COVID-19: Airbnb lands US$1B | Spanish recovery scenario

Airbnb gets US$1B investment

Airbnb will take a billion dollars in new investment to endure in a travel world drastically altered by the coronavirus pandemic. Private-equity firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners will invest US$1 billion into the home-sharing platform in the form of debt and equity, according to a statement from Airbnb. The new resources will enable the San Francisco-based company to invest in its community of “hosts” as well as local experiences and home stays, according to Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky.

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Spain’s recovery

While the COVID-19 pandemic takes a particularly heavy toll in Spain, the reliance of this country on international visitation might shape the recovery of its two main urban markets once the pandemic subsides, according to analysis from hospitality research firm HVS. The reliance on international demand has historically allowed hotel markets to yield room rates to a greater extent than is the case when demand is mostly domestic. Following its successful hosting of the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona became an international tourism success case. While the market’s RevPAR in the late 1990s trailed that of Madrid by about 10%, a decade later its RevPAR was 25% higher than that of Madrid. Looking ahead to future growth, it is likely that a number of proposed hotels could take longer to open than originally planned and some may be cancelled altogether. It is more probable, HVS writes, that Madrid will see a faster recovery of its occupancy levels once the domestic corporate base returns, as Barcelona needs to wait longer for the full reestablishment of international travel routes after the pandemic in order to reach normal occupancy levels. 

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Hilton offers up 1M rooms

In partnership with American Express, Hilton will open up 1 million hotel rooms to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Hilton will offer the rooms “at or below cost” in partnership with individual property owners across the U.S. Hilton says participating hotels “will be staffed by team members who have received additional training on relevant health and safety measures to safeguard their own and their guests’ well-being. Hotel rooms and common areas will continue to be sanitized using industrial-grade cleaners and updated cleaning protocols.”

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