COVID-19 and hotels: What we’ve learned so far
STR’s Jan Freitag looks at the current hotel environment and latest data and shares five takeaways and asks five questions that industry would like an answer to.
HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee - As stay-at-home orders in states across the U.S. are expiring, the first weekend in May showed strong occupancy gains for hotels in markets with beach access. STR is certainly still some time away from calling this a recovery, but the data has been decidedly "less bad" over the past three weeks. (STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.)
What we learned
1. This is temporary.
When the Chinese New Year travel "bump" that happens every year did not actually materialize after 25 January, we at STR knew that something was wrong with the hotel industry. We certainly did not expect COVID-19 to materialize on America's shores with such force, but we were watching the Chinese demand evaporate and then the regional Asia/Pacific occupancy decline with growing concern.
Now that we are in the midst of the pandemic, we once again turn to China to understand how the hotel industry rebounds (leisure demand on weekends first) and what classes of hotels see the first "green shoots" (economy and midscale hotels). What we have learned from the Chinese hotel industry: This too shall pass.