Hospitality giant, African Sun says the number of hotel room nights sold during third quarter (Q3) to September 2020 more than doubled compared to the three months prior as the COVID-19 travel restrictions eased.
Hotel business was terribly affected by the initial lockdown enforced between March and May this year at the peak of the pandemic but gradual easing of the rules in Q3 somewhat brought relief to the sector.
“The third quarter (“Q3”) results reflect an encouraging improvement from the second quarter (“Q2”) amid the intractable impacts of COVID-19. The Group more than doubled the number of room nights sold from 8,144 in Q2 to 20,329 in Q3, with domestic demand being driven by Government and Non-Governmental Organizations,” said Group secretary, Venon Musimbe in the latest trading update.
Year-on-year, occupancy levels remained low against comparable period last year before the advent of COVID-19.
For the three months ended September 30, 2020, occupancy decreased by 37 percentage points compared to the same period last year.
Inflation adjusted revenues for Q3 were down 78 percent at ZWL260.88 million against same period last year.
“While Group performance for the quarter under review continued to suffer from COVID-19, key Group performance indicators in Q3 show a steady recovery from Q2. Occupancy improved from 5 percent in Q2 to 14 percent in Q3, largely driven by the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, together with a number of promotional initiatives by the Group to improve demand,’ said Musimbe.
However, the company expects international business to remain subdued over the coming months due to the resurgence in COVID-19 cases in our key source markets of Europe, Asia and USA.
“This second wave of infections requires continued diligence and dexterity to manage costs and preserve cash. However, we remain cautiously optimistic that we will continue to see a modest uplift in domestic and regional demand in the short term,” the company said.