Even if recent occupancy gains are tied to a blip in the holiday calendar, Chinese hotels continue to see a coronavirus economic recovery pattern that is the envy of the world.

Cameron Sperance. Hospitality reporter at Skift

Hotels in China for the week ending September 12 had occupancy rates nearly 9 percent higher than they were for the same week in 2019, the first sign of year-over-year growth since the global pandemic.

China is expected going to recover much faster than the rest of the world, and occupancy in China is going to be much closer to normal levels.

Chinese hotels were at a nearly 64 percent average occupancy last week, according to STR. Along with the impressive growth from the same point in 2019, the occupancy data shows a sharp recovery from the roughly 10 percent low seen at the end of February during the worst economic impact from the pandemic. Business travel would have been suppressed during the 2019 mid-autumn festival that fell in September.

It still may seem curious that hotels in China last week, during a global pandemic and when China is exclusively relying on domestic travelers, posted higher occupancy figures than they did the same week in 2019 during a holiday that reportedly drew 105 million tourists. But many of those trips could have been regional day trips not requiring a hotel.

Even if the occupancy growth is an anomaly due to a shift in holiday schedule, China’s hotel industry continues to ride an impressive wave toward a full recovery from the pandemic.

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