COVID-19: How much to clean a room? | Fontainebleau laying off 1,300

City’s cleaning ordinance will cost hotels US$47M

A new ordinance will cost San Francisco’s 215 hotels US$220,000 each, adding more than US$47 million in annual industry costs, extending hotel closures and extending joblessness for 15,000 employees, according to an independent analysis of the ordinance’s cleaning mandates. That study assumed an occupancy rate of 63%, which is in line with the CBRE forecast for 2021. The Hotel Council of San Francisco responded with this statement from its President and CEO Kevin Carroll: “This ordinance does little to serve the public good, harms the number one industry in San Francisco and further delays the return of more than 25,000 San Francisco hotel employees to work.”

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Fontainebleau lays off 1300, no timeline for rehiring

The spike in COVID cases has led Miami Beach’s iconic Fontainebleau Hotel to lay off 1,309 workers indefinitely, according to a filing with the state. In a letter dated June 23 and published on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website July 7, a hotel official said that after recent national media reporting on increased COVID-19 cases in Florida, it had seen a rapid decline in leisure room night bookings. A local union representing about 1,100 workers at the hotel said that most of the affected workers have been without jobs since mid-March and that the hotel was filing a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice now because it had become clear that layoffs were now likely to last longer than six months.

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Hotel bonds: Thailand hoping guests will bite

The Tourism Authority of Thailand – Los Angeles Office has launched a campaign in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the country’s tourism industry. As Thailand’s restrictions on foreign tourists entering without exemptions have been extended until further notice, the campaign, “Buy Now, Stay Later: Thailand” aims to offer travelers a way to plan and save money on future trips through the purchase of hotel bonds that increase in value over time. The launch of the campaign follows Thailand’s multiphase reopening to foreign tourists, which could potentially begin on August 1.

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How the pandemic is shifting attitudes

A new study of more than 4,600 consumers and 1,800 hospitality executives shows how attitudes around how the hotel experience will need to change in response to COVID-19. Highlights from the study, from Oracle Hospitality, include:

•   More than 70% of hoteliers are considering or already using contactless technologies (like digital room keys and contactless payments) to help limit person-to-person contact. Consumers concur, indicating that contactless payments (35%), digital room keys (26%) and digital messaging services (20%) were among the top three changes that would make them feel more comfortable staying in a hotel

•   Over 50% of North American consumers say they’re ready to book new travel in the next six months, outpacing consumers in Europe and Asia Pacific by more than 10 percentage points

•   Consumers are more willing to take local trips within driving distance and domestic leisure trips than to go further afield. Nearly half (47%) see themselves taking local trips within driving distance in the next six to 12 months, compared with 26% who foresee international trips and 25% who anticipate taking business trips

•   The majority of executives anticipate they’ll see fewer international travelers and roughly one-third expect more domestic guests, meaning hotels will need to reshape marketing strategies and how they serve customers

•   Over 70% of executives agreed that self-service technology will be important to assisting guests while minimizing unnecessary contact, and 67% are considering or already using self-service check-in procedures

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