Coronavirus or COVID-19 is creating global havoc with disruption to travel, industry and supply chains, however few sectors are feeling its effects as significantly as accommodation. Corporate travel has all but dried up and recreational tourism is on its knees.
So, what does this mean for the employment market?
We understand that many hotels In China aren’t even opening. Occupancy rates in Hong Kong are as low as 10%. In Singapore, they are 20%.
Even domestically we’re hearing occupancy numbers ranging from 40% - 60%. The forecasts for the next few months aren’t offering much hope either.
The flow-on effects are dramatic. A transient employment market, by definition, requires travel and with a high proportion of sector growth coming out of Asia, the problem is further amplified.
Forced leave, redundancies and recruitment freezes are widespread. The job movements we are seeing are driven by roles that need to forge ahead, however the challenge is talent acquisition in this difficult climate.
Willingness of candidates to move within the region is vastly reduced due to natural concerns over personal health. Travel bans don’t help the situation. Those with families are particularly reluctant to participate and even the simple things like arranging interviews is proving to be problematic.
We’re confident that in the not too distant future, we will look back on this current crisis and breathe a huge sigh of relief that it has been and gone. For now however, all we can do is accept the impact of this insidious virus and try to work our way through it.