STR: Looking to China as a benchmark for European hostel/ hotel performance

Oct 9, 2020

During the first day of WYSTC 2020 Online, we heard from Kelsey Fenerty, Research Analyst at STR for an update on European hostel and hotel performance over the last few months.

Kelsey highlighted that 67% of youth travellers are less interested in staying in a hostel than they were before the Coronavirus outbreak. Interesting to note is that short-term rentals and self-catering accommodation are receiving an increase in interest; perhaps not surprising after a long few months of home-based work and the desire to stay away from the crowds.


Also not surprising is that China is leading the way in terms of recovery, providing a useful benchmark for European cities. Hotel and hostel occupancy in China is now only 10% behind that of 2019, and domestic business travel and small events have started to resurface due to the country’s quick tightening of restrictions and local lockdowns.

So where does that leave Europe? By the end of March 2020, there was close to 0% occupancy in major European cities (Amsterdam, Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Madrid and Warsaw). As European travel bans eased during the summer, most of these cities gained good momentum through the end of July and into August. However, as visualised below, as demand increased in cities, so did Coronavirus cases.


We can see that there is a direct correlation between increase in demand and a spike in Coronavirus cases. Looking to the coming months, Kelsey commented, ‘don’t look for anything to happen in Q4 2020. Something will happen in Q1 2021, for example a vaccine or speedy testing facilities, that will allow travellers to get back to travelling in mid-2021,’