Taipei hotels on brink of precipice due to coronavirus pandemic

Hotels in the capital see occupancy rate plummet to 20% due to coronavirus travel ban

The Regent Taipei 

The Regent Taipei  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hotels in Taipei are on the brink of the precipice as they primarily rely on visitors from overseas now unable to enter the country due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a prominent hotel owner said Thursday (June 18).

Speaking at a shareholders’ meeting Thursday, Formosa International Hotels Corp. Chairman Steven Pan (潘思亮) said that even though the group’s hotels outside Taipei were likely to do well during the summer holidays, the occupancy rate in Taipei has shown a precipitous decline to 20 percent in June.

As the coronavirus pandemic has been largely contained in Taiwan, domestic travel is expected to surge in the coming months to the same level as that of summer 2019, CNA quoted Pan as saying. However, as borders remain closed to mass international tourism, airlines, travel agencies, and hotels catering to overseas visitors will continue to suffer, he added.

While the capital’s hotels can try attracting domestic visitors, most locals still prefer to leave the cities and seek out the countryside and the mountains, Pan said. The co-owner of the Regent Taipei said he does not expect business in the capital to pick up again until next year, depending on when the government decides to lift international travel restrictions. The organization of banquets could return to normal during the final quarter of the year, Pan told shareholders.