France to build online platform to rival Airbnb, Booking.com
The French government will join forces with the tourism industry to build an Internet site aimed at winning back customers from U.S. online travel giants such as Airbnb and Booking Holdings. The move is part of a government-led stimulus package to revive tourism in one of the world’s top destinations as hotels, restaurants and theme parks, as well as travel sites and tour operators, are among the hardest hit by lockdowns and restrictions to fight the global coronavirus pandemic.
Short-term pain for Paris, followed by strong recovery: Data
Once the Paris hotel sector overcomes the initial period of recovery, the longer-term, post-COVID-19 future looks promising, with the Olympic Games in 2024 expected to provide a much-needed boost to tourism, according to research from HVS. Along with the games, the city will also benefit from the €2 billion (US$2.2 billion) investment plan to revitalize Disneyland Paris, which is expected to go ahead albeit with possible delays because of the pandemic. Paris will see a phased easing of coronavirus lockdown measures imposed on March 17, with hotels, restaurants, cafés and bars expected to start opening on June 2 if conditions are considered favorable at the end of May.
Trump hotel profits back in spotlight
A U.S. appeals court revived a lawsuit accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of illegally profiting from his Washington, D.C., hotel. The Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, reversed a July decision that dismissed the case brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C. They accuse Trump of violating the Constitution’s “emoluments” clauses by taking money from both domestic and foreign governments that use the hotel.
U.K. hotel performance
STR analysts have been providing a weekly deep dive into U.K. hotel performance. Key highlights for the most recent video, highlighting performance for the week of May 4-10, include:
- Minimal change in U.K. occupancy
- RevPAR that declined between 80%-90% each day (but it appears to have bottomed out)
- Among key U.K. markets, Liverpool had the highest daily occupancy, while Edinburgh had the lowest
- Among the chains, luxury and upper upscale hotels saw no movement in occupancy
Loews sets new opening date for Kansas City hotel
The Loews Kansas City Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, has said it will open its doors after a nearly two-month setback from the coronavirus pandemic. The US$367 million, 800-room hotel will now officially open its doors June 1. (Originally, the opening was set for April 2.) The hotel was originally set to hire hundreds of new employees. It’s unclear how the pandemic has affected potential jobs with the company.
Next-gen voices in the boardroom
A four-part webinar series, “Next Generation in Lodging,” focuses on taking rising millennial leaders’ voices to the boardroom so the industry can more successfully address issues and plan recovery strategies from the COVID-19 crisis. The series will be launched with a live broadcast on Tuesday, May 19 at 4 p.m. EDT. The first episode, addressing employment after the coronavirus, provides sensible solutions to owners and operators about the long-term systemic and short-term survival concerns of their workforce. The webinar is co-produced by The Vonne Group, Majestic Hospitality and Omari Head of Paramount Lodging Advisors.