STR: Italy hotel occupancy drops amid COVID-19 outbreak
LONDON—Key hotel markets in Italy have reported significant occupancy declines amid the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), according to preliminary February data from STR.
“Italy has become a focal point of the COVID-19 outbreak, so to no surprise, the hotel occupancy impact has been significant in certain markets,” said Robin Rossmann, STR’s international managing director. “It is important to note, however, that performance declines are more pronounced in Italy in comparison with other countries due to the significant measures being taken by the government to combat the virus spread. The hope is that these measure will position Italy to rise from the situation earlier than other countries in order to offer a safe European destination for summer travelers.”
Milan reached an occupancy peak of 93% on 19 February as the market hosted Fashion Week. A downward trend began on 22 February, however, and absolute occupancy fell to 8.5% on 1 March amid the closures of schools, gyms, museums and other major cultural attractions, including the Duomo.
Venice reported a steep occupancy decline beginning on 24 February. On 1 March, just 6% of rooms in the market were occupied. The cancellation of the last days of Carnival celebrations (8-25 February) was a factor behind the significant drop.
A downward trend in occupancy became most noticeable in Florence around 25 February, with occupancy falling to 14% on average on 1 March.
Rome, despite being further away from the epicenter of the outbreak, has also experienced declines in occupancy, with absolute occupancy at 21% as of 1 March.
Rossmann noted via a webinar last week that despite the significant declines in occupancy, hoteliers have maintained levels in average daily rate (ADR). A recording of that webinar along with all other COVID-19 analysis from STR can be found HERE.
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