COVID-19: Delhi group boycotts Chinese | Oyo’s mass U.S. layoffs

Indian hotel group joins Chinese boycott

In a mark of protest against the Chinese dispute in Ladakh, India, a hotel and restaurants group based in Delhi said it will not provide accommodation to Chinese nationals at its associated hotels or guest houses across the city. The Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association — which claims to represent around 3,000 budget hotels and guest houses with about 75,000 rooms in the city — has also decided not to use any Chinese-made products in their hotels and guest houses, including furniture and kitchen accessories.

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Oyo to lay off ‘large majority’ of furloughed staff in U.S.

Two months after hospitality unicorn Oyo furloughed staff to save cash, the company informed employees in the U.S. that many will have to be laid off. (They will, however, be given stock options.) Despite showing some recovery, U.S. revenue is still 25% below January levels and that sets the company back in a high-growth geography significantly, according to Oyo Chief Operating Officer Abhinav Sinha.

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Case surge could derail Middle East momentum

If May is any indication, the Middle East’s fortunes may slowly be turning, albeit still well off pre-COVID levels. Momentum, however, could be blunted over the resurfacing of more cases across the region and some governments’ unwillingness to shut their economies back down. May saw month-over-month jumps in the region in both total revenue and profitability. RevPAR in the region dropped off precipitously after February, and in May it hit US$23.03, which, though 78.4% below the same time a year ago, was up 5.9% over April, supported by a 5-percentage-point uptick in occupancy. And though occupancy was up in the month, average rate decreased 14.5% in May over April, a sign that hoteliers in the region are resigned to sacrifice rate in order to build back occupancy.

U.S. adults’ comfort levels with hotels

A recent poll from marketing firm Mower Insights Group polled asked 1,000 U.S. adults how long will it take for a majority to feel safe resuming a number of “normal” activities, from taking a road trip to sitting in the stands at a sports event. Insights include:

•   One in five adults will feel comfortable going to a restaurant/bar, gym or hotel on day one post-COVID

•   Hotels will gain trust sooner than privately-owned vacation rentals

•   Republicans are more concerned with the financial impact COVID-19 has had on the economy, while Democrats are more concerned the virus may return

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U.K. midscale, economy sees highest occupancy

Each week, STR analysts provide a deep dive into U.K. hotel performance. Key highlights from the most recent video, highlighting performance for the week of June 15-21, include:

•   Occupancy, ADR and RevPAR remained static, with movement not expected until restrictions ease further

•   Midscale and economy class hotels saw the highest occupancy level, while luxury hotels saw the lowest – sitting at just 5% since the beginning of April

•   According to STR’s Consumer Travel Insights survey, travelers across English-speaking markets, age 16-34, saw the largest decrease in likelihood to travel after 11 March (-26%)

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Asia-Pacific hotels may have reached bottom

Gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) for Asia-Pacific hotels in May showed its first month-over-month gain since December 2019, up 78.2%, and at -$3.04 is making strides towards breaking-even after turning negative in March. Occupancy in May was up 7.4 percentage points compared with April to 26.6%. Though this is still 43.6 percentage points below May 2019 numbers, it’s the first time since February that occupancy placed above 25% in the region. This rise in volume drove the 39.5% month-over-month surge in RevPAR. Further contributing to the top-line, F&B revenue per available room was up by 89.8% month-over-month, resulting in a much needed 48.1% month-over-month expansion of TRevPAR.

Airbnb bookings up?

Earlier in June, during the launch of a campaign aimed at encouraging local travel, Airbnb said it had seen bookings grow between May 17 and June 6, but did not provide the specific figures. However, AirDNA, a data analysis company that specifically looks at the short-term rental market (Airbnb and Vrbo make up the vast majority of its data), found that bookings were up 20% compared to 2019 during that same period. That growth far surpasses its hotel competitors like Marriott, the world’s largest hotel brand, which are just now starting to see their occupancy levels rise.

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