COVID-19: U.S. hotel profits fell 101% | Wynn offers free testing for staff

A massive dip for U.S. profits

U.S. hotel gross operating profit per available room fell 101.7% during March 2020, according to STR’s first release tracking monthly P&L data.

In a year-over-year comparison with March 2019, the industry posted the following:

GOPPAR: -101.7% to US$-2.10

TRevPAR: -64.0% to US$104.93

EBIDTA PAR: -116.8% to US$-15.44

LPAR (total labor costs): -31.2% to US$66.16

Among top markets, New York reported the steepest GOPPAR decline (-203.0%), followed by Chicago (-201.4%) and Seattle (-158.0%).

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Wynn offering free virus testing to employees

Wynn Resorts and University Medical Center will partner to allow all employees of Wynn Las Vegas to have access to testing for the COVID-19 virus at no cost. The medical center’s investment in a new lab has increased the capacity to perform thousands of tests per day. Wynn employees will initially have direct access to COVID-19 testing at UMC designated locations in Las Vegas beginning the week of May 4.

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NYC hotel workers: 43 dead, 90% unemployed

Forty-three New York City hotel workers have lost their lives and another 503 have been hospitalized in the coronavirus pandemic — a blow to a workforce that is 90% unemployed, according to a New York union. One union official said many more workers’ lives probably would have been lost if the union hadn’t started offering free coronavirus testing through its health plan in early March.

More from the New York Daily News

TripAdvisor cuts a quarter of staff

TripAdvisor will cut 25% of its workforce and closing offices in San Francisco and Boston in a bid to shrink costs as the coronavirus pandemic decimates travel. The Needham, Massachusetts-based company will eliminate 600 positions in the U.S. and 300 people in other offices globally, TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer said in a statement. Most remaining employees will take a 20% salary cut and be reduced to four-day work weeks for three months starting June 1.

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Signs of optimism: GBTA study

New research from the Global Business Travel Association indicates signs of optimism and recovery on the horizon. The study found that most companies are planning a recovery for 2020, with one in three planning for a recovery in three months or less. Key findings include:

•   Most companies are planning a recovery plan in 2020. One-third (35%) of GBTA members say they plan for their company’s post-coronavirus recovery plan in three months or less, while a quarter (27%) say they plan for a post-recovery in six to eight months. In addition, only one in 10 are planning for recovery in 2021, while one in four (28%) report they do not know.

•   Eight in 10 European members expect international business travel will resume in two to three months (33%) or six to eight months (47%). Two-thirds of GBTA members in North America expect international travel to resume in two to three months (26%) or six to eight months (38%).

•   A majority of GBTA members (88%) expect employees will be willing to travel once restrictions are lifted. GBTA members from North America (90%) are more likely than members from Europe (83%) to expect their employees will be willing to travel after restrictions are lifted.

View the full poll results

Profits for Asia-Pac hotels continue freefall

Asia-Pacific, where the coronavirus first appeared, continues to serve as the baseline for global hotel data performance comparison. March data from HotStats indicates that the virus’ impact on hotel performance is not subsiding; it’s getting worse. After breaking even in February, gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) turned negative on a dollar basis in March and was down 117.8% year-over-year. The fall in GOPPAR set a record for the region, besting the previous record decrease of 98.9%, achieved only a month earlier. For the quarter, GOPPAR decreased 80.5% over the same time period last year.

Hyatt’s new cleanliness standards

Hyatt has upped its cleanliness standards with the “Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment,” which will include an accreditation process by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) at all hotels around the world, colleague training and support resources, and a cross-functional working group of medical experts and industry professionals that will contribute to various aspects of the hotel experience. By September, every Hyatt hotel will have at least one person on property trained in the role of “hygiene manager,” who will be responsible for their hotel adhering to new operational guidance and protocols, some of which may include:

•   Colleague certification, trainings and recertification process for hygiene and cleanliness

•   Increased frequency of cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants on all high-touch surfaces, guest rooms and shared spaces 

•   Implementation of enhanced food safety and hygiene protocols for restaurants, room service and group meetings and events

•   Prominently placed hand sanitizer stations throughout hotel public and employee areas and entrances

•   Exploring purification and sanitization device installation in an effort to ensure enhanced air quality

•   Protective masks and other equipment for hotel colleagues

•   Social distancing guidance in public areas across hotel properties

Kempinski’s ‘White Glove Service’

Luxury hotel group Kempinski has launched the “Kempinski White Glove Service,” a rigorous 50-page guidebook informing new standards of cleanliness and precaution among all staff. Employees will now wear gloves during all guest interactions as well as branded masks, which have been produced for Kempinski by Italian hotel uniform designer Maurel. All guest rooms will have mini hand sanitizers as well as guest masks. All furniture in public areas also has to be rearranged to keep social distancing rules for the convenience of guests. Sanitizing stations will be spread throughout each hotel, key cards will be disinfected before and after usage, and cloth towels in public toilets will be replaced by one-time-usage disposable towels.

Canada’s government restrictions hobble industry

Though Canada’s lodging sector ended 2019 with strong industry fundamentals on nearly all measures, including record revenues and profitability for most operators, the current global health crisis and the economic fallout has quickly escalated into a disaster situation for the hospitality and tourism industries, reports Colliers International. Lodging demand has virtually ceased since global regions began clamping down on mobility, and as the Canadian government implemented greater restrictions impacting non-residents on March 16, as well as the suspension of non-essential travel between the Canada-U.S. land border on March 21.

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What will ‘new normal’ look like for India’s hotel industry?

Hospitality consulting firm Hotelivate has released “The Indian Hospitality Industry: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing COVID-19,” a collection of articles by consulting experts speaking to the hotel industry. Experts discuss practical solutions for when things begin to re-open and the “new normal” comes into effect for the hospitality industry in South Asia.

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UK hospitality sees first quarter sales drop 21.3%    

The U.K. hospitality sector saw sales decline 21.3% in the first quarter of 2020, as the country and the industry moved into COVID-19 lockdown, figures from the UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker reveal. The drop in trading across the nation’s pubs, hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and attractions in the first three months of the year is concentrated in March as figures show total annualized sales across the hospitality sector at £126.8 billion (US$158 billion), down 2.7% on the previous 12 months.