How is the “second wave” affecting hotel performance in Belgium?
While the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions and lockdown measures has provided an additional flow of guests for Europe’s reopening hotels, increases in some countries’ caseloads caused occupancy dips over recent weeks. One of those countries, Belgium, saw a 23.3% occupancy level for the week ending 23 August after posting a 24.6% occupancy for the week ending 16 August. Now the focus is whether this second-wave impact will extend into the coming months.
Occupancy on the books
At the market-level, Ghent stands out in bookings for the coming months. However, it is important to note that guest tendency to cancel at the last minute could bring levels downward. Occupancy on the books in the market (as of 17 August) sat as high as 44% for 24 October and 42% for 6 November.
On the other hand, Brussels occupancy on the books (as of 17 August) was just 12% for 9 November. Unfortunately, cancellations continue to be prevalent towards the end of the year. Fortunately, cancellations are not at the levels seen at the beginning of the pandemic even with a spike at the end of September and October.
Summer pickup on the rise
Pickup in the key markets in Belgium is on the rise thanks to more last-minute bookings. For the next 83 days (as of 17 August), pickup sat mostly below 14%. Once again, Ghent recorded the highest pickup (14%) for a specific day 19 August.
At the same time, pickup for the rest of 2020 fell off due to continued uncertainty and increased capacity allowing for shorter booking times.
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