The president of the National Federation of Provincial Chambers of Tourism, Holbach Muñetón, explains to Diario EXPRESO the situation of the hotels four days after the announcement of the first case of coronavirus imported into Ecuador.
– If you have a host with symptoms of coronavirus, what are the measures?
– The authorities say that if a guest who is infected with coronavirus comes, it must be taken at the hotel for 15 days, with food. But here are several issues that concern us: Who is going to pay for the stay and food? Who will take the food? An example, if a person finds out that there is someone with a coronavirus in an X hotel, do you think they are going to stay there? We had no answers to these questions at the meeting we had with the representatives of the Ministry of Health. One more question we ask: what will the Ministry of Health invest the additional 50 million dollars they will have in their budget.
– Are you instructing employees how to treat that guest, so that he receives good attention and does not feel discriminated against?
– We are asking the Ministry of Health to come and train hotel staff. We also have other questions: what to do with the sheets used by the guest who begins to have symptoms while in the country and in a hotel in Ecuador? How to handle the utensils you use? How to do the cleaning in the room, in the bathroom? We have to be prepared before this possibility occurs. But, we hope that the Ministry of Health will tell us who is going to pay for lodging and food, the hotel sector has not recovered at 100% of the economic contraction that exists and that affects every productive sector.
Is there a cancellation of reservations at hotels?
– Yes. There was a religious event this Friday, March 6 and they canceled it. Only for this event they had made reservations at several hotels in Guayaquil.
– How many cancellations are we talking about?
– There are several hotels that have cancellations of reservations. In mine they had reserved 23 rooms. But the impact will be 30%.
– In the hotel HM how many rooms are there and when were the reservations canceled?
– 43 rooms have HM and canceled yesterday. In addition, the day they announced the first case of coronavirus imported there was an event of a company that makes catalog sales, in an event venue. The hotel reservations were until Sunday, but on Saturday they canceled the event at 2:00 pm, although it was until 6:00 pm and they did not stay until Sunday as they had planned they left that day.
– The economic effect of how much is it?
– In percentage it will be 30% less.
– Is that 30% less just this month?
– We were coming low, this is like a palazo; because we have canceled events of up to a month. I have talked to other hoteliers and the same thing happens to them. I tell the truth although many prefer not to say it because of the fear that others will also cancel events. That’s why I say that this month is 30% less.
– What will they do?
– The independent protocol is being requested from the authorities. It is not the same that should have a hotel or restaurant. On the 19th of this month there is a meeting with the authorities on the subject of the tourism sector cluster, I can’t stop that.