Last updated March 28, 2020
At Glance, we are globally tracking everything related to Covid-19 – the bad, the good, and the reality. As Ireland’s only member of Visitor International, we have access to a global network with a presence in countries that also happen to be Ireland’s major inbound tourism markets. We share information on what’s happening and track the impact of the coronavirus on life, tourism and the economies.
In truth, there is very little positive news to report on. And, when there is, we will feature it here. It’s not surprising there is no good tourism news at this time, when most countries are virtually in lockdown.
Global hospitality data company STR has released hotel industry reports for the week ending March 21, and in nearly all markets the metrics are continuing to get worse due to the ongoing pandemic of the coronavirus COVID-19. The reports are based on data from 68,000 properties and 9.1 million rooms around the world.
As the first market to deal with the coronavirus, China is also the first to show signs of stabilization. About 87% of the country’s hotels are now open – up from a low of 40% – and occupancy is starting to turn in a positive direction, to about 22% for the week ending March 21 from a low of 10% in February.
The turning point in China – according to STR analysts – coincides with a halt in new cases of the virus.
The U.S. has a 30% absolute occupancy figure. This is NOT good say STR, when they should be shutting down. What this means is there are still a lot of people traveling in the U.S…. who are not practising social distancing, physical distancing. And what that implies is that the uptick, the rebound will take us much, much longer as there are still so many more people who could get infected.
As they say: “Make no mistake, full hotels almost equate with full hospitals.”
It is right that there is deep concern about the coronavirus. However, microbiologist Ignacio López-Goñi gives a context, suggests that there is no need to panic, and believes that there is some cause for optimism.
You can read his excellent piece here on the Greenpeace website.
(New York Times Reporting)
Though a vaccine is expected to be at least 12 months away, doctors are scrambling to improve testing and find anti-viral treatments. A team of hundreds of scientists from New York to Paris are testing 50 drugs as treatments against the virus. As was pointed out in the piece ‘There has never been more human ingenuity devoted to a single scientific problem than the one we’re facing right now.’
One of our fellow members of Visitor international (in South Africa) sent us a video from the South African Tourist Board. The message is we are closed, stay at safe at home. Don’t travel now so that you can travel later. It’s a wonderful message and understanding of this time. You can see it here.
No one knows for certain when this coronavirus crisis will end or what the human and economic toll will be, but it is having a deep impact on all of us.
The tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors have taken the brunt of the economic impact. At Glance, we are committed to working with all our clients during these difficult times to help their businesses recover.
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