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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.

COVID-19 causes hotel occupancy declines in Maldives

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.

Sri Lanka hotels report performance declines amid COVID-19

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.

India's lockdown measures cause hotel performance declines

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.

Hotel performance declines in India's leisure destinations

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.

India's road to recovery following COVID-19 pandemic

For further insights into the impact of COVID-19 on hotel performance, visit our content hub.