Report: The impact of coronavirus on hotel occupancy rates

Registering significant drops, it comes at a time where Chinese New Year also impacts hotel figures

JW Marriott Hotel Beijing
JW Marriott Hotel Beijing

Following on from reports the coronavirus outbreak could have a lasting economic impact on the tourism industry, STR has released a report showing the damage of the virus on Chinese hotels.

According to data from the company, hotel occupancy between January 14 and 26 in Mainland China dropped by 75%. Occupancy on January 14 was recorded to reach 70%, though dropped each day and came in at just 17% on January 26.

This decline translates to eight out of 10 hotel rooms in Mainland China were empty on the day recorded.

During the Chinese New Year weekend, occupancy rates fell to 22%, representing a 71% decline compared to the previous year.

STR area director, Asia Pacific, Jesper Palmqvist explained: “The Chinese New Year holiday week, extended by three days this year, normally sees a significant shift in travel patterns across the country with very specific hotel occupancy movements.”

He continued: “This is due to less business travel, school closings and many individuals who return home to spend the holiday with family. At the same time, it is normal to see ADR rise during the time of the holiday. What our preliminary analysis shows this year is that performance changes were even greater as coverage of the coronavirus outbreak has intensified.”

Amid the coronavirus problem, international hotel groups such as Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group have waived hotel cancelation fees at Chinese properties. Moreover numerous airlines have halted operations to parts of China, including Wuhan.

The response from airlines and hotel groups tie in to observations from World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) president & CEO, Gloria Guevara, she said: “Previous cases have also shown us that closing airports, cancelling flights and closing borders often has a greater economic impact than the outbreak itself.”   

At the time of writing, 24,324 have been infected with the virus according to China’s Health Commission. 

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