Dhiren Thakrar, Woodlands Hotels and Resorts Ltd, Llongwe, Malawi
My wife and I run a small 10 room hotel set in a forest reserve in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi.
We had to close on the 10th OF March 2020 as we depend on visitors from abroad and this stopped as all flights to Malawi had stopped. We ran the restaurant for a further week but closed this too due to low patronage. We had to lay off 64 people at the time of closure.
We hope we are able to open again soon.
Extremely difficult to restart but hope we can work with our existing customer base which includes tour and safari operators, embassies and corporate clients. It will take a long time to rebuild and get back to normal but it important that we all work together and find ideas to
move forward. We do not have any help from the Government here and will have to pay all taxes etc. Ongoing going costs like water, electricity, and security are a huge burden.
Ours is a very poor country but its a heaven for tourists. Anyone who has visited Malawi will only have good things to say about Malawi. Hopefully, with this group, we can all work together and reach out to each other if and when we need each other especially when we have people from so many countries.