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Nearly 1,000 Hanoi hotels shuttered as COVID-19 hits hard

Saturday, September 05, 2020, 09:00 GMT+7
Nearly 1,000 Hanoi hotels shuttered as COVID-19 hits hard
Hotel Metropole, an iconic architectural landmark in downtown Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

Nearly 1,000 hotels in Hanoi have closed by the end of August this year, affecting around 16,000 workers as the COVID-19 pandemic deals a heavy blow on the local hospitality industry.

The figures were revealed in a report by the Hanoi Department of Tourism on Thursday.

The report also noted a serious crisis facing the high-end hotel segment, as the larger part of their customer bases are made up of foreign visitors, who have been barred from entering Vietnam since March.

Most people’s travel plans were also put on long-term hold since the pandemic hit in January, the report asserted.

While the lodging industry relies on a vacation travel boom, the single-day holiday on National Day (September 2) was not enough to help hotels pick up occupancy rates despite special discounts on offer.

Among them, Hotel Metropole, known as a long-standing architectural landmark in downtown Hanoi, has lowered its rates by up to 80 percent to around US$50 per night. Yet guests have been scarce.

According to a report from the Hanoi Tourism Department, the average occupancy rate of one to five-star hotels in the capital in the first eight months of 2020 was 10.6 percent, a decrease of 53.4 percentage points ​​compared to the same period in 2019.

Reports of the People’s Committees of districts and towns in Hanoi show that as of August 31, 950 accommodation establishments in the city had temporarily ceased their operations, sending about 16,000 people temporarily unemployed.

A number of famous three to five-star hotels categorized under the luxury hotel segment such as Hilton Hanoi Opera, Meliá, Authentic Hanoi Hotel, and Thang Loi Hotel plunged into turmoil as they mainly catered to international tourists.

Hotels, restaurants, shopping, dining, and entertainment centers have so far seen revenue plummet on National Day as demand dropped sharply, representing an 80 percent decrease over the same period in 2019.

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