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Sri Lanka city hotels develop star class food delivery in Coronavirus lockdown

ECONOMYNEXT – Star class hotels in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo have developed food delivery businesses during Coronavirus curfews as tourists dried up, while warning that activities may be hit by trade controls in the future.

The Kingsbury, a publicly traded hotel said it halted operations in mid-March as health and safety scares spread in the country.

“…[H]aving looked in to new revenue generation avenues, the company ventured in to the food delivery service with the introduction of ‘The Kingsbury Indulgence’ catering to Colombo and suburbs,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.

“..[A]s an added safety measure only the hotels employees are assigned with the delivery tasks without the involvement of any outside parties.

The company said it had stocked up on goods to ensure that there were no disruptions in the supply chain but warned that import controls may hit supplies in the future.

“However, with the Government imposing restrictions on several essential food & beverage items, the supply chain may get affected adversely during the coming months,” the hotel warned.

Sri Lanka has slammed trade controls after the central bank printed unprecedented volumes of money driving up excess liquidity in money markets driving up the rupee to 200 to the US dollar as credit picked up in March.

TAL Lanka Hotels, which operates Colombo’s Taj Samudra hotel said revenues fell 95 percent in a Coronavirus lockdown.

“Business on the books for the forthcoming months is currently nil,” the firm said. “Business operations have been paralyzed leading to the shutdown of multiple revenue centres at the hotel.

“The hotel is being serviced by a restricted core team for the upkeep of the hotel and to serve a few stranded tourists staying in house.”

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Taj Samudra said it started to provide food to the staff of the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Colombo, the main treatment centre for Coronavirus patients.

Taj had then started a take away menu under “Hospitality @ Home” brand.

It is also delivering food and beverages to door steps to generate an alternate source of revenue.

Taj Lanka hotels said it had reviewed processes to comply with health rules and also invested in personal protective equipment.

It was also cutting costs and getting a six-months moratorium on debt from banks.

Other hotels in Colombo who have moved in to food delivery are namely Galadari Colombo and Ramada Colombo (SB-Colombo/June01/2020)

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