The hotel industry has been severely dented by COVID-19 since early 2020. The number of hotel enterprises registered in the first half of this year was at its lowest in five years, and was 30% fewer than that in the same period of 2019, according to data from corporate information platform Qichacha.
More than 40,000 hotel companies have closed down from January to June. The rate of hotels going under accelerated since March, with 6,000 hotels folded in March, 7,000 in April, 11,000 in May and more than 15,000 in June.
The Qichacha data showed that China has more than 4.15 million hotel-related enterprises, and more than 2.86 million of those are still in operation. The number of registered hotel-related enterprises had increased by 293% in 10 years, to the level of 551,000 in 2019 before the pandemic struck, on the back of the strong economy and improving income and living standards over the years.
As the number of COVID-19 cases bounced back in Beijing, the hotel industry is under more pressure in the course of recovery. Huanyan Zhao, chief knowledge officer and senior economist of Huamei Consulting Group, said that occupancy rate hit rock bottom in the first half of 2020. For example, the average occupancy rate (AOR) of five-star hotels in Shanghai was 48.3% in January, 4.6% in February, 7.2% in March and 15.4% in April, whereas the AOR of other star-rated hotels in the city was 43.4% in January, 5.1% in February, 8.6% in March and 16.1% in April.