COVID-19 forced the closure of the well-loved and internationally renowned Lord Charles Hotel. It closes at the end of August 2020. And, the tweet from Cheetah Safaris lamenting the closure, mentions the job losses in tourism.
COVID-19 regulations causes end of an era as Lord Charles closes
The Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West served the South African tourism industry for 32 years. Additionally, the closure adds another 150 people to the ranks of the unemployed. Importantly, the problem is not simply a South African one, worldwide tourism figures dropped dramatically owing to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, the problem in South Africa has been exacerbated through Inter-Provincial travel bans and lack of support from the Government’s relief funds.
According to Times Live, the CEO of The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa says R748 million per day is lost during the lockdown. As a result, TBCSA is lobbying the government to re-open tourism for locals as a matter of urgency.
Tourist industry ready for clients
COVID-19 is being taken seriously within the industry. In fact, hotels, safari lodges, and B&B’s say they are ready to open up with full safety measures in place. Furthermore, over 1,600 members registered and attended the webinar. Tshifhiwa Tshivhenga went on to say, “One thing that is clear is the industry needs to stick together – especially because we all have the same goal, which is to see our businesses going back to work and to put food on the tables of our communities….our role is to influence policy and we will continue to do this until we come out of this together.”
Too late for too many
Undoubtedly, Tshivhenga is hoping Inter-Provincial travel will commence soon. But, it is too late for some. Furthermore, if an establishment as sturdy as Lord Charles has closed, no doubt others are not too far behind.
Another giant falls due to Covid-19 after 32 yrs. The Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West will be closing its doors, permanently, at the end of August.
Spare a thought and prayers for the 150 families that will be effected by this closure and the knock-on effect.@PresidencyZA pic.twitter.com/D4T91zsnAc
— Southern Staying 🏡 (@SouthernStaying) August 12, 2020
king Kolisi@kingjakesnake raises a valid point saying, ” I wish people would stop saying ‘due to Covid-19’. Hotels empty but taxis full? Every liquidation rests solely on the ANC.”
Meanwhile, many South Africans remain uncertain about how to begin arranging for any travel within the country. Additionally, Christmas is the height of travel season for locals yet planning remains impossible until COVID-19 lockdown eases.
Have your say. Have you planned a holiday this year? Did you ever experience the luxury of The Lord Charles?
Remember to check back with SAns Newsfeed often for more news about tourism in South Africa.