South Australia’s hotel industry is facing most challenging time due to COVID 19 outbreak

 Monday, March 16, 2020 

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The hospitality industry in South Australia is facing its “most challenging” time in living memory, the industry body warns, with hotel vacancies down by 20 per cent and some operators facing closure as Coronavirus fears cause wide disruption. The novel coronavirus has gone global reaching most of the Asian nations and European countries. This outburst in China now becomes a worldwide pandemic. Since it was first identified in mid-December (Wuhan Province in China), the virus has killed more than 6,512 people worldwide. It is also reported that 169,377 confirmed infected.

 

The Australian Hotels Association SA general manager Ian Horne told that the Federal Government’s two-week self-isolation policy for people returning from overseas and bans on mass gatherings had dried up demand for city hotels, which are normally at 70 per cent capacity at this time of year but are currently only about 50 per cent full.

It comes as the Adelaide City Council will tonight hold an emergency public meeting at Town Hall to discuss how to control the spread of coronavirus in the city.

Horne said the hotel industry had taken a hit from people cancelling functions or business travel as the country grapples with the disease, which has so far infected 22 people in South Australia.

He also said that they were to some extent cushioned because they have had this fabulous run from January with the Tour Down Under right through to the (Adelaide Superloop 500) car race, WOMADelaide, the festivals and the Fringe, but that’s all come to a halt now and it’s a whole new set of circumstances that hotels are facing. The people are questioning do they even go out for a meal do they go and meet their friends at the local.

Things are happening so quickly – just between Friday and Monday the Government has intervened at a significant level in terms of its policies… so it’s a set of circumstances that have not been seen in the hotel industry’s living memory.

Horne said there was “no question” that some hotels and restaurants in the city would close as a result of the decreased demand, or that casual staff would be laid off to cope with the economic downturn.

He said the hotels association was providing “high level” legal advice to its members to inform managers about what obligations they have to protect workers’ jobs, as well as information on cleaning practices to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The association is also working with the SA Tourism Commission to determine what needs to happen over the coming months to rebuild their  profile and be ready when this (coronavirus) starts to clear to remind people that South Australia is still a fabulous place to visit.

 

 

Meanwhile, the spread of coronavirus has caused widespread disruption across the city as health authorities advise people to self-isolate and avoid unnecessary contact.

 

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