COVID-19 January 12, 2021 | 3:09 pm

The pandemic will change the hotel industry in Santo Domingo: lower rates and longer stays

The coronavirus pandemic will bring changes in hotel rates in Santo Domingo and in the time of stay or permanence of tourists, said Yudit García, president of the Santo Domingo Hotel Association ( AHSD ).

García explained that the pandemic’s effect impacts the decrease in the rate or the cost of the room because hotels are creating offers.

While their stays, which in previous years averaged two to four nights, could be extended, that is, stay more days because there is less frequency of flights at those times. Also, additional requirements or confinements may arise from other countries that prevent tourists from flying quickly or taking more time to adapt.

“The flow of tourists to the city will come from national and international companies that will move their employees or partners, but in less volume than previous years,” she said.

Also, she said that the tourism sector’s perspective is not yet in sight in January, since starting the year with the new strain of the virus detected in the United Kingdom, that country decreed total confinement. And although the country does not represent an important market for the city, it reveals how the outlook is still uncertain and unpredictable.

Regarding the reduction in occupancy, García explained that during 2020 about 70% of the hotel rooms in Santo Domingo were always open, although with very low occupancies. García stated that in 2019 the average occupancy was between 55% and 60%, and in 2020 it was between 15 and 20%, although in November, there was an increase to 30%.

According to El Hoy, she indicated that the hotels in SD are 80% international chains and have five thousand regulated hotel rooms that are members of the entity.

García further stressed that Santo Domingo is a corporate segment that receives business travelers who carry out commercial activities in other nearby areas.

The main emitting countries are the United States, Central America, Mexico , among others.

She also explained that Santo Domingo hotels do not focus on national tourists, although they do use their rooms for events throughout the year.