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COVID-19 webinar summary: 5 key points on Europe hotel performance (weekly update, 26 March)

COVID-19 continues to impact Europe’s hospitality industry, with almost 40,000 hotels in Europe closed, many in countries on full lockdowns. Understandably, this has driven performance declines that have already surpassed the 2008-09 levels that followed the global financial crisis. To provide further insights, we’ve compiled five key findings from this 26 March Europe webinar.

Forward demand has collapsed in the short term

Forward demand for the 14 days after 23 March currently ranges from just 5-20% in the key markets shown below. As hotels closed and cancellations came through, pickup declines entered double digits for the 2 weeks from 16 March, and the impact is beginning to move beyond the next two weeks.

Hotel forward demand has collapsed in the short term

The U.K. has produced significant future demand declines in the past week

As of 16 March, key U.K. markets reported forward bookings above 25% for the next 14 days. However, as the image below shows, dramatic declines occurred in the space of a week. While London and Dublin led the way in the previous week for pickup decreases, declines were notable across almost all markets on 23 March, with the exceptions being Heathrow and Aberdeen.

Forward bookings for U.K. hotels declined as of 23 March

An overview of performance in Belgium

Belgium hotel occupancy was relatively stable prior to 7 March, before the cancellation of the EU parliament’s upcoming events, and levels further declined to 10% and below following the introduction of lockdown measures on 17 March. This is reflected in the market’s RevPAR performance, which has declined significantly as more hotels close.

Hotel closures in Belgian driving hotel performance declines

An overview of performance in the Netherlands

The graph below looks remarkably similar to the one above, and that’s because Netherlands performance has followed the same path as its Belgian neighbour. As of the week commencing 16 March, RevPAR declined year-over-year by 89% in the Netherlands and 92.2% in Belgium.

Hotel closures in the Netherlands driving hotel performance declines

Benelux business on the books has declined in the short term

In the short-term, forward booking declines have picked up in recent weeks. However, for the longer-term view, guests seem to be holding off on cancelling their summer bookings at the time of writing. Notably, the cancellation of Eurovision has impacted Rotterdam in mid-May—the final was due to take place on the 16th.

Forward demand for Benelux hotels continues to decline

The full recording of this weekly webinar can be found here. For further insights into the impact of COVID-19 on global hotel performance, please visit our COVID-19 hub.