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The Indian Ocean: two-speed road to performance recovery

The two island countries in the Indian Ocean– the Maldives and Sri Lanka—have witnessed contrasting patterns in hotel performance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maldives: steady recovery

On 15 July, Maldives opened its doors to international tourists after roughly three months of total closure. The seclusion of the island, coupled with the proactive measures taken by the tourism ministry to promote inbound travel, seems to have led to a steady, albeit slow rise in hotel occupancy.

Since July, the number of tourist arrivals seems to be increasing at a steady pace month on month, and the creation of additional travel bubbles with countries should only continue to boost these figures. With almost 90% of the resorts approved to reopen, hotel performance is on an upward trend.

The Maldives daily occupancy sat as low as 2% on 15 July but climbed to as high as 26.1% on 26 October.

Maldives: steady recovery

Sri Lanka: early signs of recovery

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, witnessed early signs of recovery beginning in mid-June. Those signs came in the form of visible weekend spikes in occupancy via domestic leisure demand, staycations, delayed weddings and some domestic business travel. Occupancy hit as high as 36% on 22 August (Saturday). However, occupancy seems to have taken a hit more recently because of the recent spike in cases.

Daily occupancy for Sri Lanka (pictured below), shows the impact of the increased restrictions and curfews imposed in the country. With the continued upward trend in active cases, these are certainly signs that recovery is expected to take longer.

Sri Lanka: early signs of recovery

With both countries approaching their historic peak travel seasons, the months ahead are important in the recovery process.

What’s next? Help us launch Forward STAR in The Maldives & Sri Lanka!

With your help and participation, STR can launch Forward STAR in The Maldives & Sri Lanka. Occupancy-on-the-books intelligence will help us all understand recovery patterns and provide much-needed context. Insights can be accessed for free when you submit your data.

Forward STAR sharpens your vision of the future with a 360-degree view of actual occupancy on the books and pickup. Additionally, this tool compares your upcoming daily performance with that of your market and/or competition.

For more information on STR and our reports, contact:

Karan Mahesh
Account Manager, Central & South Asia – STR