COVID-19: EU may bar U.S. travelers | Travel agencies see this trend

EU may bar U.S. travelers as it reopens

European Union countries rushing to revive economies and reopen borders after months of coronavirus restrictions are prepared to block Americans from entering. That prospect, which would lump American visitors in with Russians and Brazilians as unwelcome, is a stinging blow to American prestige in the world, according to the New York Times, and a repudiation of President Donald Trump’s handling of the virus in the U.S., which has more than 2.3 million cases and upward of 120,000 deaths, more than any other country.

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North American travel agencies see shift to domestic

A new survey indicates that travel agencies have experienced a significant shift in client inquiries from international destinations to domestic destinations in the U.S. and Canada. In recent weeks, 40% of all travel advisor inquiries are about travel to U.S. destinations, more than doubling the proportion of domestic inquiries compared with pre-COVID levels, according to the joint survey from marketing firm KMMGY Myriad and Travel Market Report news.

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Expedia retiring HomeAway rental brand

Online travel booking company Expedia announced that it will retire its HomeAway rental service to focus on its travel website, Vrbo. Starting in July, HomeAway users will be redirected to the Vrbo website and app, which launched in May 2019 and is now live in 15 countries.

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U.S. assets experiencing write-downs of over 20%

Some hotel assets in the US are experiencing write-downs of more than 20%, as the full effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on the hospitality sector begin to be reflected in institutional investors’ portfolios. Two hotels owned by Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) have been marked down by more than 20% during the first quarter of the year. The two properties form part of a US$708 million diversified portfolio managed by Clarion Partners. Both write-downs are significantly greater than the 4.8% in capital value declines for hotel assets recorded in Q1 by the NCREIF Property Index (NPI).

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36.8 million Americans to travel for July 4 holiday

Travel data company Arrivalist is predicting that Americans will take 36.8 million road trips over the country’s Fourth of July weekend, making the day the biggest road trip event so far this year. Compared with the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) travel prediction last year, road trip travel will be down 11% from the 41.1 million travelers AAA predicted in 2019. Weekends leading up to this year’s holiday have seen marked increases in road trip activity; the second weekend in June (June 11-13) had road trip volumes even exceeding measured activity over the recent 2020 Memorial Day Weekend at the end of May. While Americans took to the road for longer trips (100 miles or more) over Memorial Day, shorter trips (50-100 miles) have been more popular since.