Most of you are aware of the tremendous global impact from the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As the tourism and hospitality industry is especially sensitive to impact, we have been monitoring the situation for several weeks and wanted to take this time to give you some updates as Central Florida and Orlando are extra vulnerable due to their high dependency on both domestic and international travelers.
The circumstances surrounding both the medical and economic impact are evolving drastically each day. There is a clear and direct correlation between the areas with active COVID-19 cases, and the downward trend (or even ban) of travel. Additionally, Orlando accommodates thousands of business and corporate travelers each day. It is important to be aware that as employers around the country begin to restrict non essential employee travel, conventions get canceled and larger gatherings are postponed, we will inevitably feel that impact. Aside from reservations directly impacted by recent convention cancellations, so far, we have not seen an uptick of cancellations for leisurely travel, We have, however, seen a decrease in overall bookings. The overall US market has seen a decrease of bookings of about 38% as travelers respond to current events and prefer to wait to see how the COVID-19 situation develops before solidifying their travel plans.
What Casiola is doing
Rest assured, however, we are taking all possible countermeasures to protect your revenue assets during this time of uncertainty. We have implemented a more flexible cancellation policy, allowing guests requesting a cancellation, to move their bookings to a later date in 2020 instead. This is imperative to help the uncertain traveler continue with their travel plans with a little more peace of mind. We are adjusting prices based on demand and updating our occupancy forecasts but will take the stance to not be too reactive for dates beyond the next 60 days. We will continue to monitor the details surrounding and our focus will continue to be on the immediate occupancy of units.