CHECK OUT! – latest hotel highlights from across the globe

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

  • France hits occupancy low with on average just three in 100 rooms occupied
  • Marcus Hotels & Resorts reveals US hotel closures due to ‘unprecedented challenges’
  • New hotel crisis management resource adds fuel to hoteliers fire in COVID-19 fight
  • Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR
  • News briefs – bitesize updates of latest industry news and developments

France hits occupancy low with on average just three in 100 rooms occupied

France has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak and its hotels are feeling the full force of the reduced mobility within the country and across the rest of the world. After Italy, Spain and Germany, France has the fifth highest level of coronavirus cases in Europe, seventh highest across the world. This has seen the country’s daily hotel occupancy plummet over the space of three weeks, according to research from benchmarking specialist STR and In Extenso TCH. They report that daily occupancy in the country was as high as 65.3% on 26-Feb-2020 and slipped down to just above 30% through 12-Mar-2020. But, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grew and the government implemented measures to combat the spread, data for 17-Mar-2020 showed occupancy levels had plummeted to just 3.3%, a figure that could fall further as new data is received. In France’s capital, Paris, the figure for the same day was just 1.8%, according to STR.


Marcus Hotels & Resorts reveals US hotel closures due to ‘unprecedented challenges’

Marcus Hotels & Resorts has confirmed the temporary closure this week of a select number of properties across its portfolio. This decision includes the Hilton Milwaukee City Center; Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee; Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Wisconsin; The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma; and The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel in Nebraska. The company’s president, Michael R Evans, says this is due to the “unprecedented challenges” facing the sector. “Our sincere hope is that these closures will not be for an extended period of time,” he explains.


New hotel crisis management resource adds fuel to hoteliers fire in COVID-19 fight

Fuel, a software provider and digital agency for the hospitality sector, has launched a new online resource to benefit the industry to combat the effects of the COVID-19 virus on businesses. The resource, ‘Crisis Management Resources for Hotels’ Master List, is an aggregated collection of crisis management tools, information and best-practice tips from organisations across the industry and beyond, including government and commercial sectors and hospitality thought leaders. The list, is updated daily, consists of a comprehensive collection of blog articles, webinars, videos, podcasts, and more, all of which will be categorised and sorted based on a variety of considerations and elements. “Hoteliers have a lot to consider when developing effective and ongoing crisis-management strategies right now, and navigating the deluge of information facing them is a very real challenge,” says Stuart Butler, COO of Fuel, who promises the new resource will help users to “narrow their search to the most impactful sources and tools they need when they need them.”


Data metrics – latest performance insights from STR

  • In Canada, the hotel industry recorded negative year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week commencing 08-Mar-2020, but while occupancy levels dropped in most parts of the country, room rates held somewhat steady. In comparison with the week commencing 10-Mar-2019, occupancy was down -24.3% to 46.0%, ADR down -2.8% to CAD140.70 and RevPAR fell -26.4% to CAD64.71.
  • The Caribbean hotel industry recorded sharp year-over-year declines in the three key performance metrics during the week commencing 08-Mar-2020, according to preliminary data. In comparison with the week commencing 10-Mar-2019, occupancy fell -18.4% to 65.7%, ADR declined -20.2% to USD240.98 and RevPAR was down -34.9% to USD158.40.
  • In Mexico, the hotel industry recorded negative year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week commencing 08-Mar-2020, according to preliminary data. In comparison with the week commencing 10-Mar-2019, occupancy fell -13.3% to 60.5%, ADR slipped -3.4 to MXN2,554.81 and RevPAR was down -16.3% to MXN1,546.76.
  • The US hotel industry reported negative year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week commencing 08-Mar-2020. In comparison with the week commencing 10-Mar-2019, occupancy was down a quarter at -24.4% to 53.0%, ADR fell -10.7% to USD120.30 and RevPAR wad own a third at -32.5% to USD63.74. STR says the performance declines were uniform across chain scales, classes and location types.
  • Preliminary data for hotels in Melbourne, Australia, shows lower year-on-year hotel performance levels in Feb-2020 and the first week of March. Occupancy levels fell by-10.9% to 79.0%, ADR was down -4.5% to AUD187.85 and RevPAR down -14.9% to AUD148.45.

News briefs

  • The Ambrose Hotel, a luxury boutique location in Santa Monica, California has implemented new Wi-Fi network connectivity from Hotel Internet Services (HIS). The installation of new access points in strategic areas of the property will ensure that guest devices receive a strong, consistent and fast Wi-Fi signal regardless of their location within the hotel.
  • In an effort to support communities across the United States of America during this unprecedented public health crisis, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has launched a new initiative – Hotels for Hope – to connect hotel properties with the health community, struggling to find housing and support as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows. It has identified over 6,500 properties nationwide located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities that are at the ready to assist the health community and first responders who may be in need of temporary housing during this crucial time.
  • Hyatt Hotels is launching the global Hyatt Care Fund, which will see the company’s senior management make salary cuts of at least 50% to feed a ring-fenced pot of money that will be distributed to employees described as having the “most pressing financial needs due to loss of income” during the current COVID-19 crisis.
  • Auckland International Airport has confirmed that construction of a 146 room Mercure Hotel near the airport’s shopping centre has been temporarily suspended as part of its coronavirus mitigation strategy as it prepares for international passenger numbers to fall “close to zero in the near term”. It aims to reduce operating costs and suspend capital expenditures with a completed value of more than NZD2 billion (USD1.2 billion).
  • MP Hotels has revealed that two of its hotels in Spain are currently housing military and healthcare workers in the Spanish Canary Islands archipelago as they work to contain the COVID-19 virus. These are BEX Deluxe Suites, located in the centre of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and Club Caleta Dorada in Fuerteventura.
  • OYO Hotels & Homes is opening the doors to its hotels in the United States of America and offering free stays to doctors, nurses and other medical first responders who are helping in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Maldives’ luxury island resort, Seaside Finolhu, has temporarily closed to bring forward its anticipated transformation project. Taking advantage of the current climate, the major upgrade will cover guest villas, restaurants, public areas and a state-of-the-art indoor golf studio. It is due to re-open in Jul-2020 when the travel environment will hopefully have improved.