The closure comes at a time the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) survey on hotels iin Kenya showed that bed occupancy remains low, averaging 23 percent in November and October, compared to 24 percent 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 spokesperson.
“We understand this is an extremely difficult time for those affected and we will provide support to them throughout the process.”
“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 decision mirrors what was taken by the Kenya’s Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in late May when they closed Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Cub due to low business and laid off all employees.
The information on the hotel’s website now puts the tentative date of reopening to end of March next year.
Some of the released employees who spoke to the Business Daily on anonymity said they were given severance pay — amount paid to workers on early termination of contracts — and told that they would be given priority when conditions will be right to reopen.
The Upper Hill hotel is the largest facility compared to the other two whose joint bed capacity is 262.
The CBK survey conducted mid-November to assess the extent of recovery in the hotels found that employment in the sector was averaging 53 percent from September’s 45 percent when compared with the pre-Covid-19 levels.
The surveyed hotels told the CBK that a resurgence in Covid-19 infections in November relative to October was hurting recovery.
“Local guests continue to support activity in the sector during the Covid-19 period, accounting for more than 80 percent of the total clientele for accommodation and restaurant services,” said the survey.
On average, just 58 percent of hotels said they expect to attain pre-Covid-19 levels of operations between late 2020 and 2021.