Closure of Radisson Blu hotel signals difficult times for the tourism and hotel industry in Kenya

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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,14TH DEC,2020-Radisson Blu hotel has shut down operations at its Upper Hill branch to mitigate economic effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Business Daily, the global hotel brand has also sent most of its workforce home for an unknown period of time.

A hotel spokesperson said the decision was reached as hotel bookings have been low since the virus hit Kenya.

“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,” the daily quotes the spokesperson.

“We understand this is an extremely difficult time for those affected and we will provide support to them throughout the process.”

The affected persons told the daily that they have received their severance pay and will be prioritized once conditions normalise.

The 271 bed capacity hotel is likely to remain closed until end of March 2021, according to details provided on its website.

Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Nairobi Arboretum and Park Inn by Radisson Nairobi Westlands are still operational.

In May, Fairmont Hotel closed Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club, and sent packing all its employees due to slow business occasioned by the pandemic.

“It is regrettable that our hotels, Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club have since ceased their operations as a spiral effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent flooding of Fairmont Mara Safari Club. These unprecedented natural causes have resulted in disruption of our business now and in the unforeseeable future,” the hotel management said.

The hotel would later withdraw the notice, promising to pay its employees half their salaries for April and May and a fresh deal in June.

In June, Westlands based Villa Rosa Kempinski let go of its staff as effects of Covid-19 persisted.

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