Tsogo Sun
Hotels which also owns casinos and Sandton Convention Centre says the international
travel ban and subsequent lockdown of South Africa in March sent into tailspin what
is normally “a peak activity month for the group”.

The group
which has been forced to temporarily layoff staff, cut salaries and seek rent
relief from landlords to stay afloat during the lockdown said all its
operations, from hotels to casinos in SA, the rest of Africa and the Seychelles
has been “deactivated”. The only hotels keeping the candle lit are the few designated
as quarantine facilities or as accommodation for essential service providers
and people waiting for repatriation.

As SA
borders are likely to remain closed for longer, the hotel group is now counting
on more movement between provinces, which will only happen if SA accelerates the
easing of its lockdown, to save its finances from degenerating to chaos.

“Inter
provincial travel is vital for the hotel industry and the group has been
actively lobbying through industry bodies for the earliest relaxation of travel
restrictions, so that we can begin to open our hotels,” said Tsogo Sun in
a statement
.

Tsogo Sun
said its hotels will likely be reopened in a phased manner once inter
provincial is allowed. Some will resume operations immediately while many will
open later based on anticipated demand. But other establishments are not
expected to reopen for an extended period of time because they mostly rely on
international travelers and conferences.

The group said it will continue to
operate on skeleton staff for now meaning that those who have been retrenched
or laid off may live with that reality a little longer.

Compiled by Londiwe Buthelezi


Source Article