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Heinecke warns of more layoffs, closure of some hotels, as tourism continues to languish
CorporateOct 10. 2020William Ellwood Heinecke
By The Nation
Minor International (MINT) may have to lay off its employees for the second time and temporarily close some hotels that had previously resumed operations due to the impact of Covid-19 on tourism.
MINT chairman William E Heinecke told Bloomberg News that some hotels operated by the company were unable to pay monthly salaries to employees because there were no guests.
“MINT has faced net loss in the second quarter of this year and laid off thousands of employees to enable the company to operate its business amid the Covid-19 crisis that has caused an impact on tourism even in countries that have been able to contain the spread effectively, such as Thailand,” he said.
Last year 27,259,855 foreign tourists, mostly from China, Russia and India, visited Thailand, generating revenue of Bt1.1 trillion. The revenue from foreign tourists accounted for 11.9 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Heinecke said that of the 526 hotels under MINT, 83 per cent of hotels were able to resume operations, while expecting that 90 per cent of the company’s hotels will be able to resume operations in the fourth quarter of this year. He added that 6 per cent of MINT hotels were located in Thailand.
“We expect the company’s performance in China to rise to the level before the Covid-19 outbreak, as the occupancy rate rose to 80 per cent in August, while the company’s food business has revenue growth per branch at 8 per cent,” he said.
Also, he expected that Thailand would be the first country to allow Chinese tourists to enter after the Chinese government allowed its citizens to travel overseas, as these tourists would help boost the country’s economy.
MINT’s second-quarter net loss was Bt10.22 billion, while its share price dropped by 43 per cent, lower than the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index that dropped by 20 per cent.
Meanwhile, NH Hotel Group SA, a leading hotel operator in which MINT holds a 94.1 per cent stake, is expected to announce its third-quarter results on November 9.