Hawaii mandates quarantine for arrivals
Effective March 26, Hawaii is mandating all arriving visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days. It’s the first such action in the U.S., and it applies to arrivals from American and international destinations via private and commercial aircrafts. On March 17, the state governor had requested that all travelers suspend travel to Hawaii for 30 days and closed restaurants, entertainment and visitor attractions.
Hilton and Marriott help out with temporary jobs
Both Hilton and Marriott International are partnering with companies to connect workers from temporarily suspended hotels with hundreds of thousands of short-term jobs created by the global pandemic. For Hilton, employees, as well as others in the industry seeking employment, will be given direct access and in some cases expedited access to temporary jobs on the Hilton Workforce Resource Center at companies such as Albertsons, Amazon, CVS, Lidl, Sunrise Senior Living and Walgreens. Marriott is partnering with CVS, Albertson’s, Manpower, Pepsi, HCA Healthcare, First Service Residential, Kroger, Walmart, Shipt Grocery Delivery, Home Depot, Alight and Amazon.
Minor CEO closing Bangkok hotels
Minor International CEO Bill Heinecke wrote a letter to Thailand’s government urging harsher restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus and announcing a temporary closure of Minor hotels in Bangkok. “While this will be painful in the short term, we believe that strong short-term measures are the best way to address this and avoid large-scale job losses and disruption,” Heinecke wrote.
‘What’s Wrong with America?’
Ashford CEO Monty Bennett and Colony Capital Chairman and CEO Tom Barrack wrote separate opinion pieces on Medium pleading for the U.S. government to intervene with haste during the coronavirus crisis. Bennett called it “… an economic disaster like nothing I have ever seen.” He goes on: “My industry and our businesses are completely crushed.” In his own op-ed, Barrack said he thinks the commercial mortgage market in the United States is on the verge of collapse.
Hospitality jobs hurting big
Based on current occupancy estimates, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) says 4 million total jobs have been eliminated already or are on the verge of being lost in the coming weeks. In certain markets, including Seattle, San Francisco, Austin and Boston, hotel occupancy rates are already below 20% and individual hotels and major operators have shut down operations. The group predicts that in the weeks ahead, 44% of hotel employees in every state are projected to have lost or lose their jobs.
Sonder sails ahead
Hospitality startup Sonder will move forward with plans to open its most recent New York City property despite the threat posed by the coronavirus. The group is still aiming for a late spring or early summer 2020 opening in a building owned by large-scale New York real estate firm The Moinian Group. Roughly 10% of Moinian’s portfolio is made up of hospitality businesses; its largest offering is the W Hotel in New York City’s financial district.
Standard stands strong
In light of the coronavirus, Standard International has started The Standard Stands Together Relief Fund, with a goal of US$200,000. Proceeds will benefit and support Standard hotel workers who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 and are struggling to maintain basic needs including health care, medicine, groceries, diapers and shelter.
France occupancy takes dramatic drop
As the COVID-19 situation in France worsens, occupancy there plummeted to as low as 3.3% on March 17, according to preliminary data from STR and In Extenso TCH. Occupancy in the country was as high as 65.3% on February 26 and had been positioned above 30% through March 12. However, a sharp downward trend began as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grew and the government implemented measures to combat the spread.
STR COVID-19 webinars
STR will host a series of regionally focused webinars with hotel industry data and analysis revolving around the progress of COVID-19, including webinars on China, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Europe, the U.S. and Canada, Asia, and the Pacific.