COVID-19: Who’s buying Expedia stake | Will Germany recover fastest?

Expedia nears deal to sell stake to Silver Lake and Apollo 

Online travel services company Expedia Group is in advanced talks to sell a stake to private-equity firms Silver Lake Partners and Apollo Global Management for about US$1 billion. The company’s shares have fallen about 47% so far this year as global travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have halted the travel and tourism industry. The company is expected to give board representation to the investors as part of the deal, which could be announced this week.

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Will German hotel market recover fastest?

An article from HVS London’s office looks considers why the German hotel market is in pole position to recovery the most quickly in Europe. The article analyzes the reasons for optimism, such as the quality of the health care system, the strength of domestic leisure demand and the not inconsiderable contribution made by domestic corporate demand.

Read the full report

STR: Steep declines for Europe, Middle East, Africa

Showing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels in the Middle East and Africa reported steep declines across the three key performance metrics in March, according to data from STR. Both the Middle East and Africa saw their lowest absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels for any month on record. Europe’s hotel industry also reported unprecedented performance lows during March.

In U.S. dollar constant currency, March 2020 vs. March 2019:

Middle East

Occupancy: -51.5% to 35.6%

ADR: -19.3% to US$114.88

RevPAR: -60.8% to US$40.86


Occupancy: -51.6% to 31.1%

ADR: -6.4% to US$102.09

RevPAR: -54.7% to US$31.72

United Arab Emirates

Occupancy: -49.2% to 41.4%

ADR: -27.6% to AED411.92 (US$112)

RevPAR: -63.2% to AED170.57 (US$46)

The absolute occupancy level was the lowest for any month in STR’s United Arab Emirates database. Key markets in the country, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, recorded steep declines in occupancy, -35.6% and -54.7%, respectively.

South Africa

Occupancy: -45.1% to 37.0%

ADR: -4.4% to ZAR1,264.83 (US$67)

RevPAR: -47.5% to ZAR468.02 (US$25)

The absolute occupancy level was the lowest for any month in STR’s South Africa database. At the market level, Cape Town experienced a drop in occupancy of 46.5%.

Euro constant currency, March 2020 vs. March 2019:


Occupancy: -61.6% to 26.3%

ADR: -8.1% to €96.13 (US$104)

RevPAR: -64.7% to €25.27 (US$27)

The absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels in Europe were the lowest for any month on record.


Occupancy: -90.8% to 6.2%

ADR: -22.0% to €89.60 (US$97)

RevPAR: -92.8% to €5.52 (US$6)

The absolute occupancy, ADR and RevPAR levels were the lowest for any month in STR’s Italy database. Key markets in the country, Rome and Milan, each reported absolute occupancy below 10.0% at 6.6% and 4.0%, respectively. The country’s downward trend in occupancy began in late February.

United Kingdom

Occupancy: -50.8% to 36.5%

ADR: -9% to £79.49 (US$98)

RevPAR: -55.3% to £28.99 (US$36)

The absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels were the lowest for any month in STR’s U.K. database. At the market level, London’s occupancy fell 60.0% to 32.7%.

AH&LA reports staffing data in U.S.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released new data showing that 70% of hotel employees have been laid off or furloughed as eight in 10 hotel rooms across the nation remain empty. It said the impact to the travel industry is nine times worse than 9/11, with forecasted occupancy rates for 2020 hitting record lows worse than rates in 1933 during the Great Depression. Full-service properties that remain open are using 14 employees, down from 50 before the crisis. Resort hotels, which averaged about 90 employees per location as recently as March 13, are down to an average of five employees per resort.

Read the report

Bennett, Ashford reaping benefits of U.S. aid 

Dallas, Texas hotelier Monty Bennett and his Ashford Inc. are poised to receive US$59 million in loans from U.S. Paycheck Protection Program, the largest beneficiary of the nation’s coronavirus loan program. Bennett’s lodging business has been hit hard by the pandemic. He has stated that Ashford and its subsidiaries have laid off or furloughed 95% of their 7,000 employees. An affiliated company, the owner of 117 hotels, stopped making payments on most of its US$4 billion in debt. But during the crisis, Bennett and other preferred shareholders still got paid millions of dollars in preferred dividends.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Tripadvisor’s aid for health care workers

Tripadvisor has launched “Hotels for Health,” a program connecting health care workers with lodging providers who can supply rooms during the global pandemic. The site allows health care providers to advise that they need rooms, and hotels to advise that they have spare rooms available. The teams at Tripadvisor will then connect the hotels and health care providers. The company will use its database of over 2 million accommodation properties worldwide to help target lists in areas where there is an urgent need for beds. After a trial connecting the U.K.’s National Health Service and select hotels in the south of England, it is now expanding the program globally.

Learn more about the program

Room Mate implements COVID-19 protocol

Since March, Room Mate Hotels has been applying new disinfecting and cleaning measures across the 13 hotels open to healthcare professionals and the elderly in Spain, France, the U.S. and Italy. The protocol, which will ultimately be rolled out across the company’s 28 hotels, includes room disinfecting and cleaning processes and hygiene measures for rooms and communal areas. The company has also launched an internal protocol to guarantee the protection and safety of its guests and workers, including the use of masks, gloves and gowns, along with regular temperature checks, rapid tests and plasma tests.

Elsewhere: Second property for Travelodge in Vietnam

Thailand-based Travelodge will launch the Travelodge Phan Thiet in Vietnam. The company previously announced that their first hotel in Vietnam will be opening in Cam Ranh. The 900-room hotel will have a restaurant, swimming pool and gym. The hotel plans to open in 2022.

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