Transcorp Hilton Hotels has declared its plan to reduce its staff strength by 40% in order to sustain the continuity of its operations and survive the headwinds from the coronavirus crisis.
The firm’s Managing Director, Ms Dupe Olusola, made the announcement at a virtual media session on Thursday in Abuja, saying the occupancy rate of the hotel’s 677 rooms had not exceeded 17% since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Transcorp had racked up losses coming to N4.9 billion and posted a revenue slump of N9.4 billion since March as patronage tumbled and government-imposed lockdowns hobbled business.
The global aviation industry and air travel-related businesses like hotel and hospitality are facing their worst moment in years due to movement restriction and disruption of international trade that emerged in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Industry outlook is similarly gloomy, with the International Air Travel Association projecting this week that the downtrend would cost Africa 3.5 million aviation jobs while also depleting its Gross Domestic Product by $35 billion.
Africa’s aviation sector accounted for 6.2 million jobs and was valued at $56 billion before the pandemic erupted.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015.
“The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than five per cent,” Olusola said.
Transcorp, whose bulk of income comes from room occupancy, event, conferences, and catering services, revealed through its managing director that it strived not to dismiss employees in the first quarter but had to resort to retrenchment measures as the crisis worsened.
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