Tag: COVID19

Holiday Inn hotel group sees revenue fall as Covid-19 keeps people at home

The owner of the Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels Group, suffered a sharp drop in revenue in the third quarter as fresh Covid-19 restrictions kept travellers at home.

the tower of the city: Photograph: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The company, which also owns the Crowne Plaza, Regent and InterContinental chains, reported a 53.4% fall in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the third quarter.

Around 3% or 199 of IHG’s hotels were still closed at the end of September. The company operates more than 5,900 hotels in about 100 countries.

While the fall in revenue was smaller than the 75% decrease in the second quarter, it is the latest sign that the travel and hospitality industry is still struggling, as a second wave of coronavirus cases this autumn led to fresh restrictions on travel and gatherings.

“As government-mandated closures and travel restrictions partially eased, leisure-related demand led to the rate of RevPAR decline improving in July and August, before weakening in September,” IHG said in its earnings update.

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Europe was one of the group’s worst-performing regions, with per-room revenue tumbling 72% in the three months to September. That was compared to a 23% drop in China, where occupancy rates have improved to 57% from 32% in the second quarter and less than 10% in February.

the tower of the city: A Holiday Inn in Southampton that was closed in April due to the coronavirus restrictions.

© Photograph: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
A Holiday Inn in Southampton that was closed in April due to the coronavirus restrictions.

IHG and rivals including Premier Inn-owner Whitbread have already been forced to slash costs as a result of lockdown measures imposed earlier this year. IHG is aiming to reduce costs by around $150m by the end of 2020.

However, the chief executive, Keith Barr, reported a slight improvement in overall occupancy levels, which was 44% compared to 25% in the second quarter – thanks in part to domestic travel. “Domestic mainstream travel remains the most resilient, and our industry-leading Holiday Inn brand family positions us well to meet that demand as it slowly returns,” he said.

The company also continued to add new hotels, adding 82 sites and 11,000 rooms to its portfolio. But Barr said he did not expect a quick recovery from the crisis: “A full industry recovery will take time, and uncertainty remains regarding the potential for further improvement in the short term, but we take confidence from the steps taken to protect and support our owners and drive demand back to our hotels as guests feel safe to travel.”

IHG shares were down 2.2% in afternoon trading.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said IHG had fared better than many of its rivals, given that it does not own many of its hotels outright, and usually licences brands to hotel owners.

“While it’s offered support to its franchisees through the crisis, not being on the hook for hotel running costs has certainly

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21 States Now ‘At A Tipping Point,’ Per Harvard-Brown Covid-19 Tracker

Planning to get away for the weekend? Choose your destination carefully.

A staggering 21 states are now “at a tipping point” for Covid-19, according to the risk-assessment map run by the Harvard Global Health Institute and Brown School of Public Health. The number of high-risk states has more than doubled — from 10 to 21 — in just three weeks.

Yesterday, the United States recorded 71,671 new positive Covid-19 cases, very close to a pandemic record, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That level of infection is on par with what the country saw back in mid-July, during the major summer surge of the virus in the U.S.

MORE FROM FORBESTravel Alert: America’s Current Covid-19 Surge Won’t End Until 2021

The risk-assessment tool run by Harvard Global Health Institute and Brown School of Public Health is an essential travel tool, particularly for imminent trips. The color-coded map provides an easy way for Americans to assess how quickly the disease is spreading in a specific state or county. Each community has a rating of green, yellow, orange or red, based upon the number of new daily cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people over a seven-day rolling average.

States that are colored red on the map have recorded 25 or more new positive Covid-19 cases every day per 100,000 people, based on a rolling seven-day average. That level of spread is unsustainable strain and states should be under stay-at-home orders, according to the Harvard and Brown researchers.

Since Labor Day weekend, North Dakota has been the epicenter of coronavirus in the United States. Over the past six weeks, the Roughrider State’s caseload has increased by a staggering 205%, from 32.1 to 98.7 new daily cases per 100,000 people.

The rest of the top 10 high-risk states span across the heartland and Mountain West, including South Dakota (78.0 new cases/100K), Wisconsin (61.6 cases/100K), Montana (60.2 cases/100K), Idaho (46.1 cases/100K), Nebraska (43.0 cases/100K), Wyoming (41.0 cases/100K), Utah (40.8 cases/100K), Iowa(35.3 cases/100K) and Missouri (32.8 cases/100K).

An additional 21 states are colored orange on the map, which signifies that the community has 10 or more new daily positive Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day rolling average. These states are experiencing an “accelerated spread” of Covid-19, with “stay-at-home orders and/or test and trace programs advised,” according to the Harvard and Brown researchers.

MORE FROM FORBESDon’t Cross State Lines, 3 Northeast Governors Urge

Only eight states — all of them located in the Northeast and Pacific West — are colored yellow on the Harvard-Brown map. Yellow means there is fewer than 10 new cases of Covid-19 each day per 100,000 people, which still signifies community spread.

Unfortunately, no state is in the green zone, which would mean fewer than one new daily case per 100,000 people. That metric would signify that the disease is “on track

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Hotel And Accommodation Market Procurement Intelligence Report with COVID-19 Impact Analysis

The Hotel And Accommodation market will register an incremental spend of about USD 108 billion, growing at a CAGR of 4.95% during the five-year forecast period. A targeted strategic approach to Hotel And Accommodation sourcing can unlock several opportunities for buyers. This report also offers market impact and new opportunities created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Download free sample pages

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201022006029/en/

SpendEdge has announced the release of its Global Hotel And Accommodation Market Procurement Intelligence Report (Graphic: Business Wire)

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This hotel and accommodation procurement intelligence report has enlisted the top suppliers and their cost structures, SLA terms, best selection criteria, and negotiation strategies.

  • Marriott International Inc.

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This procurement report helps buyers identify and shortlist the most suitable suppliers for their hotel and accommodation

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Delta CEO: COVID-19 international travel recovery will require regulations

Delta Air Lines is working with European and U.S. authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to make international travel appealing to customers again amid coronavirus risks, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said on Wednesday.

“The main thing that’s affecting international travel are the quarantines as well as the restrictions on U.S. travelers, even getting into Europe,” Bastian told “Mornings with Maria.” “It’s not as if there’s going to be a green light that goes off and we’re all back traveling internationally. We’re going to have to put some pilots in place, some experimental routes, using testing.”


“Testing will be the key to opening up international flows, without a quarantine requirement,” he added.

Delta lost $5.38 billion in the third quarter and warned that it does not expect to staunch the cash bleed until spring, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the travel industry.

“This winter is going to be very difficult, in any case, to get international traffic going,” Bastian said. “I think next summer you’re going to see people traveling internationally again, but I think it will take a couple of years before we see anywhere close to what we used to see in international business.”


He also discussed the drop in revenue from business travel.

“Business revenues should represent close to half of our overall business. Right now it’s significantly lower than that,” Bastian said. “Business travel has always come back faster than anything we expect. It goes down harder as businesses cut it first, and it comes back faster than anyone is expecting. I don’t know that it will get back to 100%, but I do think we’ll get back to a meaningful level.”

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DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 31.50 -0.48 -1.50%

The Atlanta-based airline’s efforts to slim down its workforce as the virus-induced crisis cratered demand resulted in a $3.1 billion charge for voluntary separation and early retirement programs and a $2.2 billion restructuring charge.

But a 32% drop in labor costs led to a $1.3 billion surplus in federal funds that Congress allocated in March to help airlines preserve jobs for six months.


FOX Business’ Megan Henney and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Hotel air ventilation: Does it matter during covid-19?

As the world continues to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, “ventilation” has become a buzzword in the travel industry.

Early in the year, on coronavirus-plagued cruise ships, ventilation systems became a point of fear for passengers and crew alike. The effectiveness of air filtration and ventilation on airplanes is still not totally clear: While some studies suggest the chances of contracting coronavirus on a flight are low, some risk remains.

For hotels, however, good ventilation has become a feature to promote to bring customers back. Major chains, including MGM Resorts International and the Four Seasons, have advertised that they are enhancing ventilation systems, and smaller companies have gotten in on the movement, too: A-Lodge Adventure Hotel in Boulder, Colo., says one of its selling points, besides perks like access to hiking trails, is that its rooms and suites have no shared ventilation between them.

But health experts’ opinions vary as to whether — and how much — travelers should be concerned about ventilation in their hotel rooms. Here’s what four of them told The Washington Post.

Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Adalja, who has been contacted by hotel chains to help them come up with coronavirus safety protocols, says most transmission is occurring as a result of close interpersonal contact. “The key question when going to hotels is not so much the ventilation, but who you’re interacting with there and where you’re interacting with people,” he said.

While a lot has been written about ventilation systems, Adalja does not think there is strong evidence that ventilation systems are driving coronavirus cases. “There are many people who are advocating rehauling HVAC systems, but there’s not strong data that that actually is going to have any kind of major impact,” he said, “although you might see some hotels advertising they did that in order to attract customers.”

Even so, Adalja believes being in an area that is well ventilated is better than being in one that isn’t.

“I think that the risk is more from other individuals rather than it is from the environment itself,” he said. “Your room is probably not that big of an issue, but it’s when you’re in the common areas — so if you’re in the lobby or if you’re in the restaurant — those types of areas where you want to be much more mindful.”

Adalja said his best advice for travelers is to use common-sense precautions: Wear face coverings, wash your hands, and avoid areas that are crowded. “I think that hotels have done a lot to try to develop protocols to make it as safe as possible,” he said. “Obviously, you can’t get the risk down to zero.”

Brian Castrucci, epidemiologist and national public health expert

Castrucci, the president and chief executive of the de Beaumont Foundation, a public health philanthropy, said that there has not

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Virtual school allows families to combo vacation amid COVID-19


A high school junior shares a glimpse of what digital learning is like during the coronavirus pandemic.


NEW YORK — In RVs, rental homes and five-star resorts, families untethered by the constraints of physical classrooms for their kids have turned the new school year into an extended summer vacation, some lured by the ailing hotel industry catering to parents with remote learners through “roadschooling” amenities.

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the change of scene for desperate work- and school-from-home families boils down to “risk versus reward,” said Amanda Poses, a travel consultant and mother of two teenagers in Austin, Texas. “God willing, we don’t have the opportunity to do this again.”

Poses and her husband let 13-year-old Addison attend school from Park City, Utah, for three days of a five-night stay in early September. In search of a flight of three hours or less, they rode horses, hiked and zip-lined. They went tubing and enjoyed an alpine slide. And, yes, there was a bit of logging in to school.

“I ended up skipping like half of my classes,” Addison smiled. “It was nice. It was like a new start.”

Addison’s 16-year-old brother sat out the trip. “He was concerned about being distracted,” mom said.

One of the places the family stayed, the luxury Montage Deer Valley mountain resort, now offers “Montage Academy” for distance learners, complete with an all-day monitored “study hall” and access to virtual tutors. Other hotels are offering on-site tutors and tickets for “field trips” at area attractions.

Anna Khazenzon, a data and learning scientist for the online study platform Quizlet, said the monotony of weeks stuck at home for school on top of six months of pandemic restrictions risks bringing on burnout for distance learners.

But there are dangers lurking in schoolcations, as well.

“Formal schoolcation programs have the potential to create further achievement gaps between high- and low-income families, and more cost-effective versions should be developed, but overall there are many learning benefits for taking children on schoolcations,” Khazenzon said. “If students are burnt out and under-stimulated studying at home, then they may not be engaged in class at all.”

Jennifer Steele, an associate professor of education at American University, said that if distance learners don’t show up for class during schoolcations, “we would expect them to lose some knowledge and skills.” In addition, she said, the idea “exposes socioeconomic inequities in terms of people’s inability to leave and go to difference places.”

Since the start of the pandemic, families of means have decamped to second homes or taken long-term rentals in vacation spots around the world. With summer over, schoolcations offer others similar experiences, whether they’re roughing it on the road for extended periods or spending on hotels and resorts trying to make up for a summer slump.

For Jayson and Tammy Brown, schoolcations for their three kids have been both ongoing and life-affirming over the past five years. The parents and 11-year-old Jayde, 13-year-old Jay’Elle and 14-year-old Jayson are used

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Dutch king expresses regret over Greek family vacation amid COVID-19

The Associated Press
Published 9:15 a.m. ET Oct. 21, 2020


Samson the golden retriever and Cleo the kitten formed an unlikely friendship. They travel across the U.S. with their humans and share their adventures.


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch king issued a video message Wednesday saying he had “regret in the heart” and he shouldn’t have flown to Greece for a family vacation last week, a trip that was quickly broken off amid public uproar back home where people are being urged to stay home as much as possible to battle the coronavirus.

“It hurts to have betrayed your faith in us,” a somber King Willem-Alexander said in the video, which shows him sitting next to his wife, Queen Maxima, at their palace in a forest in The Hague.

It is highly unusual for a Dutch monarch to issue such a contrite message to the nation. The vacation also has been politically damaging for Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who under the Dutch constitution is responsible for the king’s actions.

Willem-Alexander and his family flew to Greece, where they have a vacation home, on Friday, but the king, queen and one of their daughters returned home Saturday night. Their two other daughters flew home later.

In this Sept. 17, 2019 file photo, Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima wave from the balcony of royal palace Noordeinde in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo: Peter Dejong, AP)

The vacation came just days after the Dutch government introduced what it called a “partial lockdown” in a bid to rein in soaring coronavirus infections in the country.

“Even though the trip was within the regulations, it was very unwise not to take into account the impact of the new restrictions on our society,” the king said.

“Our own decision to return was taken in the realization that we should not have gone.” he added.

“We will continue to work with you to get the coronavirus under control. So that everyone in our country can then resume normal life as soon as possible,” Willem-Alexander said. “That is the most important thing now and we will continue to do so, to the best of our ability. We are involved. But not infallible.”

More: Dutch king cancels rest of vacation and returns home after lockdown uproar

More: Queen Elizabeth II, joined by Prince William, makes her first public outing since COVID-19 isolation


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COVID-19 complicates Trump plans for election night party at his DC hotel

President Trump wants to hold an election night party at his Washington hotel, but strict COVID-19 regulations could see the event switched to Virginia or Florida at the last moment, according to multiple sources familiar with the planning.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd

© Provided by Washington Examiner

It could mean other GOP events are likely to be held elsewhere in the city to thin numbers across multiple venues.


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So while the Trump campaign is planning to use the Trump International Hotel, close to the White House, the Republican National Committee will hold a party at the Four Seasons in Georgetown.

But all that could change.

One high-profile supporter said he was ready to come to Washington, D.C., but was also prepared for an eleventh-hour switch.

Doug Deason, a Dallas-based donor, said: “We have booked our room, that’s the plan, and we are kind of waiting to see what happens.

“I was at the party four years ago, and I’m not planning to miss it this time.”

The Trump campaign was headquartered in Manhattan’s Trump Tower in 2016. Although Trump owns multiple hotels in the city, he plumped for the New York Hilton for his election night party.

This time around, he wanted to hold it on his own property. But like the rest of the country, which has been forced to forgo birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and even wakes, the president is finding that the pandemic is getting in the way of organizing mass gatherings.

In Washington, that means numbers are limited to 50, disappointing supporters.

“Plenty of donors can’t get in,” said a member of the Trump inner circle, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss planning. “People have been calling me for help to get into the hotel, but I don’t think I’ll get a ticket either.”

While the district remains in phase two of the administration’s coronavirus guidelines, Virginia and Florida have both moved into the more permissive phase three.

Gatherings of up to 250 people are allowed in Virginia, while Florida places a limit of 250 merely as a recommendation.

Trump owns a winery and a golf club in Virginia. He also owns properties in Florida, including the Trump National Doral, where he wanted to hold this year’s G-7 summit before backing down amid public opposition, and Mar-a-Lago, which he likes to call his winter White House.

Another donor said: “We are just trying to play it by ear to see what’s planned, what the president wants to do: Does he want to be in Florida, does he want to be in Virginia? We are leaving it flexible.”

Zach Everson, who runs the 1100 Pennsylvania newsletter detailing comings and goings at the hotel, said: “It would have been surprising if he didn’t go to a Trump property. The campaign and RNC have been the biggest spenders during COVID-19 with so many other events canceled.”

The RNC and the Trump campaign declined to comment.

Tags: News, Donald Trump, 2020 Elections, Campaign 2020, Mar-a-Lago, Virginia, Florida, Washington D.C., Coronavirus, Coronavirus

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New York, New Jersey, Connecticut discourage nonessential travel as COVID-19 cases rise

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Tuesday urged residents to limit nonessential travel between the states but stopped short of imposing quarantine requirements for people crossing those borders, even as local coronavirus cases rose.

New York, which faced one of the most rampant outbreaks in the world earlier this year, now requires people arriving from 38 states and two U.S. territories where cases are rising to quarantine for 14 days, either at home or in a hotel room.

Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania now meet the state’s criteria for the quarantine requirements, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed with his neighboring counterparts that adding them to the quarantine list would be impractical.

In a joint statement later on Tuesday, Cuomo joined New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, all Democrats, in saying the three states “depend on each other when it comes to commerce, education, and health care.”

“We’re urging all of our residents to avoid unnecessary or non-essential travel between states at this time, but will not subject residents of our states to a quarantine if coming from a neighboring state,” the statement said.

Cuomo said he also wanted to discourage nonessential travel from Pennsylvania.

The rate of positive coronavirus tests was above 3% in New Jersey, state health officials said on Monday. In Connecticut, the positivity rate was 1.7%, Lamont said on Monday. Pennsylvania’s was 4.3%, said Governor Tom Wolf.

New York’s positivity rate was 1.3% on Tuesday, one of the lowest in the nation, but health officials have raised concerns about some “hot spots” in parts of New York City and counties north of the metropolis.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Sam Holmes)

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Funding cutoff looms for those living on hotel vouchers during Covid-19

Pamela Williams, who is currently homeless, describes her experience living at the Holiday Inn in South Burlington in June. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Pamela Williams has been living at the South Burlington Holiday Inn since June. She said she’s been applying to jobs and searching for housing incessantly — but both are hard to come by in an economy decimated by Covid-19. 

Now, Williams and about 140 other Holiday Inn guests experiencing homelessness are faced with even more urgency to find their next opportunity for shelter as winter approaches. That’s because the federal funding deadline that is largely propping up Vermont’s expanded homeless hotel voucher system is set to expire Dec. 30. 

The deadline was presented by Paul Dragan, executive director of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO), at a press conference held at the Holiday Inn Tuesday morning in tandem with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. 

“We’ve been talking to the state about extending, and I think the state only has a limited amount of funding too, and they’re looking at all their possibilities as well,” Dragon said. “They’re aware and they want to be as helpful as possible.” 

If another federal stimulus package isn’t passed, with funding for homeless services and shelters, Dragon said his office will have to find another way to rehouse those currently living at the Holiday Inn. Hundreds of others experiencing homelessness are also being housed in other hotels and motels across the state. 

“The funding goes until the end of December,” Dragon said. “We’ll work with the state, which has been a wonderful partner, on a transition plan. And that means trying to find acceptable shelter for the folks who are here.”

Paul Dragon
Paul Dragon, executive director of Champlain Valley OEO. Courtesy photo

When the pandemic hit in March, shelters shuttered and the state rushed to expand its hotel voucher system to house those experiencing homlessness in individual hotel rooms to allow for social distancing and quarantining. The efforts have been effective — only one person experiencing homelessness has tested positive for Covid-19 in the state. 

As of mid-September, there were 374 adults and 52 children being housed in Burlington hotels. Across the state, there were about 1,100, down from about 2,000 at the beginning of the summer.

Welch congratulated CVOEO staff for the success the hotel voucher program has seen during Covid. He referenced the contentious $2 trillion stimulus package negotiations between U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, which are moving forward, but slowly. 

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Welch said he supports a new stimulus package and that it should come soon. 

“It should be before the election because the pain is real and the need is urgent,” Welch said.

In the meantime, he said he would also support legislation that would extend the Dec. 30 deadline that demands that the first package of federal Covid stimulus money, of which Vermont received $1.25 billion, be spent by the end of the year. 

Peter Welch
Rep. Peter Welch at
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