A very tough summer for the hotel industry. | Joan M.M. - Archive


Hoteliers in the Balearics are making decisions which will mean that a half (at least) of all hotels will not open this summer.

The president of the Association of Hotel Chains, Gabriel Llobera, says that there are two scenarios. The more negative one is that there will be hotel groups which decide not to open any hotel. The more positive scenario is that hotels will open either at the start of July or the start of September. Under this scenario, he adds, it is certain that chains will open only some of their hotels and allocate guests to these hotels in order to fill them. This, however, will depend on tour operators and potential clients accepting such arrangements.

Some businesses, Llobera continues, are already writing this year off and are taking strategic decisions to guarantee business viability and employment. Faced with the difficulties posed by the virus, the objective is "to maintain the liquidity that they have at present, to not put this at risk, and to be able to operate normally in 2021". If they were to open for one, two or three months, "no one can guarantee that hotels will obtain the minimum occupancy levels needed to prevent losses".

An obvious problem for the hoteliers is the situation with foreign tourism markets. Llobera refers to a study by the Exceltur alliance for tourism excellence which indicates that 58% of UK holidaymakers and 40% of Germans are fearful of contracting coronavirus while on holiday. "The crisis is changing client, airline and tour operator habits. This is why we are going to take a hit this year from the two main markets."

Apart from this anxiety, Llobera notes that there is no sign as to when restrictions on flying are likely to be lifted; some 98% of airline fleets are currently grounded.