A major hotel in Crown Point, Tobago is among several hotels and guesthouses expected to temporarily shut down operations at the end of the week owing to the significant losses incurred thus far as a result of the novel coronavirus (covid19) pandemic.
Finance Secretary Joel Jack said this on Wednesday at the post-executive council media briefing at the Scarborough library. Jack named the Crown Point hotel but Newsday was unable to verify the information with hotel management up to press time.
Jack, who met with members of the Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce and the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association (THTA) on Monday to discuss strategies to withstand the fallout from covid19, said several hoteliers revealed they would be shutting down their operations at the end of the week.
"Following my meetings with the hoteliers, they indicated that a number of them would be closing their doors during this week. So, we continue to work with them," he told reporters.
Jack, who is also Deputy Chief Secretary, noted during a previous meeting with the stakeholders last Friday, several of them revealed occupancy levels at their respective establishments stood at ten per cent.
Jack said THTA president Chris James, who attended Monday's meeting, confirmed the news about the hotels.
Several hoteliers, he said, also lamented they would have to lay off their workers.
"They were concerned about the welfare of their employees."
Jack said the hotel sector, particularly small enterprises, will be negatively impacted by the measures imposed to curb the spread of covid19.
There would also be mass retrenchment within the sector, he added.
"We received an estimate that over 5,000 persons in the tourism industry will be directly impacted by the issues related to covid and the economic fallout, and we talking about not just persons in the hotels.
"But we are dealing with tour operators, persons in destination and wedding planning, car rentals, restaurants, persons in other related industries."