Tallink to lay off additional 60 hotel staff in Estonia

Tallink City Hotel in Central Tallinn.
Tallink City Hotel in Central Tallinn. Source: AS Tallink Grupp

Due to a full-scale renovation of the Tallink City Hotel to begin this fall, the changed tourism situation and a significant reduction in guest numbers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Tallink Grupp subsidiary Tallink Hotels has begun the process of laying off further Estonian hotel staff. An additional 60 Estonian hotel employees are to be laid off in this round.

Tallink Grupp will begin a full-scale renovation of its Tallink City Hotel on September 1, in the course of which all guest rooms and public areas will be completely refurbished. Renovations are scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2021, and the hotel is expected to be reopened next June, according to a company press release.

The Central Tallinn hotel has been waiting for upgrades for some time, according to Tallink Hotels management board member Ave Svarts, and the current state of tourism both in Estonia and globally has unexpectedly presented the company with an opportunity to get this work done so that the hotel can be ready to reopen in time for next year's high season.

"We hope that by the time we are ready to open our doors again, the battle with COVID-19 will be successfully over," Svarts said, adding that people's confidence in traveling will hopefully return and the company can then continue offering its services to both Estonians and visitors to Estonia as before.

"Although citizens of many countries are already able to travel to Estonia today, it will take quite some time before booking volumes in our hotels increase, and we do not expect to see the booking and visit levels we were planning and expecting to see in our hotels this summer," she explained. "This has meant that we have had to make some very difficult decisions in the last few months regarding our hardworking employees, and also need to take this further step now to reduce our staff numbers even further. Such decisions are not easy for anyone to make in current times, but they are necessary for the benefit of the future and sustainability of our business."

In early April, Tallink Grupp notified the Unemployment Insurance Fund that it would be laying off nearly 130 hotel employees in Estonia and Latvia.

Tallink City Hotel operations are still suspended due to the recently concluded emergency situation in Estonia. According to the company, decisions regarding the reopening of the hotel this summer will be made once travel restrictions are lifted in Estonia's neighboring countries as well and tourist numbers begin to increase.

Tallink Express Hotel remains open, and preparations are ongoing for the reopening of the Tallink Spa and Conference Hotel.

Tallink Hotel Riga reopened to guests on Monday.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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