China hotels show early signs of recovery
Mainland China’s occupancy reached an absolute level of 31.8% on March 28, up from a low of 7.4% during the first week of February, according to preliminary data from STR. Additionally, opening rates have been significant in key markets across the region. In Beijing, occupancy sat around 10% for most of the first week of March, but climbed to as high as 21.6% on March 28. Shanghai was as low as 11.0% on March 1 but reached 28.6% on March 28. Among the key STR-defined markets for mainland China, the highest absolute occupancy levels have been seen in Xi’an (35.9% on 28 March) and Chengdu (35.6% on 28 March). STR data also shows that 87% of the hotels in its mainland China sample are now open after many had closed over the past two months.
Trump Organization getting hit hard
The coronavirus outbreak is costing Trump Organization properties over US$1 million daily in lost revenue and may also have hurt the firm’s chances of earning a record price on the sale of its Washington hotel, according to an analysis of industry data and people familiar with the deal talks. The majority of revenues for U.S. President Donald Trump’s family business comes from travel and leisure, both of which have been crushed by the forced closures and economic pain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Warren Buffett may have ‘lifeline’ for hotels
Warren Buffett has his eye on some of the businesses suffering the most from the novel coronavirus. According to reporting from the Wall Street Journal, the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway boss is “circling the hardest-hit companies in the travel, lodging and entertainment sectors, eager to offer financial lifelines should they be needed.” Hotels, airlines, casinos, cinemas and other businesses in the travel and leisure sectors are running short of cash as people stay at home and authorities shut down tourism hot spots.
Oyo CEO forgoes salary
Oyo founder and Group CEO Ritesh Agarwal said he will forego the entirety of his annual salary, and stated that Oyo’s executive leadership team will take voluntary salary cuts as well, starting at 25%, with many opting for an additional uncapped amount, and some going up to 50%. The company has also taken a series of measures to accommodate frontline medical staff in the U.S., including offering up free rooms across 300-plus hotels to all medical professionals, including doctors, nurses and first-responders.