By Rodrigo Jimenez
April 14, 2020
While watching the novel coronavirus and subsequent pandemic work its way across the globe, it was incredible to see the speed with which travel and tourism—one of the world’s largest industries—ground to a halt.
Just weeks ago, hotel industry data collectors and prognosticators were developing models that forecasted 15 percent, 20 percent, and 25 percent revenue declines. As we all know now, those numbers ended up closer to 80 percent and COVID-19 has left a devastating wake, with a majority of hotels either closed or operating with single-digit occupancies.
As it turns out, a fast-spreading, deadly disease that requires strict travel policies is one of the worst things that could happen to global lodging demand. When the majority of the world’s population suddenly stops congregating and conducting business, traveling only when absolutely necessary, hotels become an afterthought.