YANGON, 19 January 2021: The five-star Sule Shangri-La Hotel joins around 1,000 hotels, 1 February, that have been forced to temporarily close due to the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Owned by the Hong Kong-headquartered Shangri-La Group the property opened in 1993 as the Traders Hotel with 470 rooms making it the largest hotel in the city. It rebranded in 2014 following an upgrade to the group’s top category Shangri-La.

According to a report in Irrawaddy online news more than
1,000 hotels, around half of the total hotels registered in Myanmar, have now
suspended business operations since the initial Covid-19 outbreak last March.

All international commercial flights have been grounded
since March, and the ban will most likely continue well beyond the end of
January when it is due to come up for review. The travel shutdown (air and
land) is described as partial with very limited domestic airline services in
place.

By the end of December, nearly 30,000 hotel staff were made redundant Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism reported last week.

Sule Shangri-La will suspend operations effective 1 February after months of negative results and following the furloughing of staff last month. However, The Irrawaddy reported that the Shangri-La group’s  Sule Square Mall and Offices, as well as the Shangri-La Residences, will remain open.

As of the 17 January, Myanmar reported 449 new cases down
from a peak of over 1,000 per day, 134,318 Covid-19 cumulative cases, including
2,955 deaths.

China has pledged 300,000 vaccine doses to be delivered
within three months to protect frontline medical workers and doctors.