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COVID-19 webinar summary: 5 key points on Pacific hotel performance, 27 March

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present unprecedented challenges for the global hospitality industry, driving significant performance declines in key markets worldwide. China and Europe, for example, have already reported steeper declines than those associated with the global financial crisis in 2008-09. But how does the picture look in the Pacific region?

Pacific hotel performance has declined drastically since 16 March

The Pacific region found itself in a strong occupancy position in 2019 and, as of a few weeks ago, 2020 performance was yet to show the effect of COVID-19. However, the travel restrictions and containment measures implemented in recent weeks have, understandably, impacted hotel performance.

Pacific hotel occupancy has declined amid COVID-19 pandemic

Sydney and Melbourne declines escalated quickly

It was no surprise that the limits to travel brought rapid declines in both of these key markets, as the below image shows. Sydney and Melbourne are now operating at less than 20% occupancy—equating to roughly eight in 10 rooms being empty every night.

Sydney and Melbourne occupancy declines follow COVID-19 outbreak

Australia’s two largest markets have also experienced future demand declines

As the weeks have progressed, business on the books for the following 28 days has decreased, and highlights both the level of cancellations and lack of new reservations. This, unfortunately, is not a short-term trend, as future demand for the three months following 23 March sat at an average of just 18% for Sydney and 15% in Melbourne.

Melbourne and Sydney business on the books declines

Queensland Leisure: Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast

These markets were resilient to COVID-19 for a considerable time, yet the travel restrictions inevitably drove steep performance declines as of 23 March. If international travel is still not a viable option once the restrictions are released, then these two destinations could become increasingly more popular—given their appeal as family destinations and how they might be viewed as safe holiday destinations for domestic travelers.

Queensland leisure markets reported hotel declines following COVID-19 outbreak

New Zealand performance comparable to Australia

Again, it was the lockdown measures and travel restrictions that drove dramatic declines around the week of 16 March in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. The same applied for the more tourist-reliant destinations of Queenstown and Rotorua, given the visitors they receive from international travellers.

New Zealand hotel performance similar to Australia following COVID-19 pandemic

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