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COVID-19: Transcorp Hotels to restructure business strategy

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The novel COVID-19 pandemic has caused the African Hotel and Tourism industry to lose over $50bn in revenue. Amidst this development, Transcorp Hotels Plc has suffered unprecedented losses and is looking to restructure the business strategy of its hotels and optimise its operations. 
 
The management of the hotel has announced that it will be taking steps to ensure business continuity in the wake of the losses recorded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the hotelier is diversifying its portfolio and reducing its workforce as part of its cost management initiatives.   

Managing Director, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mrs Dupe Olusola, disclosed this during a recent media briefing, saying, “The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015. The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than 5 per cent.”

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She said: “Despite the losses incurred, we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100 per cent salary payment to over 900 employees in March and April.

We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans. We suspended further acquisition and investment in fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs. Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive. To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40 per cent, and our reward system will be optimised.”
 
Olusola further disclosed that negotiations are ongoing to ensure that staff who will be impacted, are adequately compensated given the peculiarities of the economy at this time. A health insurance package to reduce their health burden costs, especially during the pandemic, amongst other payment settlements, will be activated.

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