Research reveals hotelier sentiment on market recovery

Netherlands and Belgium: A survey conducted by Horwath HTL on 200 hotels in the Benelux shows expectations of a slow recovery with the local market quickly bouncing back.

More than 70 per cent of hoteliers expect the impact of the coronavirus crisis to last longer than six months, with the majority (36 per cent) expecting a 12-24 month recovery.

Of the hotels surveyed, almost 60 per cent were completely closed by mid-April, and another 22 per cent had closed part of the hotel rooms. Only 16 per cent are still operating F&B and/or other facilities.

Many hoteliers have looked at increasing turnover through other activities such as sales and marketing (45 per cent), selling vouchers (36 per cent), offering rooms as offices or quarantine rooms (33 per cent), as well as focusing on take-away and delivery services.

80 per cent of those hotels closed expected closures to last for one to three months. None of the hoteliers expect to be closed for more than six months, although 20 per cent indicate properties will remain closed until the end of the crisis.

Almost all hotels expected occupancy rates and revenues to fall by more than 50 per cent, with a decline expected for the second half of 2020. However, only 10 per cent of hoteliers expect a decrease in occupancy of over 50 per cent during this half.

Nearly 97 per cent of respondents expect the international market to perform worse in 2020, with the most negative impact expected on the tour group segment: almost 72 per cent agree.

The business group segment will also perform much worse according to 67 per cent of respondents, and the business individual segment according to 55 per cent.

Looking at the domestic market, almost 50 per cent of hoteliers expect a slow recovery and 37 per cent expect this market to return to its previous level soon. In fact, nearly 12 per cent believe that the domestic market will be stronger after the coronavirus crisis. 

Of the biggest concern to hoteliers is labour costs (80 per cent agree) while between 30 and 40 per cent are concerned about energy costs, taxes, debt and interest payments and/or lease payments. Most are hoping for additional support from the government.

68 per cent of participating hotels have therefore reduced the number of temporary staff, with 37 per cent reducing the number of permanent staff. 24 per cent of hoteliers were considering the same.

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