Hotel Sector: Pessimism in El Salvador

Although most activities in the country reopened at the end of August, hotel occupancy levels are still low and business people fear they will be forced to cut more jobs or close operations.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

When the reopening phases that were intended to be applied in El Salvador were declared unconstitutional and the restrictions on economic activities imposed by the covid-19 outbreak were removed, local businessmen received the news with optimism. However, three months after the economy reopened, the hotel sector continues to face a complex scenario.

Leonor de Castellanos, president of the Association of Small Hotels of El Salvador (Hopes), told that "... We were waiting for the opening, but it hasn't been like it was thought. There are hotels that have closed. Three of the association have closed and some are evaluating, it depends on the end of the year as the season passes and the beginning of the year (2021), but since everything is so uncertain, we do not know what will happen tomorrow."

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According to the Hopes directive, "... the occupation is very low in the whole sector including the beaches where it seems that there is more movement and, perhaps, it is in the weekend. Some companies have taken advantage of the support plans implemented by the Executive through the Banco de Desarrollo de El Salvador (Bandesal) with the Fideicomiso para la Recuperacion de las Empresas Salvadorenas (Firempresa), of which some have already received the benefit for payrolls while others have already managed loans."

According to the Association's representative, the large chains have focused on promotions to increase their sales and the small hotels apply some commercial strategies to survive.

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