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Financial sensitivity analysis of small lodging establishments during COVID-19

Murat Kizildag (University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Jeffrey Thomas Weinland (University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Ilhan Demirer (Department of Management, Information Systems and Analytics, State University of New York, Plattsburgh, New York, USA)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 24 November 2022




The main stance of this paper is to draw an authentic and rigorous outlook in terms of the financial and operational performance of small lodging establishments (SLEs) and put forth achievable and practical economic solutions that demonstrate the relative effectiveness of the adopted measures. This paper also suggests practical solutions to help minimize SLEs' financial vulnerability to long-term crisis and to boost their resilience with relative measures by applying recovery revival strategies for this particular segment of the lodging industry.


The authors have picked a locally owned resort hotel in Central Florida area and structured a real-life, case study-based inductive approach that is purposeful and offers rich economic outlook and analysis for the entire lodging industry, especially for the resort-hotel type of accommodation facilities. The main reason for why they only focus on one company is that they can fully understand the financial effects of COVID-19 on resort type of hotels and layout countering strategies. To achieve paper objectives, they have implemented cost–benefit (C–B), break-even (B-E) analyses along with a sensitivity testing approach.


The most striking result was that during the state-mandated shutdown period in 2020, overhead and overall operational costs associated with room sales and revenues were very high during this period that shrank the contribution margin ratio for rooms CMRw (room) and eventually yielded high sales volumes to be achieved at the B-E points vs lower sales volumes with almost the same average daily rate (ADR) levels needed for the B-E levels.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies should specifically delve further into a portfolio of SLEs in the region or state or nation wise because the units comprising the SLEs might be too small to muster the changes required to bounce forward for the entire lodging industry in the world.

Practical implications

The resort's revenue re-optimization focus should center on financial re-benchmarking and business re-viability stress under different levels of shock scenarios. According to the different scenarios and calibrations for the ADRs, room nights, net present values (NPVs) of cash flows and profit margins derived from our main analyses, minimizing expenses and preserving cash would be the best key strategy for financial recovery during an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


It is obvious that the lodging, hospitality and tourism industry are the hardest-hit industries by the harsh and adverse effects of COVID-19. The effects of pandemic are differently shaped on operations in different industries and subsectors. Therefore, the operational and financial evaluation for the SLEs as the core and a catalyst in the entire lodging industry can shed a light on the strategic financial recovery procedures with broadly applicable real-life and endogenous capabilities and reasoning.



Kizildag, M., Weinland, J.T. and Demirer, I. (2022), "Financial sensitivity analysis of small lodging establishments during COVID-19", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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