Countdown to mandatory hotel quarantine

When an economy starts slipping people may still be going out to eat or shopping but the first luxury they cut is travelling.

And one of the industries that feels that impact most closely are hotels.

With a lot of news focussing on airlines, hotels appeared to be largely left out of federal aid until later stages of the pandemic.

With new national air travel quarantines coming into effect Feb. 22, will this act as a Band-Aid for struggling hotels?

Not everyone will be eligible

There are pretty specific criteria for hotels to register under the federal quarantine program, starting with proximity.

The hotels understandably need to be located within 10km of the destination airports (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal).

This will knock out most of the downtown hotels in those urban centres.

It’s been a rough ride for many urban convention hotels, typically located in the core, with little to no business travel in the last three quarters of 2020.

Montreal’s downtown reportedly saw a 90 per cent decrease in RevPAR (revenue per available room) by mid-2020.

No ifs, ands or buts

The hotels that participate in the quarantine process must be prepared to report the daily number of travellers with all their contact info.

They also must be willing to act as watchdogs to report non-compliant travellers.

Which also means that front desks must be manned 24/7 and buildings be securely monitored for exit/entry.

An argument I’m not sure many have considered is if all hotels even want to be willing participants?

Long road ahead

Any increased bottom line this will hold for hotels is really a drop in the larger bucket.

The hotel industry is going to continue feeling the sting until the tourism and travel industry have recovered.

The rollout of vaccines to the general public will take time and the industry should be planning ahead for the next 12-18 months anticipating what could be the new normal.

Posted by Kelly Macsymic


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