The Jakarta Post
Budget hotel booking and management platform RedDoorz has said it is optimistic about its future in Indonesia, with the company expecting occupancy rates to increase despite the reimplementation of partial lockdown measures in the capital.
RedDoorz CEO Amit Saberwal said that occupancy rates in Indonesia had risen to 30 to 40 percent during the relaxation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), which began in May.
Although occupancy was “not optimal” compared to pre-COVID-19 levels of 60 to 70 percent, he said the rate had been slowly creeping up.
“The slow uptick was there, and it will continue,” he told The Jakarta Post in an interview on Monday. “However, I foresee that there will be a demand dip again in Jakarta for sure.”
Saberwal also said he was optimistic the budget hotel industry would be among the first sectors to economically recover after the pandemic, fueled by demand from domestic tourists.
He said the mid-segment market and high-end travel market were expected to pick up once international flights returned to normal.
Such a trajectory, he added, had been seen in the domestic tourism and hospitality industries of China and South Korea.
“I think Indonesia and other countries with high domestic travel demand have seen slight recoveries,” he said, adding that he predicted more of a recovery to be seen in the first quarter of next year as most governments would have flattened the COVID-19 infection curve by that time.
In May, the company reported that it would work on a zero-revenue assumption until next year. While Saberwal said the strategy was no longer in place, he said RedDoorz would remain conservative and aim to improve efficiency.
“In the last three to five months we have been focusing more on being an efficient company. I didn't want to expand our footprint to the point that we could not help our existing partners,” he said, referring to RedDoorz’ 1,500 hotel partners across the country.
He also said the company had been focusing on automation, including in its refund system, to make the process more seamless and reduce human error.
Recently, RedDoorz competitor OYO found itself in the spotlight when its customers flocked to social media to express their frustrations about the difficulties they had faced receiving refunds. Meanwhile, another budget hotel aggregator Airy closed down after failing to cope with the impacts of the pandemic.