New York reopens, but many hotels will stay closed
Thousands of New York City hotel rooms are now closed permanently, as the city starts to reopen after months of lockdown. The city’s hotels went into the coronavirus crisis suffering from falling occupancy and room rates, mostly because of a glut of new development. Now travel restrictions and a tattered economy brought about by COVID-19 have aggravated the situation. As many as 25,000 rooms, or 20% of New York’s total, might not reopen, analysts and hotel owners say, according to the Wall Street Journal. That is equivalent to entire hotel markets in Louisville, Kentucky, or Jacksonville, Florida.
Hilton slashes corporate jobs
Hilton Worldwide Holdings said on Tuesday it is cutting nearly 22% of its corporate workforce globally (2,100 employees), one of the deepest reductions by a big hotel company since the outbreak of COVID-19, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Hilton is also extending its corporate pay cuts, reduced hours and furloughs for up to three more months.
Thailand plans US$722M subsidy to spur domestic travel
Thailand will defray costs for domestic holiday seekers, with the country’s cabinet approving measures worth 22.4 billion baht (US$722 million), in an effort to help the tourism industry after tourism dried up due to the coronavirus crisis. Tourism makes up more than 10% of an economy that the state planning agency estimates will shrink 5% to 6% this year in its worst performance since the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Domestic travelers also stand to receive a subsidy that amounts to 20 billion baht (US$643 million), including a 40% discount on 5 million hotel room nights, as well as up to 3,000 baht (US$97) on meals and other amenities.
U.S. traveler confidence in safety grows: Report
The latest findings from a MMGY Global report show that U.S. travelers’ perceptions of safety are rising across all sectors, from domestic and international travel to lodging, cruising, dining and entertainment, transportation and business travel. With all states in the U.S. currently in some phase of reopening and international destinations also reopening, these milestones in COVID recovery appear to be having a positive impact on how travelers feel. Confidence in the safety of domestic travel overall rose, as well as confidence in international travel. Transportation is also on an upswing.
Scotland’s Gleneagles on verge of reopening
Scotland’s Gleneagles will reopen its doors on July 15, pending final guidance and advice from the Scottish government. During the closure, the hotel has been review its operation to develop a new set of safety protocols including how the hotel team will interact with guests and colleagues, checking in, moving around the hotel and servicing bedrooms, food preparation, and the seating plans in restaurants and bars. In addition, the hotel has introduced a flexible booking policy which will allow guests to rearrange their stay at short notice.