IHP Hospitality reports a 70% drop in hotel bookings in November – News is My Business
IHP Hospitality had to invest around $ 150,000 in security measures related to COVID-19.
November bookings fell about 70% for IHP Hospitality Corp. as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government decree which, among other conditions, prohibits recreational visits to beaches and imposes a curfew.
“We currently own five different hotels across the island. It was extremely difficult, confirmed Claire Ruiz, director of finance and strategic marketing for IHP, to this media.
The company owns the El Faro hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott, the Punta Borinquén Resort, all located in Aguadilla, Howard Johnson in Río Piedras and the Mayagüez Plaza hotel.
“The decree also resulted in the cancellation of most of our small weddings, as the law only allows a very limited number of people in the place, with a duration of only three hours, and if the event takes place on weekends, alcohol consumption is prohibited, ”Ruiz said.
“This also takes into account the fact that the Chief of Staff of La Fortaleza must give us permission [to host the event],” she said.
As the company took steps to keep its properties open, its Howard Johnson hotel on the fourth floor of the Río Piedras Cardiovascular Center was forced to suspend operations for fear of putting patients at risk, she said. .
“Even though we were no longer on duty, we still had to pay for maintenance and any other expenses associated with that space. There was no gain in this situation, just losses, ”Ruiz said.
The executive confirmed that the bulk of the expenses that have resulted in financial losses are the investments that must be made to keep customers safe.
“We have many different elements in place to ensure the health of our visitors. Just like the creation of wellness areas equipped with contactless dispensers, divisions in common areas of at least 6 feet, electrostatic sprayers for deep cleaning, and much more, ”explained Ruiz.
“I would say that taking into account all of our establishments, the expenses total approximately $ 150,000,” she added.
IHP Hospitality – like thousands of other Puerto Rico-based businesses – has had to lay off employees during the downturn caused by the pandemic.
“During the months of March to May, we operated with the minimum number of employees, currently we are working with 30% fewer employees than originally,” Ruiz told this outlet.
As for guest traffic, Ruiz said there had been a “significant change” since the hotels reopened, with a new trend of “an increase in last minute bookings”. We have more dates than we were used to. But that still doesn’t replace the number of lost reservations. “
Asked about expectations for the coming year, Ruiz said “it’s very difficult to say or make a realistic business forecast.”
“I hope that with the arrival of the vaccine in the next few days, the situation in Puerto Rico will improve,” Ruiz said. “That way, by July, our busiest month, we can operate normally while providing our customers with the best and healthiest experience.