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Global hotel occupancy rates hit rock bottom amid virus

Hotel occupancy rates have hit rock bottom globally due to travel restrictions in the wake of coronavirus. Tourist hotspots across Europe, especially Italy, faced a tremendous blow in March. The biggest drops were seen in Milan (94.5%) and Rome (90.5%). Their occupancy rates were 4% and 6.6%, respectively. Other capitals, Athens recorded a 14% occupancy rate, Beijing 16.4%, Prague 17% and Paris 19.5%, according to figures compiled by the Hotel Association of Turkey.

"Occupancy rates, which range between 70% to 100% in the world's largest cities under normal conditions, hit the rock bottom as expected in March this year," the association said.

In Europe, the rate fell by 61.6% to 26.3% on average -- the biggest drop since World War II -- year-on-year in March.

The U.K. posted the highest rate with 36.5%, it noted.

The rate dropped 55.2% in Turkey to stand at 28.6% -- 29% both in Istanbul and the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya -- in March.

The highest rates on a global scale were seen in Sydney with 48.5%, Los Angeles with 42.5% and New York with 34.5% in March.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 185 countries and regions worldwide, with Europe and the U.S. the worst-hit regions.

There are nearly 2.57 million cases worldwide and more than 177,600 deaths. Almost 653,000 have recovered from the virus, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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