Little Switzerland closes in Curaçao | THE DAILY HERALD

WILLEMSTAD–In a press release the board of directors of L.S. Holding Curaçao NV, operating as Little Switzerland in Curaçao, announced they were closing their doors.

The decision was taken on August 13 during a meeting to discuss the on-going COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in “unprecedented business challenges.”

“During our many years proudly serving the people of Curaçao, we faced and overcame many challenges in which the people always supported us. This includes our loyal customers, local business partners, long-time employees and our landlord at Renaissance Resort and Casino,” said the board in their statement.

“The global recession, which began in 2008, was one of our biggest challenges and its impact still prevails. Higher cost and unstable revenue flows resulted in annual operating losses that have become unsustainable. We had hoped to weather the COVID-19 pandemic in Curaçao, but now that seems highly unlikely.

“The return of cruise ships is uncertain, and it is unlikely there will be any cruise ship visits for the rest of 2020 and possibly well into 2021. The cruise lines simply have not figured out how to safely offload, then reload passengers in any port without being able to control possible exposure to the virus, and this challenge will not be overcome fully until a vaccine is readily available. We believe the historical cruise ship passenger numbers will take many years to recover and may never reach pre-COVID-19 levels.

“Air travel to Curaçao is also a challenge with ever-changing local restrictions and the general prevailing attitude among travellers that air travel may not be safe. Simply put, the number of tourists that will visit Curaçao in the foreseeable future will be extremely limited.

“Although we have a wonderful local customer base, we simply cannot operate any longer without a strong tourist base. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to close our Little Switzerland store in Curaçao effective immediately.

“The most difficult part of this decision is the impact on our long-standing, loyal employees. Many of them have been with us since we acquired the company in September 2007, and they will all be missed. They are hard-working and committed individuals who I am sure will be successful with their future employer.

“We have continued to pay all employees since we temporarily closed the store the week of March 16th and we have incurred all expenses to keep the store viable including rent, electricity and other ongoing expenses. We have reached mutual agreement with all employees to terminate their employment agreement, and it is our intent to leave the market in good standing.

“We thank the people of Curaçao for their many years of support, and wish them all the best for their health and safety during these difficult times.”

Source: The Daily Herald