Global hotel brand Radisson Blu has shut its operations in Nairobi’s Upper Hill and sent home workers owing to low bookings blamed on COVID-19 pandemic.
The shut down comes after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) survey on hotels established that bed occupancy was still low at 23% in November and October, a slight reduction from 24% in September.
“To mitigate some of the economic impact of the pandemic, coupled with the uncertainty of Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi Upper Hill’s reopening date, we have had to make the difficult decision to reduce the size of our workforce at the hotel,” said the hotel spokesperson.
A similar move was made by the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in May when they closed Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Cub.
Radisson Blu Hotel has has published a tentative date in it’s website with aims to open towards the end of March 2021.
The 271-room hotel has been surviving on conferences and parties but released employees said they were only given severance pay with a promise that they will be given priority when things improve.
But other establishments like Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Nairobi Arboretum and Park Inn by Radisson Nairobi Westlands that are in the same chain with the Upper Hill branch will remain in operation.
The Upper Hill branch is the largest facilities which boast of a joint bed capacity of 262.
The shut down is informed by the fact that CBK survey also showed that there was a spike in Covid-19 infections in November compared to October which hurts recovery efforts.
“Local guests continue to support activity in the sector during the Covid-19 period, accounting for more than 80% of the total clientele for accommodation and restaurant services,” CBK said in a survey report.
The report also revealed that just some 58% of hotels had hopes of attaining pre-Covid-19 levels of operations between late 2020 and early 2021.
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