Crown & Champa to close all resorts as travel curbs bite Maldives tourism
Crown & Champa Resorts has became the latest local hospitality group to close all of its resorts, as the novel coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the global and local tourism industry.
Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, and Meeru Island Resort & Spa will be closed from April 1 to June 30.
Hurawalhi Maldives, Kudadoo Maldives Private Island by Hurawalhi, Innahura Maldives Resort, Komandoo Maldives and Kuredu Resort Maldives will be suspending operations from April 15 to June 30.
“Steps are being taken to ensure our teams will be there to welcome you back… when the time is right. Until then, stay home, stay safe and we will be ready when you are to visit Maldives again,” similar statements posted by each of the resorts read.
“We would like to thank all our business partners, guests and team members for the support we received during these challenging times and also acknowledge everyone who promptly and effectively responded to the situation, and who are continuing to do so as the situation evolves.”
Crown & Champa Resorts, a leader in the Maldivian hospitality industry with over 40 years’ experience, currently runs eight resorts — each targeting a unique traveller with the aim of offering great quality and value in different segments.
Crown & Champa Resorts’ diverse collection of resorts include Hurawalhi Maldives, Kudadoo Maldives Private Island by Hurawalhi, Innahura Maldives Resort, Komandoo Maldives, Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, Kuredu Resort Maldives, Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, Meeru Island Resort & Spa, and one city hotel, Champa Central Hotel.
The group had earlier announced plans to open its ninth resort, Kagi Maldives Spa Island, later this year.
“Over the last forty years, our resort collection, its owners, partners and employees have been guided by a vision and with shared values. We wish to thank you for your continued support, understanding during these difficult times. It is with this trust that our collection will continue to serve guest for the next forty years and beyond,” the statements read.
The Covid-19 outbreak has hit the Maldivian economy hard, as travel restrictions and other preventive measures affect the country’s lucrative tourism industry, which contributes the bulk of the island nation’s state revenue and foreign reserves.
Several resorts across the Maldives had been closed.
Government on Thursday launched an emergency MVR 2.5 billion ($161.84 million) facility and a package of financial measures to shore up the local economy against the coronavirus pandemic.
The MVR 2.5 billion stimulus plan includes MVR 1.55 billion ($100 million) in emergency loans for businesses to meet short-term working capital needs.
The emergency facility is complemented by a package of financial measures, including a six-month moratorium on principal and interest repayments for personal and business loans sanctioned by commercial banks.
Meanwhile, Bank of Maldives (BML) has announced a $2 million short-term financing facility for the tourism industry.
The facility by the country’s largest bank allows operational resorts and guesthouses finance up to $2 million to manage their working capital requirements, with a repayment period of three years.
On March 8, Maldives reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago. Eleven more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels — were later identified.
However, five out of the 13 have made full recoveries, whilst the rest are being treated at designated quarantine facilities.
Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, the first such declaration under a recent public health protection law.
The public health emergency declaration has allowed the government to introduce a series of unprecedented restrictive and social distancing measures, including a ban on inter-island travel of tourists, including for excursions and between resort islands.
A nationwide shut down of all guesthouses and city hotels has also been ordered. Spa facilities located on inhabited islands have also been closed.
The Maldives had closed its borders to arrivals from some of the worst-hit countries, including mainland China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran, Spain, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Visitors from three regions of Germany (Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg), two regions of France (Île-de-France and Grand Est) and two regions of South Korea are also banned from entering the country.
All direct flights to and from China, Italy, South Korea and Iran had also been cancelled.
Cruise ships and foreign yachts had also been banned from docking at any of the country’s ports.
The island nation had installed thermal screening cameras at its international airports.
Quarantine facilities, including designated islets from the 1,192 islands that make up the archipelago, had been established.