Coronavirus crisis depressing hotel occupancy Asia

Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Bali are among the Asia-Pacific
destinations outside of mainland China with steep drops in hotel occupancy, as
impacts from the Covid-19 coronavirus and a slowdown in Chinese outbound travel
ripple across the region.

According to preliminary February data from hotel data firm STR,
Macau saw hotel occupancy plummet 97%, to just 3%, between the weeks of Jan.
6-12 to Feb. 10-16. The drop is due to a 15-day government-mandated gaming
shutdown in the market that went into effect Feb. 5. Macau’s hotel-casinos
reopened Feb. 20.

Hong Kong posted a decline of 64% over the same period, to
25% occupancy, while occupancy in Taiwan slipped 59%, to 26%.

Thailand was down 24%, and Bali was down 26%.

Australia was up 11%.

“In certain markets, we saw an almost immediate decline in
occupancy levels in the early days of February,” said Jesper Palmqvist, STR’s
area director for the Asia-Pacific region. “Already a low business travel
period due to the Chinese New Year holiday, drops in occupancy were worsened in
the wake of the World Health Organization’s announcement of a global health
emergency on the 30th of January. The impact will likely continue until containment
is reported and recovery begins.”

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