CEO of Kuwait Hotels Company, Fawzi Al-Muslim, said that the hospitality and hotel sector is one of the most affected sectors at the global level, and hotels in Kuwait are no exception, as the occupancy rate locally and globally decreased to unprecedented numbers and does not exceed 10% due to the Corona Virus pandemic.
AlMusallam pointed out that the rate of vulnerability in the first quarter varied according to the type of hotels, their location and the nature of their activity, as the decline in revenues ranged between 30 and 50% , and it is a candidate for a rise in the event of a pandemic crisis around the world, believing that the return to achieving the numbers that preceded the pandemic varies depending on the country and the nature of the industry, the main source at the beginning of the sector's recovery may be its dependence on domestic tourism.
AlMusallam added that one of the aspects that will be focused on in the next stage in addition to the operational marketing aspects of hotels is the adoption of several procedures and measures related to ensuring the safety of both hotel guests and their employees alike using the latest technologies currently available in the market, whether from scanners or thermal cameras that It can verify the temperatures and an initial diagnosis for all who are in the hotel as a kind of prevention and precaution and put the health aspect above all considerations, especially after all efforts made to limit and control this pandemic.
Occupancy Rates are Gradually Restored
He expected that the coming period and after the return of things to normal will witness a decrease in the number of daily trips between countries and a decrease in the numbers of tourists around the world, which will reflect negatively on hotel occupancy rates, as it is expected that this year will be a year that is not preferable for travel for many, and that the target market segment of business travelers may shrink, especially after modern technologies have proven that virtual meetings and other methods of communication are effective replacements to traditional business trips, which allows everyone to carry out their work without the hassle of traveling, which in turn may contribute to low rates of occupancy in hotels.
He pointed out that with the decrease in travel trips from abroad to Kuwait, that hotels and parks may work significantly to benefit from domestic tourism, which may compensate for some of the losses that will be incurred by them due to the travel bans.
And that all government measures taken to limit the spread of the new Corona Virus by preventing meetings, celebrations and gatherings is a good thing, as it receives support from all sides, except that its financial implications negatively affected all hotels without exception.
On his vision of the next stage, AlMusallam said: "From a realistic and pessimistic perspective, the hospitality sector in general has suffered a painful blow in 2020 and that the restoration of activity naturally will be gradual and uneven, which constitutes an additional financial burden and an increase in the complexity of the operator and investors together."
He explained that the current challenges facing the hospitality sector are unprecedented, because the current problem is very complex and is linked to several matters, including health, economic, political and social. It places great pressure on investors and all workers in the sector, and circulates in all markets without exception, and there is no one "One Solution" that can feasibly suit all markets and target segments.
About Safir Hotels & Resorts
Safir Hotels & Resorts (SHR) is a hotel management company, owned by Kuwait Hotels Company (KHC), which is part of the KIPCO Group. Established in 1993, the company manages a portfolio of ten hotels in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon and Syria. Most of its hotels are managed under the Safir brand, except for its flagship property “Marina Hotel Kuwait.” Its portfolio strategy is aimed at growth in the MENA region in the midscale and upscale segments, managing both hotels and serviced residences. As the first Arabian hospitality management company in the region, the company has a wealth of experience in bringing value to hotel development projects and profitable hotel operations.