HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong hotels on cliff edge from protest, pandemic pain

The industry posted an overall occupancy rate of 29% in February.

Hong Kong’s distinction as a shopper’s paradise used to draw tens of thousands of tourists to the China-ruled city every month, but a year of political unrest and the coronavirus crisis are driving some hotels to the brink of financial ruin.

The coronavirus outbreak was the final straw for Hong Kong’s battered hotel industry as room revenues took a hit from travel curbs and flight cancellations

“Nine-and-a-half hotels out of 10 are losing money now because there are no more tourists and they need to solely rely on domestic demand, so they’re just hanging in there,” said property consultancy CBRE Executive Director Reeves Yan.

The industry posted an overall occupancy rate of 29% in February compared with 91% a year earlier, the Hong Kong Tourism Board said, as visitors to the financial hub plunged 98% for the month.

Now, with much of the border closed with mainland China and travel restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus extended, some hotels are shutting their doors for good or taking time out to renovate.

Read more from Reuters

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