Top managers warn of another round of layoffs after hotels plunged into a new coronavirus explosion. Now he is asking for more financial support.
On Wednesday this week, the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, was discovered in Norway. On the same day, developments began to decline for hotels.
The drop intensified at the end of the week, and on Friday, the number of rooms sold was down 43 percent from the previous week, figures from hotel analysis firm Benchmarking Alliance showed.
The number of hotel rooms sold was 25,069 on Friday, down from 43,752 on the same day the previous week.
Thon Hotels manager Morten Thorvaldsen has reported several cancellations.
– Hof, there’s not much to say. We can’t do much about it. The infection is spreading, and people are being fully vaccinated, Thorvaldsen tells E24.
The worst in Oslo
Hotel consultant Peter Wiederstrøm at Wiederstrøm Hotel Consulting sees a fairly clear decrease in hotel room occupancy, especially from Wednesday nights through Sunday.
– There are differences in the development of occupancy from one city to another. In Oslo, it immediately feels somewhat worse than usual among major cities, especially this weekend, says Wiederström.
Occupancy is the number of rooms sold relative to the number of rooms available.
Development was negative at this time as well in 2019, which is another “normal year” for the industry, but the decline was smaller than what we see now, says Wiederström.
– I feel it is too early to conclude, but the recent development in the case of infection has a negative effect, I think there is no doubt.
In the past 24 hours, 2,964 people with corona were registered in Norway. This is the largest number of new infections recorded on Saturday since the pandemic began.
On Wednesday, a record number of 1075 new cases of corona were recorded in Oslo, according to the NTB.
Wiederstrøm notes that figures from the Benchmarking Alliance include hotels in Norway with a total of 61,000 rooms, with a clear predominance of urban hotels.
– During the fall of this year, we noticed a significant increase in the number of new hotel projects, and this is very satisfactory. I really hope that the setback we may face now in hotel room occupancy will be relatively short-lived, and not dampen the optimism that seems to characterize investors now, says Wiederström.
Wiederstrøm thinks the situation is more uncertain for dining and conferences, as well as the accommodation associated with this.
The government offered this week Many national and regional measures To delay the spread of an omicron variable.
In Oslo, restaurants and organizers were required to register guests to notify them of possible infection. There was a requirement for table service for alcoholic beverages for restaurants and events with a license to serve alcohol, as well as a seating requirement for restaurants with a license to serve alcohol. It was also presented in the capital number of restrictions for different events.
Thon Hotels manager Thorvaldsen hopes the authorities will compensate the hotels, and warns that the alternative is a new round of layoffs. It is believed that the new measures led to the closure of hotels and restaurants in one way or another.
– We have fewer guests. There are fewer in restaurants and fewer at Christmas dinners and other parties. We don’t have much to do, and there is a risk of vacancies.
– That’s why I wish we could get compensation for wages, so you can keep people at work even if there are no full houses. This is important. He must come as soon as possible, now that the storm is towards Christmas, Thorvaldsen.
Wage compensation for layoffs was planned from incorrect For those who were laid off in the summer of last year or before in the pandemic.
Companies engaged in accommodation activities have also received $2.6 billion in cash support through the pandemic, as an E24 overview shows. Of this amount, Thon Hotels received hundreds of millions of kroner.
Scandic’s director of marketing and communications, Tyne Berkland-Westby, says the development and limitations of infection naturally have consequences for its demand.
– But we are doing our best to adapt to the situation and hopefully there will be an improvement soon, you write in an email to E24.
She further wrote that she could not go into detail about occupancy or demand since Scandic is listed and communicates this information to the market on a quarterly basis.
Double whammy of Stordalen hotels
Nordic Choice Hotels was also hit this week by a computer virus, which has disrupted its reservation, check-in and check-out systems and payment solutions. The company notified the National Security Agency of the case.
Nordic Choice stated that they have created manual systems for use in hotels, and that all guests should expect a longer-than-normal wait time.
The company told E24 that the hotel chain, owned by billionaire Peter Stordalen, was still experiencing technical problems on Saturday. The situation has not changed after that since the company introduced one Update the day before.
“As it now appears, many hotels will have to continue using manual solutions over the weekend and return to normal work in a few days,” the company wrote.
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