CHECK IN! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

The Blue Swan Daily brings you the first of this week’s round up of some of the latest accommodation news from across the globe.

  • A majority of Australian hotels are planning to remain open during the Covid-19 pandemic, but expect the impact to be long-term
  • Accor and Bureau Veritas launch new quality label to certify appropriate safety standards and cleaning protocols
  • A six-star luxury hotel and day spa is planned at the Seppeltsfield Winery in Barossa Valley, South Australia
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

A majority of Australian hotels are planning to remain open during the Covid-19 pandemic, but expect the impact to be long-term

A new Sentiment Survey conducted by Horwath HTL Singapore, in partnership with AHS Advisory, to gauge the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on hotels across Australia has provided a more upbeat perspective of the industry than many would have expected. The majority of hotels in its survey (67%) are planning to remain open. The majority of survey participants expect the impact of Covid-19 to be long-term, thus, occupancy performance is expected to start rebounding only in 4Q 2020. There is no noticeable difference in the trend of occupancy expectations among properties, regardless of location, although hotels in Melbourne expect 3Q 2020 to record lower performance than Q2 2020. Unsurprisingly, domestic-sourced demand segments are expected to recover faster, since there is more uncertainty surrounding the return of international travel. This strongly aligns with Australia being a predominant domestic hotel market. A larger proportion (39%) of Luxury and Upper Upscale participants are expecting a steeper decline in ADR (60% and above) compared to the 28% of the Upscale and Upper Midscale properties for the current year, according to the survey findings.


Accor and Bureau Veritas launch new quality label to certify appropriate safety standards and cleaning protocols

Accor has joined forces with Bureau Veritas, a provider in testing, inspection and certification, to develop a label designed to certify that the appropriate safety standards and cleaning protocols have been achieved to allow businesses to reopen during the current public health crisis. The label will cover both accommodation and catering, and will set the sanitary standards applicable to all the Group’s hotels as well as to other chains and independent hotels.


A six-star luxury hotel and day spa is planned at the Seppeltsfield Winery in Barossa Valley, South Australia

A new AUD50 million six-star luxury hotel and day spa is proposed to become an iconic landmark for the Barossa Valley, a renowned wine-producing region northeast of Adelaide, in South Australia. The new 12-storey hotel, named after wine innovator Oscar Benno Sepelt, would make Seppeltsfield one of the world’s top five wineries, according to developers and the winery’s owner. It will not only boost domestic tourism, but could prove popular for team building business initiatives. The property will house 70 rooms, including suites and penthouses and include a Skybar on the top level with 360-degree views of the Barossa. It is being developed by a group of South Australian business leaders and comes in response to a gap in the market identified from research commissioned by the South Australian Tourism Commission, which found that high-end, luxury visitors to South Australia had little options if they wanted to stay in the state.


Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • The United States of America hotel industry reported negative year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week commencing 05-Apr-2020, but “not much of a change from last week”. In comparison with the week commencing 07-Apr-2019, occupancy was down two thirds at -69.8% to 21.0%, ADR fell -45.6% to USD74.18 and RevPAR was down -83.6% to USD15.61. Aggregate data for the Top 25 Markets showed steeper declines across the metrics: occupancy (-75.1% to 19.6%), ADR (-51.7% to USD81.58) and RevPAR (-88.0% to USD16.01), according to STR.
  • In Canada, the hotel industry recorded steep year-over-year declines in the three key performance metrics during the week commencing 05-Apr-2020. In comparison with the week commencing 07-Apr-2019, occupancy was down -81.2% to 12.0%, ADR down -33.8% to CAD101.34 and RevPAR fell -87.6% to CAD12.17. Among the provinces and territories, Quebec experienced the largest decline in occupancy (-90.5% to 6.2%) and steepest decrease in RevPAR (-93.8% to CAD6.38). Ontario posted the largest decrease in ADR (-38.6% to CAD101.13).

News briefs

  • Airbnb could lose significant portion of host community to long-term rental sites, claims data and analytics company GlobalData. It has identified a trend that a growing number of hosts have deleted their Airbnb listings to make way for month-to-month leasing, which generally have higher occupancy levels. “The worry for Airbnb is that hosts may not return to the company when the impact of Covid-19 lessens,” says Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData.
  • The Ascott Limited is leveraging its lodging expertise and resources by extending its support to local government agencies and philanthropic organisations in the fight against Covid-19. Ascott has stepped up to provide a home away from home for healthcare workers, returning nationals, guests who are affected by border closures or city lockdowns, migrant workers and others who have been stranded due to the virus pandemic.
  • Choice Hotels International has teamed up with mattress brand Serta to contribute to its “Stay Home, Send Beds” initiative, which is providing bed donations to help address nationwide shortages at hospitals and temporary medical facilities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Members of its Choice Privileges loyalty programme can donate their points towards beds for hospitals in need. Choice will increase the impact by matching 100% of donated points for a limited time.
  • The first edition of the Duetto Pulse Report, a free, data-driven analysis of key metrics including bookings, cancellations and website traffic in the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific, shows clear indications that travellers intend to resume travel as soon as possible. In the US and Europe, cancellations flatten by Aug-2020 and bookings for Oct-2020 are already trending ahead of 2019. APAC is trending slightly ahead, with the data showing cancellations flattening by Jul-2020.
  • Hospitality marketing agency EproDirect has launched the complimentary Covid-19 Directory for hotels worldwide. The online directory is aimed at providing meeting planners and travellers with an updated status of hotels in different parts of the world. Its goal is to make it easier and more effective for meeting planners to plan for meetings and events with both immediate needs, as well as future needs, especially amidst the Covid-19 threat.
  • InterContinental Hotels group (IHG) IHG has successfully completed the sale of its leasehold interest in Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport to Pelligra Group, owners of upcoming Holiday Inn Melbourne Werribee and Holiday Inn Melbourne Richmond. The decision supports IHG’s global asset-light strategy, which ensures its business model is focused around what it does best: franchising and managing hotels, with its business partners owning the bricks and mortar.
  • Moscow Oblast’s Ministry of Residential Policy authorised the construction of a 8,500 square metre hotel and business centre complex at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. The first phase of the project covers the construction of a three level building and the second stage the construction of an 11 level business and hotel complex.
  • Whitbread, owner of the Premier Inn hotel brand, has confirmed that following the closure of around 800 hotels across the UK, it has made 37 (representing approximately 5,000 rooms), including the London Docklands Excel Premier Inn available exclusively to key workers including NHS medical staff. All team members volunteering to work at the open hotels are also receiving increased rates of pay.
  • Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has launched of its #EverydayHeroes initiative, offering all essential workers on the front lines of Covid-19 instant complimentary Gold membership upgrades in its Wyndham Rewards loyalty programme. Eligible workers include, but is not limited to, truck drivers, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, construction workers, sanitation workers, grocery associates and of course, healthcare workers.