The closure of lodging locations as part of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 will inevitably lead to a marked fall in category sales in 2020. In May, Airbnb Ireland Ltd, the leading player in the fragmented lodging category in Ireland, announced the redundancies of 1,900 staff in the market, confirming in June that the job cuts would include 35% of the workforce at its EMEA headquarters in Dublin.
The immediate return to travel as lockdown measures are eased is being driven by domestic consumers. Moreover, demand is being influenced by the considerable economic uncertainty resulting from measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Government support will be crucial for Irish hotels to survive the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, particularly in rural areas. The rural hotels business is highly seasonal, with a significant majority of customers staying in peak season, which has been severely impacted by measures to contain the pandemic.
While all hotels segments are expected to return to growth in 2021, luxury and upscale hotels is set to see the strongest performance. The purchasing power of luxury and upscale hotels’ affluent core consumer base tends to be more resilient in the face of difficult economic conditions.
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