Coronavirus crisis depressing hotel occupancy in several Asia destinations

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Thailand hotel occupancy is down 24% in recent weeks. Pictured, the Bangkok skyline.
Thailand hotel occupancy is down 24% in recent weeks. Pictured, the Bangkok skyline. Photo Credit: Travel Man/Shutterstock

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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