HCMC – The second wave of Covid-19 has plunged hotels in HCMC into an unexpected recession, with many of them experiencing room occupancy rates at 1% and others at 4%-5%, while still others have witnessed a sharp fall in operations and the cancellation of a number of events, conferences, meetings and workshops previously set to take place there.
The owner of a three-star hotel in District 1 told The Saigon Times on August 20 that on some days, the room occupancy rate can go up to 10%, but on other days, it can plummet to 3% and even 1%.
In July, the hotel saw room occupancy rates reach 30%, bringing a cheer to the employees, but not long after that, on July 25, the 416th Covid-19 case was reported, marking the reemergence of the virus in Vietnam.
“Despite few guests and heavy losses, the hotel is bound to open,” the owner said, explaining that it deteriorated quickly during the shutdown caused by the first wave of the virus.
Many operational hotels in the city too have seen nearly no guests, while the lack of culinary events and workshops have only made things worse.
“After social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the first wave had been lifted, we organized some food events and the room occupancy rate reached some 20%, but soon after, it plunged to 5%,” said Truong Duc Hung, director of the Grand Saigon five-star hotel.
Data from the HCMC Department of Tourism indicated that three- to five-star hotels in the city have asked 90% of their employees to go on unpaid leave, while 82%-86% of employees at one- or two-star hotels or lodging facilities are facing the same fate.
“Many three- to five-star hotels are retaining 2% of their employees and asking them to do their duties as well as other maintenance work,” said Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, deputy director of the municipal department.
Multiple hotels are struggling to maintain their operations by targeting new customer groups and launching new products and services, representatives of these hotels told The Saigon Times.
Some hotels have rolled out staycation packages, which allow residents to relax and enjoy a break at hotels, as they cannot take long trips to other places due to the coronavirus, but these have yet to generate the desired demand.
To boost revenue, many hotels are also delivering food to customers at their homes, assigning their chefs to serve customers at their homes and organizing outdoor parties and events.
Truong Duc Hung, director of the Grand Hotel, said the hotel is willing to deliver small orders of food and send chefs to customers’ houses to serve it, even if the orders comprise just one or two dishes. As for outdoor parties, the Grand takes care of cooking and decoration.
By Dao Loan