Hotels face a tough situation

The hotel industry has taken a massive hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the hotels in the country are closed due lack of bookings as lockdown restrictions hits the tourism sector. At the moment the hotels in the country have sent their staff on paid leave and some hotels are given as quarantine centers to the government.

The owner and general manager of Hotel Tara Phendeyling in Olakha, Thimphu, Yeshey Pelzom, said that the hotel is closed and all the staff are on paid leave.

“After the outbreak of the first positive case on 5 March, we had the guests till 9 March and after they checked out, we did a thorough cleaning of the hotel. But after that we didn’t have any guests. We have sent all our staff on paid leave,” she said, adding that the 55 staff in total are being paid pull payment.

Manager of Hotel Migmar in Olakha, Sangay Chophel, said that the hotel has given as a quarantine center to the government.

“We have sent all our staff on paid leave as there are no guests, and they are given full payment. As of now, we have given the hotel to the government to be used as a quarantine center,” he said.

Manager of Hotel Thuenpa Phenzhi in Phuentsholing, Sherub Zangpo, said that the hotel had full booking for the month of April but business has been hampered due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The guests started cancelling the bookings and the business went down drastically. When the hotel is running into losses, I cannot relieve them (the staff) because they were there when the hotel was in good condition,” he said, adding that the hotel is given as a quarantine center to the government.

Manager of Centennial Hotel in Phuentsholing, Kencho, said that the condition of the hotel is becoming worse off by the day, and they are facing difficulties in paying the staff salary.

“We are struggling and worried how the loans and the staff salary will be given at this time when the business is already down. Though there is no business at the current moment, we are still giving full payments to the staff since they also don’t have any other source of income,” she said.

Manager of the Hotel Tashi Phuntshok in Paro, Jigme Choden, said that the hotel is closed down on 13 March since the travel ban was imposed and there is not a single guest.

“We have sent all the staff on leave without pay from April, but however, we are talking with the management because without paying, the staff will suffer and it will hard for them to sustain their living. For now, we are discussing with the management about their payment hereafter,” she said.

Manager of Gangtey Palace Hotel in Paro, Tashi Penjor, said that the hotel is closed since the outbreak of the diseases and many of the staff are sent on paid leave.

“Many of the staff are given 30 percent of their pay as they stay in hotel staff quarters and those who are outside the staff quarter are given 60 percent of their payment. It will take time to get back to normal and the situation is at its worst at the moment,” he said.

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