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Hospitality disruption to continue through next year

A majority of European hotel operators and investors expect disruption due to Covid-19 to extend into 2022, according to the latest Deloitte Hotel Sentiment Survey.

The Deloitte survey of more than 100 senior hospitality industry figures in Europe found 71% forecast disruption would continue at least through the first half of 2022.

More than two in five (43%) expected it to continue into the second half of next year and one in four (24%) into 2023.

As recently as October, almost 60% of respondents in the rolling survey expected disruption to be over by the first half of 2022.

Nine out of 10 (90%) now believe hotel performance will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels before 2023. Half (52%) expect 2023 to be ‘the year of recovery’, while two in five (38%) expect the recovery to come in 2024 or later.

Almost one in three (29%) of respondents expected a recovery by the end of this year when the same question was asked last October.

Cash flow remains the leading priority among hotel operators and investors, identified by 70% of respondents, unchanged from five months ago.

Half the respondents (48%) reported they were seeking to modify the terms of loans and defer payments, unchanged from the findings in May 2020.

The survey, conducted in late February and early March, found a sharp drop in hoteliers and investors seeking support from government-aid schemes, down from 55% in May 2020 to 28% in March this year.

However, two-thirds (68%) said they expect to benefit from government tax relief. More than half (55%) said they continue to expect government wage support for employees.

The survey identified Spain, the UK and Italy as the European hospitality markets most likely to see “distressed activity”, with the UK ranked second only to Spain.

The survey of 101 senior figures in the international hospitality sector was conducted between February 24 and March 10.

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