Head of L.A. workers union says hotels aren’t safe
It’s been two weeks since hotels in California got the green light to reopen, but union workers tasked with cleaning and preparing rooms for guests say hotel management is not following or enforcing state-mandated safety protocols for operating during the coronavirus pandemic.
The hotel workers union, Unite Here Local 11, is calling on local officials to shut hotels down until the proper protections are in place.
Pasadena to give hotel workers more security
Elsewhere in California, the city of Pasadena is devising a law to require the city’s struggling hotels to rehire former employees — those who were laid off when the coronavirus pandemic effectively cratered much of the industry — before opening their positions to new hires. This would require business to first pick up enough for the hotels to consider expanding their currently reduced workforce. Even then, hoteliers say the law is unnecessary and could become overly burdensome. It could potentially dissuade operators from opening new hotels in Pasadena, they argued.
Implications for Asia Pacific hotels
CBRE released findings on how regional and international travel will impact the Asia-Pacific region. They include:
• CBRE retains its forecast of a global recession in 2020, with a sharp downturn in Q2 2020 and the start of a rebound in Q3 2020. In May, Asia Pacific GDP growth forecasts were revised down to -1.4% from the previous forecast of 4.2% made in January.
• Regional travel remains at a standstill owing to tight restrictions by authorities, significantly reduced air traffic and risk aversion by travelers. In April, visitors to Hong Kong fell nearly 100% from the same month last year.
• Lockdown restrictions across the region gradually began lifting in mid-May. Until regional and international travel becomes easily available, growth will be confined to domestic and drive-leisure markets. There has been a substantial uplift in interest in easily accessible resorts.
• Overall occupancy in Asia Pacific remains less than 30%. In some markets, room rates are close to 50% of what they were a year ago.
• Hotel investors are still in wait-and-see mode. There is a large gap between vendor and purchaser expectations. CBRE has not yet seen any significant transactions that indicate where prices now sit.
U.S. hotel construction costs pre-COVID
A recent report by hotel consultant Cushman & Wakefield focuses on U.S. hotel development and is based on data and perspectives from a pre-COVID-19 environment. Using actual project data from development budgets and other industry sources, the report examines compiled per-room project costs for six major categories: Land, hard costs, soft costs, working capital, pre-opening, and supplies, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, and development fees.
How shared transportation may be affected
In a GlobalWonks interview with Gregory Thomas of cryptocurrency company Expert Coin, Thomas discussed how COVID-19 will impact the transportation industry in the long term. “In terms of shared transportation (i.e. ride-sharing, public buses, trains and airplanes), the impact will be severe and long-lasting as the need for enforced distancing, masking, and other protocols will cut load factors,” he said. “While private car ownership in the U.S. is higher than in some developed countries, the economic impacts of the crisis will make it harder for some to qualify for car loans. As such, individuals will either keep their existing cars longer, purchase older vehicles, or will choose alternative methods of transportation (i.e., biking and walking).”