In a guideline issued on Saturday, the Union Home Ministry said hotels and restaurants will be opened from June 8.

Hotels may have to wait 12-18 months to get back pre-COVID occupancy levelsImage for representation
Money Coronavirus Monday, June 01, 2020 - 11:20

After losing business for nearly a quarter because of the lockdown, the hospitality sector gears up to reopen from June 8 with adequate safety protocols, and hopes to return to the pre-COVID levels within another 12-18 months, an industry official said, quoting an internal survey.

The sector also looks forward to get 20-30% occupancy in June-August and may have to wait till the fourth quarter of this fiscal, January-March 2021, to reach the 50% level, he said on Sunday.

In a guideline issued on Saturday, the Union Home Ministry said hotels and restaurants will be opened from June 8.

"We welcome the decision to reopen hotels. We had carried out an internal survey and it is found that hotels expect 20-30% demand in the first quarter after lockdown, and to get around 50% demand, they may have to wait till Q4 of the fiscal," Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India secretary Sudesh Poddar said.

"And it may take 12-18 months for the hotels to get back to the pre-COVID level occupancy," Poddar told PTI.

In another survey of hotel general managers by HVS Anarock in April, 46% of the respondents said occupancy would be below 40% by Q4 of this financial year.

Some 42% of the general managers who took part in the online survey were more optimistic and they believe that occupancy will reach 50% or near it by the January-March quarter.

The survey was carried out among 180 hotels across categories, HVS South Asia President Mandeep S Lamba said.

According to HVS Anarock, in April, the occupancy in India was down by 81% compared to April 2019.

Singapore had the least impact with just a shade below 30%, followed by China, from where the pandemic originated, with 48%.

However, even with such a drastic fall in occupancy, over 71% of the GMs will not discount their rates by more than 20%, the survey found.

In the top 13 markets of India, the average daily rate in April slipped by 27% and revenue per available room was down by 86% y-o-y.

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