they welcomed the decision of the government to keep the borders open so that aircraft can come to Antigua, providing checks are carried out before flights depart and upon arrival in Antigua; further, the ABHTA supports the policy to ban travelers from certain jurisdictions, including those which have been announced by the Gaston Browne administration.

While many hotels are reducing the hours which staff work per week, others are signaling downsizing staff size immediately since there aren’t as many guests requiring service.

Hurst says the ABHTA has agreed to allow staff, whether vested or not, to access up to 50% of their Thrift Fund savings, over a three-month period, in order to lessen the impact of complete loss of earnings.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Well duh. People are not travelling. All I can say is hold strain. Hopefully this pandemic will be over soon. And I hope banks, landlords ect will have some patience with these people as we go through this rough time.

  2. Can we live in a world where no one pays for anything because there is a crisis? You ask Landlords to have patience, banks to be lenient creditors to have understanding and government to not collect any taxes. Who will eventually pay the bill. There not such a thing called a free lunch. Who will pay for our oil if APUA doesn’t get paid they cannot pay WIOC. If we cannot pay for gas how can we drive our cars. Start cycling. Or better yet ride your donkey. Is the worst yet to come or will we be spared. One needs Godly Wisdom in a crisis like this. There is no playbook that we can follow. Is your money going to be worth anything if there is nothing to buy. Do you want to work for money or will trade be barter arrangement. In that case what do we have to barter. Barbuda lobster? Food security is therefore the answer. But how can one reach to Food Security in a country where that was not practiced. Stimulus!!. We here all over the world. Only for the rich countries. WCS. we have to start an economy from scratch. A smarter and less dependent one. Any ideas what that could be? I don’t have a clue. But reality is we are a single product economy. And that is tourism for us and for others in the region banana, sugar, etc. We have long heard about not putting all eggs in one basket. Well we are there. Lester has tried diversifying the economy and brought the offshore financial sector, Papa saw the end of the sugar industry and transferred us to tourism. Gaston? He thinks he can make us entrepreneurial and has a concept called Entrepreneurial Socialism. Given the government more Entrepreneurial powers and a big player. The first weakness we saw is when HMB is looking to attached or put a lien on that asset. Perhaps government should put its shares in a Trust. In that way protect it from others who want to do the same. Anyway. It all comes back to Food Security and how we achieve that in the shortest possible time. Believe me that is not a mammoth task. Agriculture techniques are there to grow food safe and fast in controlled environment. The Chinese came to assist us to build capacity and what do we do? We protest and chase them away. $10 million in grant. We need to stop this nonsense and invite the Chinese back and implement these agriculture techniques on a wide scale. And if the farmers do not want to come along it should be government driven. Build as many green houses and food storage houses as you need that will give you the food security you need. Train and hire young people in the industry. Its not bout working out in the hot sun like our forefathers to pick cotton or cut cane. This is about science. Understanding plant growth. Yes you can give loans to certain farmers who will have a proven track record that they can produce, but that will not bring us fast enough to food security and no matter what they will and are doing in the end for a profit. Government will have a different objective. And we can chose what staples we are going in. When this season is over we will have to return back to our tourism industry. And I can foresee it to be a rat race in the entire world. Everyone will fight for the same tourist dollars. So destinations will be competing with prices. Will the hotel workers take pay cuts to allow the hotel to sell properties at low prices? Cruise ships will do the same and they will not want to pay the high port charges. Global Port Holding will have large issue at their hands. Good thing the deal was signed before all of this.
    We need think tanks coming together to brainstorm on many of these things. No one has all the answers. Certainly not our politicians.

  3. It’s a great time, to RESET our thought processes, as they pertain to…
    …FOOD!
    …SHELTER!
    …clothing!

    Since, in The Art Of War, its shadow The Art Of Deception can be very fluid, especially now in the age of AI-Artificicial Intelligence. The trojan horse model, even though it’s a ‘physical relic’ the concept it still very much alive.

    R U cyan say, dat Ras Tafar I and dem Rastafarians were not tolling the bells, sounding the WARNINGS for decades…

    …so, no need to ask why? Oh Why?
    …many much more, and more!
    …will cry, and others die!

  4. If the major hotels are the ones closing their doors temporary until the coronavirus is under control, then how can it be 40 percent decline in the tourism? It is more than 40% decline.

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