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Friday, 10 July, 2020, 11 : 09 AM [IST]

COVID Crisis: Swissotel, Kolkata shuts amid contract expiry

Hit by the coronavirus-triggered economic crisis, five-star Swissotel in Kolkata temporarily shut operations amid the contract between its owner Ambuja Neotia Group and French hospitality chain Accor expiring.

The contract expired on June 30, after ten years of operating the hotel, located in the Salt Lake area, an official of the Ambuja Neotia Group said.
"We will look into either renewing the contract with Accor or have negotiations with some other hospitality chain," Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Group Harsh Neotia said.

He said Swissotel was an airport-dependent hotel and foreigners were the mainstay of the property's business.

"Since no international flights are coming to the city due to the coronavirus outbreak, our business plummeted," Neotia said.

"We have decided to temporarily suspend the operations for the next few months," he added.

Following the closure of operations, 250 employees of the hotel have been sent on furlough with subsistence allowance, Neotia said.
He said the group, which built the property atop a shopping mall, is also talking to other hospitality chains "to get the best deal".

According to him, local dine-in customers were very few while meeting and conferences were also not taking place in the banquets due to the restrictions.

"We are hopeful and positive about reopening it when the business scenario improves," Neotia said.

As per sources, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) and Ambuja-Neotia Group (ANG) are said to be in advanced stages of discussion for a management contract of the erstwhile Swissôtel Kolkata property. Located atop the City Centre Mall in Kolkata’s New Town area, this five-star business hotel was recently vacated by French hospitality major Accor after the completion of its 10-year management contract tenure.

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