A Scottish hotel chain has announced that 241 workers will be laid off in early August.
The Crieff Hydro group is a family business and includes seven mainly rural hotels, including Crieff Hydro, Peebles Hydro and Ballachulish Hotel.
It plans to lay off more than a quarter of its employees across the portfolio.
Stephen Leckie, the owner, says he expects bookings to drop 30 to 50 percent this year.
The number of job losses could be reduced or increased, depending on the pace at which hotel industry foreclosure regulations are relaxed.
“The darkest days”
The group announced that as of Sunday, it had entered a period of consultation with its staff due to a significant slowdown in activity following the coronavirus pandemic.
She said she hoped that, through consultation, the number of compulsory dismissals, if necessary, could be cut in half.
Leckie said: “When we closed at the end of March, it was one of the darkest days in our 150-year history and another.
The impact of the coronavirus on our industry and activities has been immediate and dramatic. As a family business built on the strength of our employees, discussing potential layoffs is the hardest step we have ever had to take.
“I am personally devastated for each of our teams who could lose their jobs. ”
He said that despite all the measures taken so far to cut costs, the loss of revenue during the hotel closings would amount to at least £ 17 million in the current financial year.
He added: “For each month we were closed with zero income, we had to pay £ 500,000 just to keep our buildings safe and insured. This would have a profound effect on any business. ”
The company used the UK government’s retention program and obtained an additional £ 5 million in bank loans.
Tourism was one of the industries hardest hit during the national closure. Industry organizations fear that there will be many casualties as the industry struggles to return.
Marc Crothall of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said: “This is a harsh reality of the impact of Covid19.
“Crieff Hydro is a very good group of well-run and well-run hotels that have always invested in their people and I know it will hurt the family to have to take this step.
“But with no income from several months and associated with high levels of fixed monthly costs and with no signs of long-term subsidy available to help bridge the gap in the coming months as tourism demand and levels occupancy returns, companies like this are now faced with little or no choice but to reduce labor costs.
“Unfortunately, tough decisions like this had to be made. I guess we will hear similar stories from many other tourism and hotel businesses in the coming days. “