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COVID-19: Impact on Hotel & Travel Industry

Coronavirus has hit the hotel and travel industry, and how! With the WHO classifying the outbreak as a global pandemic, amidst such chaos, various hotel chains and industry analysts have cut back on their growth forecasts for the present quarter, and not just that. Still, they are witnessing a dip in revenue and occupancy in the past few weeks. Due to COVID-19 many tourists have cancelled their trips, be it for business or leisure.

Impact on Hotel & Travel Industry

According to a research done by RateGain, a reputed travel technology company, there has been a 21 per cent fall in daily bookings of hotels due to coronavirus for regional OTAs based out of APAC, and a 3 per cent fall in daily booking of hotels for global OTAs.

After COVID-19 hitting our country, Jaideep Dang who is the managing director of hotel and hospitality group at JLL mentioned how hotels in India will still be on the forefront of this and bear all impact from the inbound travel as economic restart around the South East Asia is said to commence after quarter two of 2020.

Affected Countries by Coronavirus

“Indian High Commissions in Southeast Asian countries – China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea have restricted visas to travellers coming from these countries. Although India doesn’t have a lot of Chinese travellers, with all these countries included in the travel restriction bracket – the impact on hotel demand could be significant throughout quarter one of 2020,” said Jaideep.

“We feel that outbound travel from India this year is likely to reduce and could get substituted by Indians travelling in domestic leisure markets. Demand from weddings could continue to fill hotels. Business-related conferences and meetings demand is likely to suffer,” he further said.

A research done by investment information and credit rating agency ICRA mentioned that the domestic impact of such a pervasive disease could be far more toxic when compared to the 2003 SARS perion, even then the Indian hospitality industry faced a lump in their sales and occupancy.

Moreover, with new cases surfacing every day even major multinational hotel chains like Hyatt, mentioned last week that it had requested its staff at the at the LA Piazza restaurant that is present in Delhi to go on a self-quarantine procedure that lasts for 14 days. In addition to that various government authorities have confirmed that on February 28th someone who dined at their hotel was in fact diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Since receiving this news, as advised by the government authorities, the hotel has enacted elevated precautionary operational protocols, including deep-cleaning measures in the restaurant, colleague lockers and in all public areas, restaurants and meeting spaces across the hotel,” said Julian Ayers, general manager at Hyatt Regency Delhi.

Conclusion

Not only has the coronavirus affected the hotel industry in India but also across the world, so much so that the world’s largest travel tourism trade fair, the ITB Berlin has been postponed to April 7th-9th, 2021. Initially, it was supposed to take place in March at Messe Berlin, but the organisers even postponed the inaugural of ITB India that was supposed to take place in Mumbai in April due to COVID-19.

In this difficult time, all we can do is wait and brace ourselves to stop the spread of this deadly virus and hope that humanity finds a cure for it.

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