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Aug 7, 2020

Can Hotels Survive Another Lockdown?

Ted Tejada

COVID-19 cases continue on the rise which means that if more community transmission is confirmed, the possibility of a countrywide lockdown is likely. While it is a decision that the Prime Minister is not hasty to make, it is one that could be very well made in the coming days.  The P.G.I.A. remains closed indefinitely and the tourism industry will be further affected.  Restaurants, hotels, and tourist destinations will continue to take the brunt of the economic impact of the virus.  The Belize Hotel Association is carefully looking at the recent developments and President Ted Tejada says that hoteliers need a further six months extension to the moratorium on loans in order to keep afloat through this pandemic. 

 

Ted Tejada, President, Belize Hotel Association

“The banks have only given us a grace period of six months meaning that at the end of September we hoteliers have to start paying back the loans. They had given us a moratorium where we did not have to pay the principal or interest. It was going to be added to the loans of the hotel. That moratorium now needs to be move an additional six months. The banks themselves cannot make that decision. It has to come from the Central Bank of Belize. Somebody did ask that question and I was very happy to hear the Prime Minister said, I am going immediately to Central Bank to lobby and get that permission so that the banks can allow us another six months moratorium on our loans. If there is no business no hotels are able to pay their loans. I don’t think that the country can suffice where there is going to be nine hundred hotels being on the table that can no longer pay their loans. At this moment I don’t think there is nine hundred buyers willing to buy hotels when there is no business.”


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