88 Percent of Hotels in Addis Ababa Shut down or Reduce Services Due to COVID-19

By Staff Reporter

Addis-Ababa-Hotels-COVID-19April 27, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Eighty eight percent of hotels in Addis Ababa are forced either to shut down or reduce services due to lack of occupancy arising from coronavirus pandemic.

The remaining 12 percent are being used as isolation centers of COVID-12 suspects who arrived in the capital from different parts of the world.

A survey conducted by the Addis Ababa Hotel Owners’ Association revealed that out of 130 hotels, which are members of the association, 56 percent of them are closed, 32 percent have suspended service partially due to the pandemic.

“Foreign nationals were confirmed positive for COVID-10 in Ethiopia and that negatively contributed to the hotel business whose reception capacity has gone down to two percent, the study noted.

According to the study, the industry is incurring an estimated $35 million monthly as hotel occupancy rates dwindled to fractions of what they used to be.  

“If the situations continue this way, the hotels will run out of operating budget and can not pay salaries for their employees. Hotel owners need to fund their business. if not, they will be forced to shut down their businesses,” it said.    

The association said it is negotiating with the government and financing institutions to resolve the economic crisis of the industry.

According to the study, 82 percent of hotel owners have faced a high debt burden and the associations are holding discussions with commercial banks on possible solutions in which the debts will be paid in extended time.

The association pledged to stand by the side of the government and the public by coordinating hotel owners to provide rooms as quarantine centers if the spread of the virus turns to be the worst.

In a recent interview with local media, CEO of Tourism Ethiopia Sileshi Girma said the livelihood of all actors in the tourism chain including tour operators, service providers at tourist destinations will be at risk if the pandemic is not contained at the earliest time possible.

According to the CEO, at least 2.5 billion Birr is required to subsidize the hotel industry before total breakdown.

The hotels are not likely to be open in the near future as tourists from Europe and the US are in lockdown.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia has reported one new case of coronavirus (COVID-19), out of the 957 samples taken over the past 24 hours.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 123 but 41 of them have recovered.

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