The latest figures show that the Prague hotel market has borne the brunt of the coronavirus crisis in Europe.
Hotel industry in Prague recorded the steepest decline in average revenue per room in 2020, down 84.6% on the previous year, with only Barcelona, Rome, and Lisbon being impaired on a similar scale.
Even so, confidence in the Prague hotel market and its long-term potential is hardly waning, as underscored by the unflagging interest not only among investors, who are always on the lookout for good opportunities to buy but also among hotel operators, who have identified Prague as the main target of their activities.
“The Czech authorities did not follow the example set by many other countries in using local hotels to accommodate health professionals or as makeshift hospitals. All this hastened Prague’s status as one of the most devastated hotel markets in Europe. Having said that, we must remember that these are temporary factors not directly related to the tourism market, which should recover quickly once the virus has been brought under control,” said Bořivoj Vokřínek, Strategic Advisory, Head of Hospitality Research EMEA, Cushman & Wakefield.
Results reported for last summer, when rules were eased for a while, signalled that the market would be able to recover relatively quickly once the restrictions are lifted.
The survey of hotel operators also sounded out their expectations for the sector’s recovery from the effects of the coronavirus crisis. Most of them are expecting levels on a par with 2019 to be reached between 2022 and 2024 depending on the importance and size of the destination.
The capital cities are forecast to take the longest to bounce back: almost half of respondents think this will be in 2024. These estimates are consistent with the Oxford Economics predictions, according to which tourist demand in Prague will recover by 2024.
The larger and more important regional cities should fare better, with more than half of respondents expecting them to recover in 2023.
Smaller regional cities, driven by domestic demand, should recover even faster: the majority of respondents expect them to rediscover their past levels in 2022.