COVID-19 live blog roundup: hotel projects status in LATAM

by | 24 May 2020 | Projects

With almost 300,000 cases, Brazil is hit hard by the coronavirus. (Picture: Agustín Diaz / Unsplash)

We summarise updates shared on the TOPHOTELNEWS Covid19 live blog to draw a picture of how LATAM’s hotel projects industry is negotiating the ongoing crisis.

The international hospitality industry has been sent into a tailspin with the sudden onslaught of the coronavirus crisis. From lockdowns to travel bans and border closures, hotels, bars and restaurants are having to navigate more uncertain waters than ever before.

TOPHOTELPROJECTS has been tracking in real time the developments within the industry as it reacts to the continuing crisis, and we recap some of the recent activity that has been happening in Latin America in response to the pandemic.

The good

There is a swathe of good news coming out of Latin America when it comes to hotel projects.

However, the backstory to some of the more upbeat headlines is not always quite so rosy, given that Brazil in particular is handling Covid-19 in an unusual way, with the country’s president Jair Bolsonaro effectively still maintaining the position that the crisis isn’t as serious as the rest of the world thinks. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why construction of the Solar das Aguas Park Resort in the densely packed metropolis of São Paulo has continued despite coronavirus. The ambitious resort will be one of the city’s largest upon completion.

Elsewhere, in the Caribbean, Sandals has announced plans to reopen its resorts in the region in June, following the strengthening of its sanitation program. Also, the AHEAD Americas awards programme is going ahead, only this time the judging is taking place remotely rather than face-to-face.

The not-so-good

Argentina is continuing with its ban on all international and domestic commercial flights until September, fuelling concerns around the world that the aviation industry may be irreparably damaged by coronavirus and its extended travel restrictions.

According to data compiled by STR, March saw a sharp decline in Central and South American hotel performance due to Covid-19. In March, hotel occupancy in Central and South America declined by 48% to 31%, and the absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels were the lowest for any month on record in the region. Brazil in particular was hard hit, with the two biggest cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo reporting occupancy declines of 46.2% and 46.9%, respectively.