Ovolo chief calls for assistance to Hong Kong’s battered hospitality sector

The Hong Kong protests have taken a toll on the tourism industry as a whole, with no light at the end of the tunnel yet; protests at the airport earlier in August

Ovolo Group’s founder & CEO, Girish Jhunjhnuwala, has called on the Hong Kong government to bail out the local hospitality industry, in light of the current economic downturn in the region.

Widespread anti-government strikes in Hong Kong have hit the country’s retail, aviation and financial sectors hard, with the tourism industry bearing the brunt of the city’s protest movement.

The protests in Hong Kong have taken a toll on the tourism industry as a whole, with no light at the end of the tunnel yet; protesters occupying the airport earlier in August

In light of the current situation in Hong Kong, Jhunjhnuwala issued a statement, urging the Hong Kong government to “lend a helping hand” to struggling local businesses during these trying times.

“It’s devastating to see the effect that the recent situation in our city has had on local businesses, particularly those of us in the hospitality industry. As reported by the South China Morning Post, tourist arrivals year-on-year have fallen by five per cent in July and an alarming 40 per cent in August – the largest decline since the SARS outbreak in 2003. Group arrivals from the mainland have also dropped by 90 per cent in the first 10 days of September.

“When our businesses weather tough times, those whom are hit the hardest are not the top-level executives but our team members – the employees working at the forefront of our organisations. It’s those members of society, that unfortunately, are the ones who are now facing reduced hours, reduced wages or in some cases, even redundancies.

“With this in mind, it is imperative the Hong Kong government and Hong Kong Monetary Authority both step in to lend a helping hand to local businesses who are struggling during these times – not only to ensure we reduce negative economic impact and avoid loss of wages or jobs, but to ultimately protect Hong Kong’s status as a thriving tourism hub for years to come.”

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