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Social distancing did motel chain in

Motel chain Victoria Court is closing some of its branches due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the imposition of quarantine protocols that has shuttered tourism-related businesses.

Social distancing did motel chain in

"We are facing unprecedented times in this world. As much as I have been trying to extend a helping hand to each and every one of you over these past few months, it is with a heavy heart that I now have to make a life-changing decision that will affect us all," said Victoria Court CEO Angelina Mead King in a video message for her employees.

Victoria Court, like all other tourism-related businesses, has been barred from accepting new bookings since lockdown measures took effect in March.

The motel chain has only been welcoming repatriated overseas Filipino workers and seafarers who need to undergo quarantine, but King said revenues from these bookings are not enough to sustain operations.

"It is time to face the facts and be honest and prepare for what is coming...I want to wish everyone the best of luck," she added as she assured her employees of separation packages to tide them over the next few months.

King shares the Victoria Court brand with her brother, Atticus, but the two maintain separate management groups.

"My group is not closing. Instead, we opted to do a deep retrenchment to try to keep the lights on until things revert back to normal," Atticus said in a separate statement.

Under Administrative Order 2020-002 of the Department of Tourism, hotels, resorts, motels, homestays, and other accommodation facilities are allowed to accept bookings in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine, limited to a 50 percent capacity.

Metro Manila and several provinces have just shifted to GCQ on June 1, which means all tourism-related businesses remain shuttered. Some hotels, however, have started offering delivery services fod food.

Tourism is seen as the hardest-hit sector by the COVID-19 pandemic given the travel restrictions.

The National Economic and Development Authority has estimated industry losses to be at about P60.25 billion for a two-month shutdown. The lockdown period, however, is already much longer than that.

Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon earlier said tourism revenue from foreign arrivals has decreased by 35 percent in the first three months of 2020 because of the pandemic.

Bengzon said the Philippines only generated P85 billion from foreign arrivals during the first quarter of the year compared to last year's P134 billion.

Topics: Victoria Court , COVID-19 pandemic , Angelina Mead King , Department of Tourism
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