By Getrude Matayo
Intercontinental hotel has sacked all employees and ended its Kenya operations amid the coronavirus economic fallout.
According to the InterCon Hotel manager Oliver Geyer, he told employees in a notice the firm has declared all workers redundant and it would terminate its Nairobi hotel lease.
The pandemic has confronted the hospitality industry with an unprecedented challenge. Kenya has lost more than 80 billion shillings so far in tourism revenue, about half of last year’s total doe to CoviD-19 crisis.
Last month, Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala tasked the Kenya Tourism Board(KTB) to formulate new marketing strategies that can guarantee the tourism sector’s future.
The impact on Kenya’s tourism industry has been crippling with over 15 million Kenyans directly and indirectly affected by the pandemic and loss of business.
But the intercontinental hotel was already struggling before the pandemic outbreak and last year was declared technically insolvent since it could not serve its debts that stood at 717 million shillings.
The 51-year-old hotel has previously been the subject of a looming auction in early 2019 over unpaid debt.
The Intercontinental Hotels Corporations has been running and managing the 389-room Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi Under a 99-year lease since April 1997.
The Fairmont Norfolk, in an iconic hotel in Nairobi, said it was closing its doors indefinitely and sacked all employees in a row sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
The hospitality sector received support from the government which formed the National Tourism and Hospitality Protocols Taskforce meant to develop tourism and hospitality protocols and guidelines in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to support tourism operations.
The CS has also tasked the newly formed Kenya National Convention Bureau (KNCB) to formulate strategies that will see the country tap into future Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE).