Hotel Annapurna falls victim to COVID crisis
KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 21
The five-decade-old Hotel Annapurna, which has become a landmark in the country’s tourism map, is going to shut down as it has not been able to afford staffers’ expenses. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry has been affected very badly and the hotel shutting down is just one of the consequences.
Moreover, tourist arrivals have declined drastically. Citing that it cannot afford the expenses of the employees any more as the hotel has not earned anything in the last nine months, the management has decided to lay off all the staffers and close the hotel, said a staff of the hotel seeking anonymity.
As per the source, the hotel has asked all the employees to tender their resignations and clear their accounts. “Some of the staffers have already resigned and some were still waiting for the situation to normalise,” the source said, adding, “But now the management itself has asked us to resign and clear our accounts.”
The staff further informed that the management has told them that even if the hotel resumes operation in the future it will hire new employees. The source said that around 45 staffers have already resigned and left. There are more than 300 workers currently working in the hotel.
Meanwhile, Shreejana Rana, executive director of the hotel, said that the hotel has been facing losses for the last nine months and there is no hope to recover the losses any time soon.
“There is no chance of any tourist coming during this pandemic and the hotel cannot keep bearing expenses and accrue losses.
Thus, we have asked the staffers to resign,” she mentioned.
Rana further said that the hotel might be closed temporally.
Since the hotel will not be in operation for a certain time, the management team will use that period to come up with new ideas to resume operations in the future. However, for now the hotel will remain closed.
Prior to this, the hotel had signed an agreement with staffers last year agreeing to provide basic salary for one year. As the agreement is going to end and the hotel cannot pay them any more, the hotel is laying off the employees, she added.
Meanwhile, the Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) has stated that it is trying to sign an agreement with the workers’ union regarding layoffs as most of the hotels are unable to pay wages at the moment.
The association has already conducted two rounds of meetings with the workers’ union but there has been no concrete progress yet. The association aims to sort out the issue by the end of the month.