COVID-19 webinar summary: 5 key points on our Central and South Asia webinar, 9 April
How has COVID-19 affected hotel performance in Central and South Asia? We analyzed performance in Thursday, 9 April’s webinar and have summarized our findings on the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India here.
Maldives occupancy declines accelerated rapidly
The Maldives is heavily reliant on tourism, particularly international visitors. Between 2015 and 2019, arrivals grew from 1.2 million to 1.7 million, aided by the destination’s variety of source markets, including China, Europe and India.
This is reflected in the below image and occupancy declines. The initial January decreases coincide with Chinese New Year, while demand from other source markets prevented further declines until mid-March when lockdown measures and travel restrictions were implemented.
Sri Lanka’s situation is markedly similar
After a difficult 2019, in which the Easter bombings caused hotel occupancy and RevPAR declines, Sri Lanka has produced further decreases in 2020 to date. Like the Maldives, the sharpest declines in occupancy arrived in mid-March as border restrictions, lockdown measures and hotel closures were implemented. Unsurprisingly, absolute occupancy levels declined considerably as March came to an end.
Lockdown measures drove India’s occupancy declines
India is more heavily reliant on domestic demand than its Central and South Asia counterparts. This could provide long-term benefits if international tourism takes time to recover once global travel restrictions are lifted. This is reflected in the worst declines following the introduction of lockdown measures, and occupancy reaching single digits around the time of the nationwide 21-day lockdown.
Leisure destinations demonstrated resilience
Several leisure markets in India continued to trade well into the second week of March, until those lockdown measures. Goa, for example, saw some 2020 uplift as wedding and MICE business from the likes of Thailand and Bali transferred there, due to its low number of confirmed cases.
What’s next for India?
As Vidhi Godiawala discusses in the full webinar recording, recovery is dependent on numerous factors. India’s domestic demand is likely to help its hoteliers, with the leisure segment likely to bounce back ahead of the others.