Over the last week, Italy has become a focal point of the COVID-19 outbreak. The hotel performance impact has been significant when examining preliminary data for regions of the country. Performance declines are more pronounced in Italy in comparison with other countries due to the significant measures being taken by the government to combat the virus spread.
The presence of Fashion Week from 18-24 February and a hotel occupancy peak of 93% on the 18th. On 22 February, there is a downward movement in occupancy, which fell to an absolute level as low as 8.5% on 1 March. On 23 February, Milan closed schools, gyms, museums and other major cultural attractions, including the Duomo. Initially, this closure was set for a week, but latest news reports point to an extended closure to 15 March.
Carnival celebrations, planned for 8-25 February, were cut short, and a steep occupancy decline that began around the 24th dropped absolute occupancy to below 7% on 1 March.
A downward trend in occupancy became most noticeable around the 25th, and as of 1 March, occupancy was at 14%.
Further away from the epicenter of the outbreak, Rome has also experienced declines in performance. From the middle of last week, we see downward occupancy begin around the middle of last week, ending with absolute occupancy at 21% as of 1 March.Rome has reported far fewer cases than the northern part of Italy.