The Cordovan hotel sector, made up of some 3,500 establishments, increasingly exhibits symptoms of fatigue due to the economic situation as a result of compulsory isolation and also due to the consequences of unexpected difficulties in the payment chain.
The first fall, according to activity sources, occurred in the city of Córdoba, with the Interplaza hotel closing this week, but a survey of the business sector in Villa Carlos Paz revealed that 85% of the establishments would be on the edge of the commercial cessation in a term no longer than two months.
The situation does not escape what is experienced in the rest of the country. In Buenos Aires, the traditional Castelar hotel closed; and in Mendoza, another important tourist plaza, six units reported that they stopped operating permanently.
Fixed costs, particularly wages and services, stifle the sector’s finances. In the case of Interplaza, the decision to permanently discontinue the activity was communicated to the staff. The building has a hundred rooms and around 70 employees.
Alejandro Moroni, coordinator of the Central Region of the Gastronomic Hotel Federation and secretary of the Gastronomic Hotel Business Association of Córdoba, explained that the perspectives are increasingly complicated.
“The Castelar hotel closed in the heart of the international tourism of Buenos Aires; The Interplaza closed, a few meters from Plaza San Martín. We will have to take these situations as normal, “he said.
The voice He tried to obtain more details with the owners of the Interplaza, but was unsuccessful. Allegados to the hotel, before the consultation of this means, they said that today they would give details.
Fernando Faraco, executive director of the Association, indicated that the entity has not yet notified other dismissals. “But this situation may be brewing in some hotels and gastronomic venues,” he explained. Those items share equally the hardships due to the closure of the quarantine, with no prospect of reopening in the short term.
In the case of restaurants, the option of customer service through delivery is far from taking flight. This way, only 7% of existing sales are obtained prior to the health crisis, Faraco said.
The concern for the future extends to other hotels with great infrastructure in this Capital that not only saw income from accommodation curtailed – many of them through corporate agreements – but one of the main billing routes was cut off: events , congresses and conventions.
“I hope that some medicine will appear that will solve the problem at its roots; otherwise, the recovery of the economy in general and hospitality in particular will be long, “said the manager of an establishment of these characteristics.
Meanwhile, Villa Carlos Paz hoteliers alerted through a survey that, despite the aid received by some for the payment of wages (75%), it is difficult for them to successfully pass the next 60 days.
13% said that the limit of their survival capacity is end of May; 35% took that horizon to one month, and 37% set it to two months. Only 15% could “endure” the arrival of spring.
For Lammens, Argentina will be a “safe destination”
BUENOS AIRES. Tourism and Sports Minister Matías Lammens said he was optimistic about the sector’s opportunities once the pandemic passes and said that Argentina can become a particularly attractive destination for foreign visitors.
“We are convinced that Argentina will be a safe destination, as a country where we were able to control the coronavirus. That, in the future, will be a great advantage and a strength to promote Argentine tourism, “he said.
The official made a presentation before the Tourism Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. “We are absolutely convinced that tourism will play a strategic role in what comes next, once we pass this nightmare. I have no doubt about that, and that is why we want and need the private sector to stand up, ”said Lammens.
The minister explained to the deputies the emergency plan for his area to deal with the crisis in the sector with state aid.
In this sense, he indicated that they are allocating “very important aid, which is practically the total budget of the ministry, which is 4,500 million pesos, which have different sources of financing”; “And a great program of aid to the private sector of around 2,800 million pesos”, which has short, medium and long-term objectives.
With regard to the short term, he pointed out that “almost all the companies” in the country’s tourism sector “have accessed the benefits of the Emergency Assistance Program for Work and Production (ATP)” and that is why “more than 200,000 workers of the sector received today (Thursday) half of the salary ”, contributed by the national State.
Lammens said that this aid has been requested by “85% of the total number of hotels registered with the AFIP; 80% of restaurants, and 92% of travel agencies. “
The original text of this article was published on 05/08/2020 in our printed edition.
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