March, a month of reactivation of the hotel industry in Colombian destinations
According to the report issued by Cotelco, hotel occupancy in the country during the month of March 2021 was 35.25%, which compared to March 2020 shows a growth of 6.85 percentage points
The month of March 2021, which included a few days of Holy Week, continued to enable the recovery of the hotel sector in Colombia, which, although slow, had been advancing prior to the start of the third peak of the pandemic that is currently going through the country .
According to the report issued by Cotelco, hotel occupancy in the country during the month of March 2021 was 35.25%, which compared to March 2020 shows a growth of 6.85 percentage points, since in the same month last year, occupancy had been located at just 28.40%.
Although the annual comparison shows growth, it is important to bear in mind that the report contrasts current results with the months of greatest impact of Covid 19, a period in which a large part of the hotel industry was forced to stop its operation, leading occupancy at historical lows of 2%. If the data is analyzed with respect to March 2019, the sector is 24.2 percentage points below the figure registered a year before the start of the pandemic.
For Gustavo Adolfo Toro, Executive President of Cotelco, “the figures shown by the sector, although they are not the best for now, reflect a recovery trend that began to take place since September last year. However, the results have been better in destinations with a vocation in the nature and sun and beach segment, contrary to corporate destinations, such as Bogotá, which has not managed to take off. We are concerned that the third peak of contagion and the different social situations that the country is experiencing will lead to a change in the trend in this recovery, which is so necessary for the sector to emerge and with it, to be able to continue generating employment and income opportunities for the Colombians. "
By destinations, San Andrés was the one with the highest occupancy, with an indicator of 47.65% and a growth of 9.8 percentage points with respect to March 2020. Despite the result, the Island is still close to 50% below its Historical records. However, it is once again one of the main destinations preferred by Colombians.
Cartagena de Indias was the second best performing destination in the month of analysis. Hotel occupancy in the Walled City was 46.98%, which translates into a growth of 11.2 percentage points compared to March 2020; however, it is also about 40% below pre-pandemic figures.
In third place of occupancy was Santa Marta with a level of 44.13% and a growth of 18.9 percentage points with respect to the same month of the previous year. Its wide tourist offer of nature, culture and sun and beach motivated national tourists to visit the destination; Despite the above, the indicators are close to 30% below those registered in periods before the pandemic.
Santander was the fourth destination with the highest occupancy in this period, with an indicator of 43.48% and a growth of 17.9 percentage points. It should be noted that the destination registered a level of occupancy similar to that observed in 2019, highlighting the potential of the department in tourism thanks to its wide and varied offer.
In fifth place was located Tolima and Alto Magdalena, with a hotel occupancy record of 42.66%, a destination that has been in the sights of national tourists in the recovery period, thanks to the wide offer that goes from the cultural city of Ibagué and that passes through the destinations of Melgar and Girardot. It should be noted that the occupancy data for 2021 is 3.2 percentage points above the March 2020 figure.
Other destinations with occupancy above the national average are: Antioquia, Atlántico, Boyacá, Casanare, Meta and Risaralda. In contrast, below the national average were: Barrancabermeja, Bogotá DC, Huila, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Quindío and Valle del Cauca.