Slight summer recovery for hospitality sector stopped short by 2nd wave of COVID infections
Despite historically low occupancy rates – averaging 38.9% during August across Europe – the summer period marked by a degree of recovery of Europe’s hotel sector following the easing of travel restrictions and the opening of certain borders.
With the absence of non-European business and foreign customers, the mid and high-end segments remain more affected than the budget and economy segments. These two had occupancy rates (OR) of 53.1% and 42.3%, respectively, in August 2020, compared with an OR of 38.0% for the mid-range segment and only 29.6% for the high-end segment. Similarly, results have been uneven across specific markets. France and Germany, with their strong domestic customer base, recorded the lowest falls in Europe, with an OR down 22.7 points (to 49.0%) and 33.4 points (to 38.4%), and a Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) down 35.3% and 48.8% respectively. Conversely, other countries suffered from the absence of foreign customers, particularly the Czech Republic (-65.2 pts. of OR/ -84.7% of RevPAR), Hungary (-66.3 pts. of OR/ – 79.5% of RevPAR) and Spain (-51.8 pts. of OR/ -72.1%), which recorded the largest declines.
European tourist activity fell back again in September due to limited demand from corporate and individual business customers and to muted MICE & events activity. The OR was 44.1 points lower than in September 2019 and RevPAR went down by 68.0%. Business and event demand, which usually picks up in September, is in fact much more affected by COVID-19 than the leisure tourism that dominates in summer months. In September, all European countries posted the first month-on-month decline in hotel performances since the end of the first wave of lockdowns.
In addition to the absence of events, the restrictive measures recently put in place by European governments to prevent a second wave of the pandemic will not encourage the resumption of travel: figures are likely to show a worsening situation in October and November 2020.
The figures in this article were provided to HOTREC courtesy of MKG and cover the results of corporate branded hotels in several European Markets.