Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) yesterday announced that it would suspend guestroom operations and lay off related staffers from Monday, as regional border controls and travel restrictions are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon.
The partial shutdown would not affect the five-star hotel’s restaurants, bars, spa, and conference and banquet facilities, which this month have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, it said.
“Mandarin Oriental Taipei will suspend all guestroom services from June 1 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hotel said after four months of maintaining normal operations proved unsustainable.
Photo: Chen Yi-kuan, Taipei Times
The change necessitates downsizing and the hotel is handling the issue guided by labor rules, communication officials said by telephone after a meeting to review the hotel’s operations.
Mandarin Oriental Taipei declined to comment on the number of affected workers or occupancy rates amid the pandemic, which has prompted countries in the region to close their borders and crippled tourist arrivals.
The business picture looks grim, although Taiwan aims to ease social gathering restrictions on Sunday next week, but would maintain strict border controls and mandatory quarantine for people arriving from abroad, the officials said.
Business travelers from Japan and Hong Kong account for a big chunk of the hotel’s clientele.
“The timing for reopening the guestrooms will be reviewed on a regular basis, depending on when international tourism recovers in the region,” they said.
Food and beverage sales, which account for about 50 percent of total revenue, picked up on Mother’s Day, thanks to a focus on local customers, they said.
The hotel had managed to avoid pay cuts or unpaid leave thus far.
Occupancy rates are believed to have dropped to an average of 10 percent for hotels in Taipei at the height of the pandemic in February and March.
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