An industry in agony with the pandemic

The hotel industry has not been leading far since the start of the pandemic, let alone since a curfew prevents people from going out at night, hotel associations note.

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“To say that things are bad is an understatement. Things are going extremely badly. How can we maintain hotel establishments like in Montreal or Quebec, with occupancy rates since March ranging from 10 to 20%, but huge fixed costs? Asks Xavier Gret, President and CEO of the Association hôtellerie Québec (AHQ).

Almost empty

With the introduction of the curfew, occupancy rates have fallen further and are now around 5-10% in hotels.

Currently, more than half of the 40,000 employees in the sector are unemployed, estimates the AHQ.

Despite everything, the hotels must continue to respect the measures, insists Mr. Gret, who really hopes for a return to normal before the summer.

“It is extremely difficult and the new measures obviously have a direct impact on establishments […] Nevertheless, we ask to make the effort, because that will allow us to start again better afterwards, ”he repeats.

Strict control

The Association also emphasizes that the vast majority of hoteliers have imposed “strict” control since the start of the pandemic; that many even go beyond the recommendations of Public Health. Health security was written in the DNA of hoteliers long before the pandemic, it is stressed.

For example, many hotels let a room sit for 24 hours before cleaning it, even if they are asked to wait three hours.

Some hotels even go so far as to have documents signed to remind guests of the sanitary measures, who can be expelled if they do not respect them.

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