The aftermath for Middle East, Japan, New Zealand hotels
So what has been the impact on the hotel business in the tumultuous Middle East and North Africa, tsunami- and nuclear-crisis-ravaged Japan, and New Zealand after the earthquake near Christchurch?
The Middle East and North Africa
As of February, net bookings in the Middle East and North Africa through August fell 85% and average daily rates declined as much as 37.2% in the region, following the rippling protests in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Iran and Syria, Pegasus says.
In November and December 2010, before the unrest, bookings in the Middle East and North Africa had been climbing at more than 40% compared with the same period in 2009, but the booking-growth pace slowed to a 16.4% increase in February 2011, Pegasus says.
ADRs had been climbing at a double-digit clip, but were down 2.2% in February 2011, compared with the same month in 2010, the report says.
Reservations volumes in Japan plummeted on March 11, the day of the earthquake and tsunami.
Net reservations on March 10 had been increasing 26.1% over a year earlier, but posted triple-digit decreases on March 11, Pegasus says.
“Cancellations soared, causing net bookings to hit bottom by almost -300% against last year and only improving to -100% decreases a week out,” Pegasus says.
Despite the calamitous events, ADRs seem to be holding their own in Japan for now.
“ADR will often spasm during the immediate days following a disaster,” Pegasus says. “However, it appears thus far that overall deep discounting is not the plan of action for the country as a whole. Whether rates hold as part of a staid strategy or are simply untouched due to current focus on larger issues remains to be seen.”
But given the ongoing nuclear-reactor crisis, it is just too soon to tell how the hotel industry in Japan will fare.
Pegasus says “forward-looking data show no improvement in the immediate future.”
In the weeks after the 6.3-magnitude earthquake near Christchurch on Feb. 22, ADRs in New Zealand “frequently registered double-digit increases over 2010…” Pegasus says.
On the day of the quake, however, net booking volumes fell 80% in the country compared with Feb. 22, 2010, and the booking volumes registered a 35% drop by March 8, Pegasus says.
“No doubt Christchurch will need to rebuild before it is added back to travel itineraries for many travelers,” Pegasus says. “Travel to New Zealand as a whole, however, should be back to previous levels of progress soon, particularly if effective marketing plans are set in action for the country.”
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.