Latin America regional markets: recovery leaders
Regional markets in Latin America continue to lead recovery as performance in key cities has lagged. In this article, we analyzed that trend for several key markets to assess where occupancy recovery stood at the end of 2020.
Amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in Colombia, several cities imposed curfews and stay-at-home measures for the first time since 1 September. The country had been seeing slight pickup in occupancy after lifting one of Latin America’s tightest lockdowns—Bogota’s 22.0% occupancy level for December was the market’s highest since March. The rest of the country was further ahead, however, with 38.7% occupancy in Colombia Provincial—the highest since February.
Also in December, the Regional Costa Rica market, as defined by STR, saw its highest occupancy level (37.7 %) since isolation began on 18 March. For comparison that same month, San Jose posted an occupancy level of 24.2% occupancy, also its highest level since March.
Brazil’s regional destinations led the earliest stage of the country’s recovery thanks to demand in beach destinations. In November, the São Paulo Regional market, as defined by STR, saw its highest occupancy level (36.0%) since February (48.9%). For comparison that same month, São Paulo posted an occupancy level of 26.6% occupancy, also its highest level since February (58.0%).
Rio de Janeiro showed the same trend. Rio de Janeiro Regional posted an occupancy level as low as 22.1% in April 2020. Since that low point, the market has seen occupancy levels above 30% and reached as high as 54.0%, 53.3% and 52.0% in October, November and December, respectively. On the other hand, Rio de Janeiro Capital saw its highest level in December (43.2%).
Although there are many uncertainties, preference for regional markets continue to be higher than urban markets. However, any new restrictions due to increased COVID-19 cases will continue to impact performance in countries around the globe.