Data shows clearly that the U.S. hotel market, as tough as it is right now, is among the best in the world. And if you want to understand why some countries are opening up to U.S. tourists despite the problems we have here at home, their hotel occupancy numbers may provide a clue.
According to STR data, the Americas is the region of the world that’s filling more rooms than nearly anywhere else.
- The North America subregion had a higher occupancy rate in June (41%) than any other subregion in the world besides Northeastern Asia (43%), and the U.S. (42.2%) had higher occupancy than Canada (24.7%) or Mexico (14.9%).
- Peru is a shining star with 48.3% of rooms filled last month, coming in second the world in reported occupancy. (Qatar is third at 48.1%)
- No country in Western Europe is at 30% occupancy while Israel stands out at 31.7%.
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson talks about how the U.S. needs to be more like China to bring back the hotel business, but in China June hotel occupancy was just 46.9%, only a bit higher than in the U.S. Hotels in Beijing were just 33.4% full.
In effectively falling in line behind President Xi’s bid for a third term at the Twentieth Party Congress in late 2022, Sorenson seems to be missing the mark. (Not to mention that China shut down air travel out of Xinjiang on Friday amidst another outbreak they appear to be downplaying.)
Singapore occupancy for open hotels, on the other hand, was 74%. Praised early on for its handling of Covid-19, the virus swept through guest worker dormitories and is just behind Brazil in cases per capita (but with both a very young infected population and excellent health care, patient outcomes are very good). A large number of hotels have been closed with no tourism permitted and Singaporeans not even allowed staycations during the reporting period.
If you wonder why some resort destinations are opening to Americans, despite high Covid-19 cases here, hotel occupancy in the Maldives in June was 3% while in the Bahamas it was 13.3%. There’s speculation Bali could re-open even to Americans, hotels there were just 4.6% full in June. Turkey is open to the U.S. – its hotels were only 21.2% full.
Lockdowns are something that many countries just cannot afford to sustain, and that will lead to public health problems of their own, especially in poorer regions.