Two - four years to overcome the crisis, - so much Russian hoteliers measured for themselves
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the hotel business in Russia was almost paralyzed. Hoteliers estimate the prospect of a return to previous turnover at 2-4 years. Novye Izvestia visited one of the most famous Moscow hotels and found out how the coronavirus affected the life of the hotel.
Usually, by May, the country opens an active tourist season, in this year, obviously, many people are not up to moving. The crisis has affected everyone - starting from guesthouses and mini-hotels to the giants like Hilton, Four Seasons and Radisson.
Salary fund, rent and utilities - the basic expenses remain at the same level, and the income provided by the flow of guests has almost run out. Most of all, the disappearance of foreigners hit large hotels. Domestic tourist is mainly a low-budget guest, unless he represents a business. But business failure is also a failure now - seminars, forums, conferences have been canceled or migrated online.
Non-chain hotels of the “Soviet Heritage” class are in an even more difficult situation. In addition to low occupancy rates, they also draw on credit obligations, and in the absence of profit, banks claim for collateral in the prospect of a few months.
The main survival strategy is dumping and staff reduction. For example, at the St. Petersburg Hotel, self-isolation with three meals a day was offered for 3,000 rubles per day, for two together - for 4,000 rubles per day.
In the segment of mini-hotels and hostels, steady growth has been observed in recent years. They are still alive, but also have serious difficulties. Rooms are rented, but not for a day, but for a month, which is significantly less profitable for owners. Among the guests are stuck foreigners and Russians, conducting self-isolation outside the home. Prior to coronavirus, the income from the number was 36 thousand rubles, now it has fallen to 20 thousand per month.
Businessmen are skeptical of the proposed government assistance. In their opinion, these support measures can be conditionally divided into those that are difficult to use and those that are of little use, the ProHotel Official channel writes. “For example, a tax deferral. The company must show a decrease in revenue of more than 10%, or losses. But in order to get a “hotel” deferment, the All-Russian Classifier of Economic Activities should be specified as the main one, and this is far from every hotel can fulfill. In mini-hotels, the main ones are usually indicated as “Rent and management of own or leased real estate” or “Management of real estate for a fee or on a contractual basis”. Therefore, hoteliers are now trying to change the basic All-Russian Classifier of Economic Activities”.
Credit holidays are also not a relief for the hotel business. According to the conditions, the maximum size of a mortgage loan cannot exceed 3 million rubles. This amount does not even fit the redemption of a communal apartment in St. Petersburg.
Dozens of announcements about the sale of the hotel business appear on Avito - assignment of rental rights or sale of property.
Against the background of April, June and May show insignificant positive dynamics in terms of load and profitability per room, but the average tariff for the market continued to decline. In Moscow in April, the market load was 14% compared to 8% in April . The occupancy leaders in May are 3 and 4 star hotels, which have reached 23%, comments CBRE, an international real estate consulting company.
The tariff in the middle price segment decreased by 50% compared to last year - this is the maximum drop in the market. In May, hotels of this class offered special rates for accommodation with significant discounts, which allows them to double the load compared to April of this year.
However, in May, the suite raised the rate by 24%. Demand for the premium segment is now limited, however, hoteliers keep the tariff, appealing to the fact that the crisis will end, and price dumping can collapse the entire market.
Given the reduction in load and tariff, the yield per room (RevPAR) in May 2020 on average in the market decreased by 85%, in April - by 94% compared to the same months of 2019. In May, RevPAR was 850 rubles compared to 5,750 rubles in May 2019.
In June, amid lifting restrictions and revitalizing business activity, the hotels will begin to gradually return to “normal”, says Tatyana Belova, the head of the hospitality industry division of the CBRE strategic consulting department: “May was the beginning of the upward movement. Both Moscow and St. Petersburg showed insignificant positive dynamics. In June, we expect a more positive picture against the background of lifting restrictions. ” Downloading numbers in June in the national average may grow to 18%, experts predict.
Rospotrebnadzor recommends that the hotel business adhere to a special security protocol when exiting self-isolation. The document sets hygiene standards to provide additional safety and protect the health of guests, employees and business partners in an epidemic.
The hotel "Ukraine" (Radisson Collection Hotel, Moscow) was visited by a correspondent for "Novye Izvestia". The hotel staff clearly demonstrated the innovations.
There are sanitary stations for hand disinfection at the entrances and throughout the hotel.
Employees measure body temperature twice a day. In addition, they all periodically undergo tests for coronavirus and antibodies. Without fail, both managers and staff use personal protective equipment - masks, gloves, protective shields. Concierge desks, reception desks are additionally fenced with transparent plastic shields.
Guests also measure the temperature - at the entrance. In the event that the client finds symptoms of COVID-19, the hotel provides for the possibility of a weekly observation within the room with the necessary admission of doctors.
“At the beginning of the epidemic, our managers and employees underwent training at the headquarters to understand how to act if a coronavirus is found in guests. In principle, the logic here is simple: all interaction with an infected client must be reduced to remote. Contactlessly deliver and pick up linen, dishes, medicines, ensure the arrival of a doctor. We learned how to do all this”, - says Stanislav Kondov, general manager of the Radisson Collection Hotel (“ Ukraine ”).
Upon arrival, guests are also given a set with personal protective equipment: a sanitizer, disposable gloves and a mask. The electronic key is handed in a special insert. Upon eviction, the key is lowered into a special key-box at the reception desk to minimize contact with personnel.
Even before the check-in, guests are informed about the preferred non-cash payment for services - the goal is the same: reducing interaction with hotel employees.
The rooms, lobby and common areas of the hotel are now cleaned and disinfected twice as often. In disinfectants, the concentration of active substances is increased. Special markings on the floor help to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters.
Increased attention is paid to the processing of objects with a high frequency of contacts (remotes, door handles, dishes, keys, etc.).
Food safety standards have been tightened. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are temporarily delivered to the rooms, common dining rooms are closed. In the kitchen, the served dishes are specially packaged, covered with a cap, and opened in the presence of the client. Used dishes are washed at a water temperature of 80 degrees.
Conference rooms are discharged by 50%. An audience, for example, for 500 listeners can now accept only 250. Currently, halls are rented for the most part for events in online formats. On the site, equipped with all the necessary equipment for conducting webcasts, only a moderator is present live.
Every week, the hotel visit the representatives of Rospotrebnadzor (The Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing) with inspection, the employees of "Ukraine" tell.
In general, the protocol records 20 mandatory measures ensuring the safety of guests, employees and business partners of the Radisson Collection Hotel.
“The flow of local business, corporate business decreased by 70%. There are no foreigners. Our guest today is mainly a rare domestic tourist, business travelers, small companies celebrating holidays, weddings, birthdays. Compared to April, of course, there is a noticeable revival, but anyway - out of 500 rooms today, we have only 50 occupied. Large events, rental of halls, and entertainment in the previous formats are still prohibited by the supervisory authorities. I think that we can reach the pre-crisis level not earlier than in 2, or even 4 years. Next year will also be difficult, "- sums up Stanislav Kondov.