COVID-19: U.S. performance up slightly | A ‘road to recovery’?

U.S. performance: Still bad, but up from April

STR data in the week ended May 16 showed continued modest gains in U.S. hotel performance compared with previous weeks. Year-over-year declines remain significant although not as severe as the levels recorded in April.?? Here’s the data on May 10-16 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019):

Occupancy: 32.4% (-54.1%)

ADR: US$77.55 (-42.4%)

RevPAR: US$25.12 (-73.6%)

Previous weekly U.S. weekly occupancy levels: 

May 3-9: 30.1%

April 26-May 2: 28.6%

April 19-25: 26.0%

April 12-18: 23.4% 

April 5-11: 21.0%

Aggregate data for the top 25 markets showed larger YOY declines than the national averages: occupancy (-61.2% to 30.1%), ADR (-50.9% to US$82.46) and RevPAR (-81.0% to US$24.82). Among those markets, Oahu Island, Hawaii, experienced the largest YOY drop in occupancy (-86.0% to 11.7%), which resulted in the steepest decrease in RevPAR (-91.2% to US$15.99). Boston, Massachusetts, posted the largest decline in ADR (-64.6% to US$87.49). Of note, absolute occupancy in New York, New York, was 43.6%, basically flat from the previous week (43.7%). In Seattle, Washington, occupancy was 27.6%, up from 24.8% the week prior.

The AHLA’s ‘roadmap to recovery’

With new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing staggering job loss to the hospitality and leisure industry, the American Hotel & Lodging Association has released a “Roadmap to Recovery,” calling on the U.S. Congress to prioritize relief for hotel workers and small businesses in the next stimulus package. The April Jobs Report showed the hospitality and leisure industry was the hardest hit, losing 7.7 million jobs—nearly as many jobs as the next four sectors combined. The AHLA is urging Congress to provide immediate assistance in these four areas:

•   Help hotels retain and rehire employees by extending the Paycheck Protection Program, offering employees direct tuition assistance or tax credits, and expanding the Employee Retention Credit

•   Protect employees and guests through tax credits for cleaning equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE)

•   Keep hotel doors open by providing relief for hotel commercial mortgages and increasing the size and flexibility of PPP loans

•   Incentivize Americans to travel again when it’s safe with a new, temporary travel tax credit and restoring the entertainment business expense deduction

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Google rolls out hotel ads product updates

As travel search behaviors change, Google is aiming to help hotel ads partners minimize risk while driving future bookings. The company has been piloting a commissions (per stay) program allowing hotel ads partners to pay a commission only if a traveler stays at the hotel, automatically adjusting hotel ads bids to maximize booking value. The program is now open for hotel ads partners. In the next few weeks, Google will also roll out a “Free Cancellation” filter for users searching for hotels and highlight which hotel rates are refundable when users are looking to book.

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Implications of COVID-19 on the Singapore market

CBRE has released a report looking at the implications of action taken in Singapore, especially surrounding control measures. Key highlights include:

•   International visitor arrivals to Singapore dipped by 43% YOY in Q1 2020

•   Hotel sector performance was hit especially hard in March with RevPAR akin to SARS levels

Read the full report

Omni reopens select properties, adds safety measures

Omni Hotels & Resorts  rolled out a program that includes extensive new cleaning guidelines, processes and procedures to ensure the health and safety of guests and workers. The program, “Omni Safe & Clean,” follows the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and also meets or exceeds the “Stay Safe” initiative set forth by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Each Omni hotel and resort will also adhere to local and/or federal mandates. Last week, the company also reopened the doors at six properties.

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Companies consider travel in near future: Study

There continue to be small signs of optimism in the travel sector, according to new research by the Global Business Travel Association. Health and safety measures are now of significant importance as the industry tries to gain momentum for recovery. Among the poll’s key findings:

•   Most companies who report canceling or suspending most or all trips to a specific region/country plan to resume business travel in the new future or are considering resuming travel

•   One in four companies report their company plans to resume travel to the United States (28%) and/or Canada (24%) in the near future

•   Four in 10 report their company is considering resuming travel to the United States (44%), Europe (43%) and Canada (41%) in the near future, but currently do not have definitive plans about when travel will resume

•   Half (54%) of companies are considering resuming all travel (regardless of country or region) in the near future, although they do not currently have definitive plans for when it will resume. In addition, only one in ten (14%) companies report they do not plan to resume all travel in the near future

Read the full poll results

‘Feel Safe at NH’

Madrid-based NH Hotel Group has launched a set of measures to address the current health crisis. The “Feel Safe at NH” measures will be implemented in each of the group’s 364 properties and follow a comprehensive review of all the company’s operations. From cleaning and sanitization processes, to new digital solutions, processes and protocols for restaurant management, social distancing policies and control of air and water purification, the measures include all the aspects that will allow NH’s hotels to reopen with maximum safety precautions for customers and employees. 

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Best Western shines a light on the good things

BWH Hotel Group has shared a video from President and CEO David Kong highlighting stories of kindness and generosity from hoteliers around the world.

Watch the video

Elsewhere: Wyndham’s continued new-construction growth

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has some new-construction growth, opening 11 newly built hotels across the U.S. in the first quarter and breaking ground on a number of hotels in its new-construction pipeline. In the same period, the company executed agreements for more than 25 future new-construction hotels in the U.S. Wyndham’s 11 new-construction openings in the U.S. represent nearly 1,000 rooms. Recent openings include properties across its La Quinta by Wyndham, Wingate by Wyndham, Days Inn by Wyndham, and Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham brands and those properties are situated in areas like Miramar Beach, Florida; Houston, Texas; Spokane, Washington; and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

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