Addu City, Maldives – Shangri-la Villingili Resort and Spa has announced that it will be ceasing all operations of the facility for an indefinite period of time.
The decision was announced via a letter sent to the employees of the resort, signed by the General Manager, Rahim Flynn. The letter read, “As you are aware, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa (the “Resort”) has been closed since April 2020, due to the serious negative effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“Since the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year, the Management and the Board of Directors of Addu investment Private Limited (the “Employer”) have been exploring every option to mitigate the impact and resume operations, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our guests and colleagues.”
“However, it is with deep regret that I must inform you that, due to the poor business outlook for the foreseeable future, the Board of Directors have decided to extend the temporary shutdown of the Resort from 25th August, 2020, for a prolonged period of time. Consequently, after much deliberation, it has also been decided that all employment positions will be made redundant, with the exception of a minimal ‘care and maintenance’ team to ensure the upkeep of the resort.”
With this, the note read that the human resources department of the resort would be reaching out to the employees to inform them of the options.
As Shangri-la moves for an indefinite closure, Canareef Resort – one of the three main resorts of the city – has also stopped operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This leaves South Palm Resort and city hotel Equator Village as the main tourist facilities in the city apart from the guest houses.
Unquestionably, the economy of the city is expected to take hard blow, as hundreds are left jobless with no future job prospects in the city.
This also raises the question on whether the only international airline making scheduled trips to the city, Sri Lankan Airlines would continue flights to Addu International Airport as previously scheduled. The management of Sri Lankan have said time and again that the airline was barely making the the trips to Addu City feasible, if at all even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With this, the question begs, will Addu survive this pandemic? Will this be the economic crisis that brings the city to a stop?