Hotels in Dublin are still open, although all of them have temporarily laid off a majority of their staff, according to Scott Dring, executive director of the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau.

As of March 27, two of the 16 hotels in the city were closed, Dring said.

"Hotels are looking at their own situations day by day at this point," he said.

With tourism stalled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Dublin's local tourism industry is feeling the effects, Dring said.

Dublin hotels were at 55% occupancy March 1-8, according to CVB statistics. By March 16-22, occupancy had dropped to 22%.

Dring said he expects a 90% to 95% decrease in hotel occupancy over the next four months compared to the same period in 2019.

And whereas Dring said he believes there will be some pent-up demand for travel once the coronavirus pandemic ends, he also said an increase in tourism business will be slow.

"There's a lot of hidden, unknown factors," he said.

Historically, however long the tourism industry is depressed, it requires double that time to bounce back, Dring said.

For example, if the coronavirus pandemic were to last six months, the tourism industry would by traditional standards take about a year to bounce back to where it was pre-pandemic.

And revenues from hotel room nights that the city collects via bed tax will fluctuate depending upon changing hotel room-night prices, Dring said.

Still, the bureau is working on a recovery plan to begin marketing and selling the city once the pandemic has ended, he said.

For now, hotels that are open are making do with what business they have.

Michael O'Malley, general manager of Sonesta ES Suites Dublin Columbus, 435 Metro Place South, said the hotel continues to maintain service for its long-term corporate travelers. The hotel also receives some nightly corporate travelers throughout the week.

"Although our clientele mix is similar to a typical March, occupancy is down quite a bit compared to the same time last year," he said.

Sonesta has 30 employees during its busiest months, O'Malley said; 11 employees were working as of March 31.

O'Malley said the hotel anticipates as business rebounds rehiring any employee who was placed on a furlough.

"Keeping the hotel open is important for all our current guests, as well as any past guests or first responders that may be looking for a shelter-in-place option during this crisis," as well as health-care workers, O'Malley said.

O'Malley said he's proud of the unity the Dublin area and hospitality community are showing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Dublin and the surrounding cities are amazing cities that come together to get through the toughest of times," he said.

"The city leaders and CVBs are providing resources that are helping all business going through these difficult times."

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah