RIU to close some resorts as COVID-19 fear deepens

RIU hotel in Ocho Rios, St Ann.

The RIU hotel chain in Jamaica says it has created a Crisis Cabinet to coordinate and try to make agile decisions in the face of the crisis situation created by the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Director of Sales for the RIU hotel chain in Jamaica, Niurka Garcia-Linton said this could lead to some tough business decisions, including the closure of some properties.

“At the moment, our hotels in Jamaica are still open to taking care of the customers in the destination. But, as of today, we will put in place a plan of closure, to adapt our operation to the reality of the occupancy, given the travel restrictions and the paralyzation of sales in many international markets,” she noted.

The first decision in Jamaica has been to close the Riu Negril, Riu Montego Bay and Riu Palace Jamaica hotels, while the Riu Ocho Rios, Palace Tropical Bay and Riu Reggae will remain open to attend to guests who are or will arrive on the island.

The closures are scheduled for this Thursday (March 19).

“We are facing an unprecedented situation that requires us to take exceptional measures. Our business model, based on hotel ownership and direct management of our operations, allows us to have the agility to take the actions required by the current situation. We are used to facing temporary hotel closings, for example when we carry out the major reforms that characterize us, which is why we have the necessary experience to apply this measures diligently, always prioritizing the well-being of our workers,” she added.