Antigua: hoteliers say COVID-19 causing increased cancellations
Created : 3 March 2020
As the coronavirus, now COVID-19 seems to be making its way through the region, hoteliers in Antigua have reported a marked increase in cancelled and postponed bookings.
To date there has been no reports of cases in Antigua and Barbuda, but some resort owners say they may be forced to lay-off staff if the tourism sector is further impacted.
Chairman of the Antigua Tourism and Hotel Association (ATHA), Vernon Jeffers said hotel bosses, will meet with officials from the Health and Tourism ministries later today.
Alex Browne who manages the Starfish Jolly Beach Resort and is also a Director of the ATHA board, hopes that at the end of this meeting, a roadmap will be developed as a guide for the tourism sector to move forward, in light of the concerns and borderline panic being caused by the spread of the virus.
He said his hotel is one of those worst-hit by the Italy travel advisory which was issued last week. He reported a 16 percent decrease in occupancy from the Italian market.
For now, he said hotel management has adopted a wait-and-see approach before they decide on the fate of staff.
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