Many hoteliers were worried about what would happen to the families of their employees if they had to be laid off. Due to the lack of funds, many hotels had to resort to desperate measures like sending the staff on leave without pay or half-paid leave. Some owners had no option but to lay off their employees.
The dismal economic outlook for the hoteliers and the affected staff were lifted by His Majesty The King’s Address to the nation announcing the Kidu to the people and businesses affected by COVID-19. The hoteliers expressed their immense gratitude to the Monarch for stepping in to help at such a crucial time.
City Hotel managed to pay the staff salaries in April. The owner of the hotel said that she is extremely thankful to His Majesty The King. She plans to apply for the recent relief Kidu in the format provided by Hotel and Restaurant Association of Bhutan. She said she does not wish to leave the entire burden of running her hotel on the Kidu relief program, and wants to apply for half the amount of the expenses. She said she would like to see money go to the really needy people instead, especially at a time like this.
Gyelsa Boutique Inn owner said that the biggest concern was on the upkeep of the staff in such desperate times. He paid the staff from his personal savings till March, and then he held three meetings at the hotel before sending his staff on paid leave.
He said that 6 out of the 22 employees in his hotel are in desperate need of help. He said he is grateful for His Majesty’s Kidu, and he has told his employees that the Kidu will help the ones in dire need.
Many hoteliers believe that 2020 will be a tough year for the tourism industry as tourists would be very cautious about travelling anywhere this year.
There is also the worry that the hotel business will not be able to operate fully after the COVID-19 pandemic is contained. Therefore, hoteliers have had ask their employees to try and seek out other job support initiative, like the one which was recently announced by the tourism sector for gainful employment programs. It is mostly the male employees who look to favor such manual jobs, but some female employees are also taking up the work as it is better to earn a livelihood than staying jobless.