Tourism operators may take up to five years to return to 2019 levels – EY

Radisson Entrance
Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Several participants in an EY Malta survey said that they expect a meaningful recovery to take between two to five years before returning to 2019 levels.

Among those participating in the survey, where key executives from some of the major 3-5 star hotels, hotel chains and boutique hotels.

The vast majority of participants said that they expect 2020 to be significantly loss-making and project virtually no meaningful levels of occupancy or revenues for the rest of the year. The operators noted that all reservations until the end of June 2020 were either cancelled or deferred. Bookings for the rest of the season are being cancelled or postponed gradually. The majority expect the crisis to prolong into 2021.

Among the tourism operators there are significant concerns that the recovery will be slow and difficult, while uncertainty around the duration of the pandemic, availability of a vaccine, and changes in consumer behaviour will make the matter worse.

The operators think that Malta needs to re-assess its tourism product in the light of the ongoing challenge.

The participants highlighted the need to have a long-term vision for government support measures. They did welcome the measures so far.

With regards to recovery, the participants expect a meaningful recovery to take between two and five years before we see 2019 levels again. Respondents expect domestic tourism being very marginal at best. Room rate reductions are expected to kick in once tourism restarts. This was deemed as a risk for the Maltese tourism product.

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