Radisson Hotels has confirmed the closure of the Radisson Blu hotel in Upper Hill, Nairobi.
A notice published on the international hotel chain’s website revealed that the property was temporarily closed until Mach 31, 2021.
Sources told Business Today that a vast majority of staff had been sent home following the closure.
“We all received official notification from the management, they blamed it on the difficult economic situation during the Covid-19 pandemic,” revealed a former employee who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The hotel promised to accord the workers necessary support and to undertake the down-sizing in line with relevant laws and regulations.
Only a skeletal management team survived the chop. The hotel suffered a hit to its revenues in recent months as business travelers and organizations who were frequent clients disappeared.
The location was preferred by numerous organizations for conferences, parties and other events.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the conference business stagnated as most meetings and events shifted to digital platforms.
Restrictions on global travel have also seen a significant decrease in occupancy rates at the 271-room hotel.
The employees sent home were given severance pay, and assured that they would be given priority during re-hiring once the hotel opened its doors again.
The other two Radisson properties in Nairobi, Park Inn by Radisson Nairobi Westlands and Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Nairobi Arboretum, however, remain operational.
The tourism and hospitality sectors have been among the worst hit since the onset of the pandemic.
Several high-end hotels have sent home employees, with others such as Fairview and City Lodge Two Rivers are up for sale.
Players in the sector have asked the government to ease restrictions for the festive season so as to boost their struggling businesses.