Mpilo Boutique Hotel shuts doors

Mpilo Boutique Hotel shuts doors

MASERU-AN upmarket hotel in Maseru, Mpilo Boutique Hotel, shut its doors this week as the Covid-19 pandemic claimed its first major scalp in the business sector.

The hotel said the decision was due to falling business.
“A hotel survives through tourism, therefore lodging and dining, these functions we are unable to perform,” the management said in a statement.
“It is with this background that the shareholders have decided to halt operations until there is a better movement in the economy and the virus has been put under control,” it says.

“We are hopeful that this (cease) in operations will not be indefinite.”
The hotel said as a result of the decision to shut down all “Mpilo Boutique Hotel employees” will have to be retrenched.
It said the year 2020 had “proven to be the most challenging to all businesses globally and this is due to an outbreak of the coronavirus, Covid-19”.

This pandemic has affected and disrupted life as we know it globally, the statement said.
The hotel said most businesses were also faced with the sad reality of downsizing operations with some closing their doors for good.
Lesotho’s economy has been buffeted by the pandemic forcing businesses to make difficult decisions to stay afloat, the management said.
“Individual companies have been forced to adopt different strategies and Mpilo Boutique Hotel is no exception.”

Former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane imposed a nation-wide lockdown in late March. Lesotho’s borders were immediately closed as the government stepped up efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
The closure of the borders and all non-essential businesses such as hotels had a huge negative impact on local businesses.
Mpilo Hotel said the lockdown “affected business, therefore profits”.
Even after the tight restrictions were eased, most businesses still struggled to break even.

The hotel said “we are unable to survive with only restaurant operations that are also limited to only take outs”.
The management said shareholders pledged, after a thorough review, to reopen and prioritise the hotel’s former employees in the process of a phased operation as and when the time comes.

“We are hopeful as the rest of the world and Basotho that things will go back to normal, or a new and better norm that will at least allow us to go back into business,” the statement read.
The tourism sector is also expected to be negatively affected by the advent of COVID-19, according to the World Bank’s Lesotho Overview of May 10.
It also says real GDP growth rate is projected to average 0.6 percent in 2019 – 2021, largely attributed to the expected negative impact of covid-19.
The GDP was estimated to have averaged 1.6 percent in 2015–2019.

Staff Reporter

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