Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, 92% of the hotel inventory across the island is closed which means that 1,900 people in the tourism industry workforce who would have been working in those hotels are now not working, Interim BTA CEO Glenn Jones said.
Mr. Jones — who was announced at the Interim CEO earlier this month one day before Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic — told Bernews, “The global tourism industry has obviously been very hard hit by Covid-19, and of course, we’re feeling it here at home as well.
“In the hotel sector alone, we have measured that 92% of the hotel inventory across the island is now closed. That means 1,900 people in the tourism industry workforce who would have been working in those hotels, are now not working.
“That’s why the unemployment benefits we heard about this week from the government are so important. We strongly support that move and we hope that it helps ease some of the pain that those tourism sector workers are going through.
“We’re in the process now of measuring what this means from an employment standpoint for the restaurant and retail sector, because we think that that data will also help the government make informed choices by going forward.
“In the meantime, we are also working with those stakeholders in the tourism industry who are still open, who have innovated their businesses so that they can honor the request of social distancing while still serving their customers.
“We have a new resource on our website, we’re very excited to release this yesterday. More businesses are coming in to register so that they can be a part of that, too.
“The onus is now on consumers, both here and in the US to patronize those businesses, if it’s a restaurant, you can get takeout or delivery here in Bermuda. If it’s an online retailer, you can still shop online, they’ll deliver the package for you, even delivering it overseas while the courier services are still running.
“These are some of the things that we’re doing to measure the impact of what’s happening, but also offer support to our industry in the meantime,” Mr. Jones said.