The Spanish hotel chain Riu announced Thursday the gradual closure of hotels in Mexico due to measures by the COVID-19 pandemic and the enormous impact on tourism caused by travel restrictions imposed by various countries.
Through a press release, the hotel chain announced that they hope to keep one or two hotels in operation in each of the destinations where they have a presence in the country, that is, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Costa Mujeres, Los Cabos, Mazatlán, Nuevo Vallarta and Guadalajara.
“Riu has created a crisis cabinet to make decisions on a daily basis in a situation that requires specific analysis and decision-making every day. At the moment, the forecast is that with the passing of days and with the reduction of the flow of markets, Riu hotels in Mexico are gradually closing, depending on the occupational needs of the moment,” the company said in a statement.
They will receive travelers who already had scheduled trips and “have not been able or have not wanted” to cancel, or who cannot return to their country of origin due to flight restrictions imposed by various nations.
According to the Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America Communications office, the measure is taken due to the loss of tourists and the direct effects on the tourism sector that have had to cancel activities due to the low flow of travelers due to COVID-19, which in Mexico records 118 cases and one death.
“The paralysis of the markets around the world has led our hotels to a situation of operation with very low occupancies and to make decisions about hotel closings, adjusting the operation to the reality of the market at the moment,” the statement said.
The Riu chain has 20 hotels, mainly distributed in Cancun and Riviera Maya, which represents 11,531 rooms, with a staff of more than 10 thousand employees.
The state of Quintana Roo, where the main tourist destinations in Mexico are located, such as Cancun and Riviera Maya, concentrates most of the tourist investment of Spanish companies.
The state currently has around 100,000 hotel rooms and it is estimated that around 6 out of 10 hotel rooms are in the hands of large Spanish chains such as Grupo Piñero, the owner of the Bahía Príncipe Hotels, Grupo Iberostar, Meliá Hoteles Internacional, Barceló, Oasis, Palladium, Occidental, Sandos, BlueBay, Princess, Catalonia, H10, Sirenis, HM, Excellence, and Riu Hotels.
The area most affected so far by the lack of tourists is the Riviera Maya, since a large part of its tourists come from Europe.
Many of the lodging centers that operate in the area have already disclosed to their employees the first measures that involve the dismissal of recently hired workers, as well as vacations and early retirements for older workers.