Hotels feel the pinch of coronavirus outbreak

As hotels in Rwanda continue to implement measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, they are also struggling to get customers following the temporary suspension of meetings and conferences.

And with the virus fast-spreading, some clients cancelled their reservations, hurting the fortunes of the hotel industry.

 

Rwanda Convention Bureau (RBC) recently said that at least 20 conferences initially scheduled for March and April were postponed.

 

The conferences were expected to bring in a combined $8 million.

 

“We are already feeling the impact. Due to the outbreak of the virus outbreak, 85 per cent of reservations have been cancelled by the customers,” said a member of 2000 Hotel. “We have reduced workers because there is no work. As we speak, only three workers are keeping the rooms.”

Other hotels are also pondering staff layoffs in order to cut costs in the midst of dwindling revenues.

Some like Hill View Hotel in Kiyovu said they slashed room prices.

“For instance, the hotel room that used to cost $120 has been reduced to $50 so that we try to attract clients,” said one the hotel employees.

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has ordered all hotels and accommodation entities, restaurants, bars and night clubs to stop all entertainment activities including traditional dancing groups, live band, night clubs, pool table games, and others that attract big gatherings of people.

Rwanda has recorded the 11 case of coronavirus. As part of the preventive measures, schools, church services and masses, conferences and other events, have been postponed, temporarily closed or cancelled, while employers have been directed to let their employees work from home.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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