The year 2020 has proven to be one of the most challenging for all businesses globally due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Most businesses are faced with a sad reality of downsizing and, unfortunately, some are forced to closed doors.
Lesotho’s economy, like the rest of the world has felt the effects of this pandemic and difficult decisions have been taken to combat this monster virus. Individual companies have been forced to adopt different strategies and Mpilo Boutique Hotel is no exception.
When a six-week nationwide lockdown was enforced to prevent and contain the pandemic, business and profits were affected as it limited hotels from full operations. As a result, Mpilo is unable to survive with restaurant operations only.
A hotel survives through tourism, therefore lodging and dining, these functions we are unable to perform.
It is against this backdrop that Mpilo Boutique has decided to close temporarily. The shareholders have decided to halt operations until there is a better movement in the economy and the virus has been put under control.
In a statement issued this week, the hotel management said they are hopeful that this seize in operations will not be indefinite. It is therefore on this basis that shutting down will mean retrenchments for all Mpilo Boutique Hotel employees.
The shareholders plan, after a thorough review, to reopen and prioritize its former employees in the process of a phased operation as and when the time comes
The hotel management is also helpful as the rest of the world and Basotho that things will go back to normal, or a new and better norm will at least allow them to go back into business.
Situated in the heart of Maseru in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho Mpilo is a luxury boutique hotel like no other. It offers modern comforts that appeal to both leisure and corporate clients. The hotel is centrally located, minutes away from all amenities, including the City Centre, Maseru Golf Course, major attractions and it is the business hub for all local and international corporates.
Mpilo is recognized as one of the best hotels in the country.
Tourism contributes 2.5 percent of Lesotho’s gross domestic product. According to the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) in its 2018 Tourism Arrivals & Accommodation Statistics Report released in May 2019, Lesotho welcomed 1 172 648 visitors during the year, exceeding its target of increasing international tourism arrivals from approximately 422 000 to 800 000 by 2019. An additional 35 482 visitors were recorded in 2018, reflecting an increase of 3.1 percent.
Most of the country’s visitors came from Africa and Europe, with South Africa and Germany the country’s top African and European markets, respectively. Germany and the Netherlands have been the fastest-growing markets for the past four years.
In addition to the rise in international arrivals, job creation and economic growth also received a boost in 2018. The total number of employees in the accommodation subsector was 2 717, comprising 52 percent females and 48 percent males.
The accommodation subsector accounts for the majority of employment in the tourism industry, followed by the food and beverages subsector.
Now, with all economic activity having come to a standstill, the tourism sector has already shed many jobs as it was forced to shut down because it was not listed among essential service providers.
The temporary closure of Mpilo Boutique Hotel comes hardly a month after Mahlakapese Guest House in Hlotse announced it had let go of 50 employees staff members, as it could not retain them when there was no revenue.