COVID-19: Choice layoffs in U.S. | Airbnb further bans ‘parties’

Choice permanently lays off furloughed U.S. staff

Citing a “significantly reduced consumer demand environment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Choice Hotels International is permanently laying off previously furloughed corporate roles in the United States, effective July 1. Impacted associates will be eligible to receive severance packages and associated benefits. The company has also extended employee furloughs in Europe through October 1. A hiring freeze remains in place for all non-critical positions globally.

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Airbnb pushes back against parties

Airbnb has taken steps to stop unauthorized U.S. parties — meaning parties thrown without the knowledge or consent of hosts. This was an initiative previously announced and piloted in Canada and comes on the heels of CEO Brian Chesky’s announcement last year that the company has banned “party houses” and instituted a 24/7 neighborhood support hotline for neighbors to flag concerns and enforce that ban.

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U.S. performance: Small rise from previous weeks

U.S. hotel performance data for the week ended June 27 showed another small rise from previous weeks and less severe year-over-year declines, according to STR.

June 21-27 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019):

•   Occupancy: 46.2% (-38.7%)

•   ADR: US$95.37 (-29.0%)

•   RevPAR: US$44.03 (-56.5%)

Aggregate data for the top 25 markets showed lower occupancy (40%) than the national average and only slightly higher ADR (US$95.43). Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia, was the only one of those major markets to reach a 60% occupancy level (61.4%). Two additional markets surpassed 50% occupancy: Detroit, Michigan (52%) and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida (51.1%). Markets with the lowest occupancy levels for the week included Oahu Island, Hawaii (15%); Boston, Massachusetts (27.5%); and Orlando, Florida (28.9%). Of note, in New York, New York, occupancy was 42.4%, down from 43.6% the week prior. In Seattle, Washington, occupancy was 33.2%, flat from the previous week. 

Grounded: The future of travel

In a video roundtable, Bloomberg explores whether the world will start traveling again at the same pace and whether the sharing economy will ever fully recover, among other topics. Brian Chesky, co-founder, CEO and head of community, Airbnb; Arnold W. Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corp.; Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports; and Shannon Knapp, president and CEO, The Leading Hotels of the World, talk about what’s next for their industry in a post-COVID-19 world.

Watch the video 

Elsewhere: IntercityHotel gets new executive VP

Joachim Marusczyk will step down from his role as executive vice president at Frankfurt-based IntercityHotel GmbH, where he’s worked since the German company’s formation in 1987. Christian Kaschner will take over that position starting September 14. Since 2017, Kaschner has been commercial director and a member of the management board of NH Hotel Group Central, Northern and Eastern Europe, U.K. and Africa.

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