Airbnbs, guest houses say it could take years to recover from Covid-19 lockdown
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Cape Town – Despite lockdown regulations being eased, the hospitality industry is facing strain. Guest houses and Airbnb hosts say it could take years to recover from the five months’ loss of income.
Airbnb’s Host Club leader Adeeb Moosa said: “The past few months have presented unique and novel challenges. Fortunately the lockdown was during the winter period which is not the busiest time. But we are happy we can start working again.”
The tourism industry, in particular, is expected to suffer a huge loss due to the hard lockdown. South Africa has seen a significant decline in international tourist arrivals. A number of events in the city have been cancelled. One the biggest events, the Jazz Festival, was forced to postpone.
Owner of Anchor Bay Guest House Gilbert Coburn said: “We haven’t really had any business because our international borders are closed and we rely heavily on international visitors. We’ve had two bookings but nothing to really make a difference.
“It was terrible those six months without any income. We didn’t want to retrench our staff so we had to keep up with the payments. It will take years to recover and make up lost income.”
National Accommodation Association of SA chairperson Rosemarie van Staden said: “The impact is devastating because everyone is out of business and there won’t be salaries to be paid. Financially it will have a massive impact on the industry.”