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Where does the Hospitality Industry stand?

Through STR reports, we gather insights into where the hotel industry stands during COVID-19 and the novel ways hoteliers implemented to keep their doors open.

Staying positive, staying focused, and staying alert are ways the hospitality industry is dealing during COVID-19. This pandemic has affected every sector globally, and the hospitality industry was among the hardest hit. In the course of the last eight months, countries across the globe implanted strategies to control the spread of COVID-19. Measures ranging from stay-at-home orders, circuit breakers, lockdowns, social distancing, wearing masks, travel, and mobility restrictions have resulted in a decline in demand and temporary closure of businesses. These restrictions have affected customers' attitudes and behaviors.

With these strategies implemented, where does the hotel industry stand today?

We were able to gather insights and got a deeper understanding of the current and past trends of the hotel industry during COVID-19 from the STR webinar on the Hotel Performance Update in the APAC region released on October 2nd, 2020.

While international borders remain closed, there is an increase in demand with domestic and inbound travelers in APAC countries.

STR.2020@CoStar Realty Information, INC.

Globally, the hotel's occupancy started to slowly increase between June and July, with the exception of China. We see this common growth, which eventually leads to a plateau and would remain so over the next few months. It's unlikely to see the market rise up above 50% until a vaccine out, ease of restrictions, and opening of international borders or interstates.

STR.2020@CoStar Realty Information, INC.

This map represents the total room inventory globally. The big bubble indicates the reported hotel‘s occupancy, and the small bubble indicated the occupancy with closed rooms. The bigger the gap in each continent would mean hotels are closed as seen in Central and South America, North America, and Southern parts of Africa. The gap in Asia is narrowed to 4% to 5%, which would mean hotels are opened up.

STR.2020@CoStar Realty Information, INC.

There is an invert of occupancy rate across the APAC region from the 1st of February to the 1st of October. On the left, the occupancy rate was below 25 % in Mainland, whereas now it’s between 50% to 75%. It’s the opposite of other APAC countries. As a reflection of the map above, Today, in the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia, the occupancy is below 50%. While most cities and provinces in china indicate occupancy to be between 50%-75%, cities in the southeast of china show low occupancy below 50%. Mainland China is continually pushing for domestic travel. We see a regional growth in occupancy between towards the end of September and begging of October are the public holidays of the Autumn Festivals, Golden week, national day, with school being out and people returning home. There are still cases in China but managed.

STR.2020@CoStar Realty Information, INC.

STR.2020@CoStar Realty Information, INC.

After entering Phase 2 in June, Singapore's average occupancy is looking at 75%. With Staycation options, contracted by the government, and quarantine purposes. In the second level, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have an average occupancy spike for weekend leisure and business travelers and business traveling during weekdays, as shown on the second graph. Indonesia, for example, Bali, is a vibrant tourist destination in Indonesia. With the international border closed till the end of 2020 and no domestic demand, other cities such as West Java, Banten, Bandung, Bogor, and cities close to Jakarta's capital capture some promising demand. On the last level, the remaining countries have an occupancy between 15%-20& due to high demand only during the weekend. Drivable cities like Hua Hin and Pattaya in Thailand have high occupancy; no flights are needed to get to another domestic city.

Instead of being in a panic state, we see hoteliers are overcoming this hurdle and finding solutions to reopen its doors from new technologies to targeting potential guests. This is a slow yet promising pick-up for the hospitality industry in Asia.

As demands scrambles, the hospitality industry needs to reassure potential guests that hotels have implemented additional measures to protect against the coronavirus as borders start slowly to open up.

Hotels have found novel ways such as new technologies, enhancing tools and training, and strengthening stringent health and safety protocols to keep doors open.

To enhance better communication with guests, contactless check-in and check-out, digital room keys, restaurants, and room service digital menus, hospitality services on mobile phones are essential.

Prescribed by health officials, 1-meter distancing, temperature checks, the use of hand sanitizers, and wear masks are mandatory when guests are stepping into the hotel. In some hotels, furniture in the lobby is removed to avoid gatherings. Floors are market to indicate 1-meter gaps at queues and between entrances and exits for one-way pedestrian flow.

The housekeeping service has amplified its cleaning services. Room cleanings are now concentrated on high- touchpoints such as door handles, light switches, remote controls, faucets, and more. Fresh towels are sealed and found outside the door, and used towels are placed outside too. Ultraviolet light and electrostatic sprayer technologies are used in Hilton and Marriott.

With digital marketing strategies, hotels have maintained their presence via digital marketing channels and helped where hotels stand today. As mentioned earlier, hotels globally see a demand for domestic travelers. Attracting local guests by focusing on the experience of escaping daily life in a pandemic are people wanting right now. Promoting Staycations or workcations with other incentives or packages to increase the length of stay are ways to draw in guests. Hotels can target past guests by developing an automated marketing campaign for anniversaries, birthdays, or loyalty incentives, prompting them to return.

Hotels are optimistic about the long recovery ahead. Adopting the universal guideline for a safer, clean, and secure business approach is recognized as the new normal.

Rev-Mantra management consulting services focus on our clients' most critical issues and opportunities: strategy, marketing (offline/online), distribution, sales representation, and analytics across the service industry and geographies. We bring deep, functional expertise, but are known for our holistic perspective: we capture value across boundaries and between the silos of any organization. We have proven a multiplier effect from optimizing the sum of the parts, not just the individual pieces.


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