Boutique hotels sentiment October 2020: how are small hotels coping with Covid-19

Boutique hotels sentiment October 2020: how are small hotels coping with Covid-19

How are small hotels coping with covid-19?

Summer is a peak season for the majority of boutique hotels in Europe and across the Mediterranean, with a climax in July and August. However, we all know that 2020 is not a usual year.

So, how are boutique hotels coping with the covid-19 pandemic, in the Mediterranean region? 125 small independent hotels owners shared their concerns, priorities and outlook on the sector’s future, in our boutique hotels sentiment survey.

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Bookings intake is slightly improving but hoteliers are very concerned

The hoteliers declared that occupancy levels for July to August 2020 were better than anticipated however running the operations are more challenging than ever as they had to implement very strict hygiene measures and cope with a tremendous amount of last-minute changes.

In October, the booking levels for the next months are recovering slightly. Nevertheless, the hoteliers are still very concerned with the current state and future. Decrease of travel flows, movement restrictions and flights cancellations are often mentioned to add a layer of instability to the sector.

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Hoteliers invested in their properties and into technology as a response to the crisis

Under the current conditions, one would expect all hoteliers to implement cost reduction strategies to respond to the drop in demand. Indeed, the majority of the hotels reduced the labour costs and other cost-cutting measures, while 34% were forced to reduce their operations period.

However, others adopted the opposite approach. Many hotels upgraded their properties to generate more demand. Others invested in technology and a few even increased the salaries to keep their staff motivated and support them after the closure months.

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The crisis is a trigger for change and innovation in the hospitality sector

How are small hotels coping with a covid-19 pandemic? As the pandemic changes the travel patterns, hoteliers are forced to find new ways of doing business.

The crisis triggered hoteliers to innovate and adopt new strategies. 35% of hoteliers response to covid19 was aimed to adapt to the travel restrictions as they changed their target market. 15 % other decided to upgrade their services or started offering a new range of services such as transforming the hotel into a co-living space and hosting small events on the property.

The majority of hoteliers (54%) express the need for innovative marketing strategies to generate demand and gain visibility. The challenge for small hoteliers is the lack of resources to quickly explore new markets and change the marketing strategies to focus on local demand.

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About the Barometer: Boutique Hotels Sentiment Survey

The Barometer allows an ongoing measurement of boutique hoteliers sentiment. Managers (and owners) of small independent hotels across the Mediterranean are prompted about their business performance and concerns, technology, sustainability, and their overall outlook for the remainder of the year. In October 2020, hoteliers were asked about their response to the Covid19 crisis. The survey was answered by more than 125 small boutique hotels across 12 Mediterranean countries. The Barometer measures the sector’s outlook across time. Recent results are compared to the previous Hotel Sentiment Survey sessions (February 2020 and July 2020)

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About the Boutique Vibe

The Boutique Vibe is the first collection of small independent hotels focusing exclusively on the Mediterranean region. Our mission is to promote Mediterranean hospitality in its most authentic form. We are partnering exclusively with small independent properties with unique character while focusing on the most environmentally friendly & sustainable hotels. All our partner hotels are assessed by travel professionals and like-minded travellers.