The environment for luxury hotels in 2020 went in an opposite direction to what was expected at the beginning of the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Luxury hotels experienced steep decline in demand fuelled by border closures leading to a temporarily closure of luxury facilities.
The Dutch luxury hotel sector is preparing for the new situation after the COVID-19 crisis, adapting facilities and looking for ways to operate in the face of changes in market conditions. The Nederlandse Associatie voor Travel Management (NATM) foresees negative prospects in the short to medium term in terms of incoming visitors.
Luxury hotels are encountering more competition from standard hotels that are also offering premium facilities and experiences. More consumers are also increasingly choosing smaller bed and breakfast accommodation that also offers a luxury experience and convenience, including holiday parks, farms and land houses across the Netherlands.
A high level of uncertainty remains in the wake of COVID-19; however, a more positive outlook suggests that demand will improve from 2021 onwards with the availability of a vaccine. With lower visitor demand and the fact that more Dutch people are spending their holidays in their own country, luxury hotels are introducing initiatives to attract customers through differentiation.
The NH Hotel Group, owner of the NH Collection chain, is one of the first firms to develop a safety protocol to ensure its customers’ confidence following the COVID-19 crisis. NH developed a programme called Safety, Security and Cleanliness with the safety measures firm SGS for all contact areas of the hotel, developing walking routes and protection measures for employees and closing buffet areas in restaurants.
The Dutch firm Fletcher Hotels, one of the largest chains in standard hotels in the Netherlands, has invested in a new luxury facility which was to be opened mid-2020. The new hotel, a renovated office complex in the coastal city of Scheveningen, features 120 luxury rooms including 12 royal suites with a sea view.
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