Tag: struggling

Hawaii’s hotel industry is still struggling despite tourism reopening, and isn’t expected to break even in 2021

More than a year from now, Hawaii’s hotel industry won’t have stopped bleeding.

A new annual Hawaii hotel forecast prepared by STR for the Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that by the end of 2021, statewide occupancy will have hit only 46.3%, still short of the 50% to 60% occupancy that the industry needs to break even.

Many of Hawaii’s hotels temporarily closed during the pandemic as government restrictions and fear of COVID-19 significantly reduced travel demand. Quite a number were open by Oct. 15, the start of the state’s pre-
arrival testing program under Safe Travels
Hawaii. But so far, Hawaii’s formal welcome-
back to travelers hasn’t filled hotel rooms to the degree that many had hoped.

About 75% of Hawaii hotels are operating again. Still, only about 1,000 out of 8,000 Unite Here Local 5 hotel members are back to work. Some 5,000 of them already have lost their health insurance, and most are facing the loss of other support programs just after Christmas.

Local 5 spokesman Bryant de Venecia said, “Most of our workers have lost health insurance. They really want to go back to work, but that’s really out of our control. We can’t control how many tourists will
occupy our hotels.”

“If we are going to recap 2020, we barely left square one. Our members are still struggling, still dealing with how to pay for rent and food and health care,” de Venecia said. “It’s just heartbreaking, especially right before Christmas. People need help now.”

Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging &Tourism Association, said Hawaii hoteliers are languishing, too.

Hannemann cited a recent survey of American Hotel &Lodging Association members that estimated 7 in
10 hoteliers (71%) wouldn’t make it another six months without further federal assistance given current and projected travel demand, and 77% of hotels report they will be forced to lay off more workers.

“I don’t know if Hawaii is quite at 71%. We’ve got a number of foreign hotel owners who might be able to survive beyond that period. Still, I would reckon a good number of our properties are in dire straits,” Hannemann said.

Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in
a statement that Congress must move quickly to pass additional relief for U.S.
hotels.

“Every hour Congress doesn’t act, hotels lose
400 jobs. As devastated industries like ours desperately wait for Congress to come together to pass another round of COVID-19
relief legislation, hotels continue to face record devastation,” Rogers said. “Without action from Congress, half of U.S. hotels could close with massive layoffs in the next six months.”

Rogers said U.S. hotels
already are expecting to face a difficult winter, characterized by a significant drop in travel demand — some 7 out of 10 Americans are not expected to travel over the holidays.

According to STR, U.S. weekly hotel occupancy has slipped further from previous weeks.

“After ranging between 48% and 50% occupancy from mid-July into the later portion of October, the last three

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VIDEO: Trans-Pacific travel reopening helping struggling visitors’ industry, but financial problems persist

Trans-Pacific travel reopened in Hawaii just under a month ago, and while tourists are not pouring into the state, their presence is helping to slowly lift up the struggling visitor industry.

“We’ve seen things pick up nicely. It’s still a long way from what we had in 2019, we’re not back to normal by any means yet,” Hawaii Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram said this morning on Spotlight Hawaii.

“By December 15th, we will have at least some level of flight activity from every one of the 13 origin points we served on the U.S. mainland prior to the pandemic. So we’re cautiously optimistic but it’s still only about a quarter of the total passenger levels that you would have had a year ago at this time,” Ingram said.

Outrigger President and CEO Jeff Wagoner also joined program, and said that bookings at the dozens of his company’s properties throughout the state reflect the same trend.

“We are seeing some nice increase over the holidays, which will be great to see. But I think we all knew it wasn’t going to be a stampede of travel back in. It’s complicated because of the testing protocols that you have to have prior to coming here, and so we believe it’s going to be a very gradual growth over the next several months,” Wagoner said.

Hawaiian Airlines has been working to help make more coronavirus testing available to passengers prior to departure, including allowing passengers to pay for tests using Hawaiian Airlines miles. The airline has also launched a program they are calling “Travel Pono,” to inform visitors through in-flight videos and other messaging before they arrive in Hawaii about the state’s mask and social distancing requirements.

“We’re trying to get the message about personal responsibility, and frankly I’ve asked all of our employees when they travel to think about setting the right example for people about wearing the face coverings on the airplane, keeping distance on the airport,” Ingram explained.

Ingram and Wagoner said the profile of the people coming to Hawaii has changed, with fewer families and seniors, and an increase in younger, single travelers. Those tourists tend to spend less. Both are hoping for the eventual elimination of the interisland quarantine to help boost more kama’aina travel, which is a critical part of their customer base.

While more people are taking flights and staying in Hawaii hotels, both companies are nowhere near where they need to be financially. Hawaiian Airlines was losing over $3 million a day at one point during the pandemic, the numbers have improved but not enough.

“We’ve projected that out for the forth quarter and we expected to bring that number down to closer to $2.2 million a day, which is still way too much and it’s not sustainable over the long term, but we’re on an improving trend,” Ingram said.

Wagoner said Outrigger is looking at occupancy rates between 10-20%, which is not nearly enough to cover costs.

“Clearly, when you start talking

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Mother in hotel quarantine struggling being cooped up with her autistic son

Mother in hotel quarantine shows the ‘impossible’ reality of being cooped up in a tiny space with her son who has autism

  • Brenna Russell, 29, is staying at Zetland’s Meriton Suites with son Sebastien, five
  • Sebastien has autism, ADHD, seizures, and genetic variations of the NFIX gene 
  • The infant has been throwing tantrums and thrashing their hotel room in distress
  • Mrs Russell is concerned for his safety and is struggling to cope in the tiny space
  • She is calling for those with special needs kids to be able to quarantine at home

A mother in hotel quarantine with her severely autistic son has revealed the ‘impossible’ reality of catering to his needs in a tiny space.  

Brenna Russell, 29, is staying in Zetland Meriton Suites, in Sydney’s inner west, with five-year-old Sebastien after arriving from Los Angeles earlier this week. 

But four days in, the mother says she is struggling to cope as her child, who has autism, ADHD, seizures, and a genetic variation of the NFIX gene, throws tantrums in distress as they are confined in an unfamiliar environment.  

Brenna Russell, 29, and son Sebastien (pictured together) are in hotel quarantine in Sydney after arriving from Los Angeles earlier this week

Brenna Russell, 29, and son Sebastien (pictured together) are in hotel quarantine in Sydney after arriving from Los Angeles earlier this week

‘I don’t know how I’m going to do this for another 11 days,’ Mrs Russell told news.com.au.

‘Hotel quarantine (is) almost impossible with Sebastien.’

Sebastien’s meltdowns have left Mrs Russell with bruises and their hotel room thrashed and she holds fears for his safety. 

Mrs Russell applied for an exemption to self-isolate at the family’s Nelson Bay home, where her Australian husband Paul returned to from the United States months ago after securing work as a chef.

Seven weeks later she is still yet to receive a response from the NSW government.  

She is now calling on the government to do more to help families with special needs children in hotel quarantine.  

‘This situation is not a one size fits all. Our family does not operate like other families might. We need help,’ she said.

Mrs Russell said Sebastien does not cope well with confinement and the situation has been made worse as he is currently being weaned off seizure medication that is prohibited in Australia.  

She said coronavirus protocols, such as testing and hazmat suits, add to Sebastien’s confusion and he has to be sedated for swabs to be taken. 

Mrs Russell said her son's tantrums have left her with bruises and shared a photo of their hotel room (pictured) trashed after one of his meltdowns

Mrs Russell said her son’s tantrums have left her with bruises and shared a photo of their hotel room (pictured) trashed after one of his meltdowns

NSW Health said it cannot comment on individual cases but the Department was doing everything it could to help families in such situations.

‘The NSW Health managed Special Health Accommodation is managed 24/7 by a team of medical, nursing and allied health clinicians,’ a spokesperson said.

‘This quarantine option is available to people who require medical oversight or higher levels of

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U.S. Travel Restrictions Struggling To Match Covid-19 Spikes Across 44 States

It was the week for targeted lockdowns on movement in European countries; at 12.01 Sunday morning, France introduced a nighttime curfew across all its major metropolitan areas for a minimum of one month (9pm to 6am) and London moved from a tier one (medium) area to a tier two (high) area, where households can no longer mix with other households.

Across the Atlantic, on Thursday, the U.S. added 65,000 new daily cases, the highest since July. On Friday, 70,000 new cases were announced, as nine states set single-day case records, as reported by The New York Times. Epidemiologists are warning that half of U.S. states are “seeing surges unlike anything they experienced earlier in the pandemic”. As reported by AP, new cases per day are on the rise in 44 states, with the biggest surges in the Midwest and Great Plains.

However, there are currently only travel restrictions in 18 states (listed below) meaning that current U.S. travel restrictions don’t match the reality of the pandemic.

North Dakota and South Dakota, for instance, are adding more cases than any other since the start of the pandemic, but there are currently no state-wide travel restrictions in either state. In the Great Plains of North Dakota, one official said residents need to know “how perilously close we are to the edge” as hospital beds are filling up (on October 12, there were only 39 open ICU beds). The state still has no state-wide mask mandate.

Montana–currently with no state-wide travel restrictions–is averaging more than 500 cases every day. Montana’s Cascade County jail was virus-free until recently and now 300 inmates and staff are infected as Covid-19 swarms through the county. Some of the seven Indian reservations have enacted restrictions; crucial, considering that Native Americans are disproportionately affected (they have 5.3 times higher rates of hospitalization and a 1.4 times higher rates of death).

The Covid Act Now warning system (which includes Georgetown, Harvard and Stanford universities among its partners) has many states with no travel restrictions listed at the highest level (red) as “active or imminent outbreak”. North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are currently the highest 3 states for new daily cases.


Travel restrictions across the U.S.

There are no nationwide travel restrictions across the entire U.S. and many states are allowing unrestricted travel either from their own state or for visitors arriving from other states with high infection rates.

Some states do currently have travel restrictions in place, either in a more general sense (e.g. encouraging self-isolation) or in a much more strict sense, based on a specific percentage or a specific rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people. These lists are being updated mostly on a weekly basis, with many more states having been added during the last week (to match the

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‘Look closely at everything’: Bye week will be working vacation for struggling Saints – New Orleans Saints Blog

METAIRIE, La. — The bye week has been pretty good for the New Orleans Saints historically. But they might appreciate it even more than usual this year.

Not only will the Saints (3-2) use this time to get healthier, just two weeks after they had six starters miss their Week 4 win at Detroit. But as I laid out earlier this week, they’re also badly in need of a reboot in all phases of the game.

So this will be even more of a “working vacation” than usual — especially since players and coaches need to remain in town for daily COVID testing, except for special circumstances.

“We’ve gotta look closely at everything — and the details,” Sean Payton said of the Saints’ approach during the bye week. Sean Gardner/Getty Images

“Everyone’s in town. So we’ll take advantage of it,” Saints coach Sean Payton said Wednesday.

That doesn’t mean extra practice sessions (the Saints will hold a bonus practice next Monday, as they usually do). But Payton did suggest that the coaching staff might be putting in some extra hours.

“I said this to the coaches yesterday and again today: ‘We’ve gotta look closely at everything — and the details,’” said Payton, who agreed with the notion that it will be a “back to basics” type of week. “You know, we’re 3-2, and yet we just have to improve situationally in a lot of areas. And the good news is we’ve got time to do it.

“But that’s gonna require the honest evaluation of, ‘Hey, are we doing things the right way? Are we calling it the right way? Are the right people on the field?’ We have to answer those questions.”

In the past, the Saints used to give their players and coaches and extended break during the bye week – something Payton picked up from colleague Andy Reid around the time of New Orleans’ 2009 Super Bowl season.

During Payton’s first three seasons as a head coach from 2006-08, the Saints went 0-3 after bye weeks. So he asked Reid for advice, since Reid’s teams had always been so good after bye weeks. And Reid suggested the extended time off.

The Saints then won five straight games following the bye week from 2009-13, including the year when Payton was suspended because of Bountygate in 2012.

The schedule wasn’t foolproof, however. The Saints are 8-3 following byes since 2009 — including one of their worst performances in the Payton-Drew Brees era last year when they lost 26-9 at home to the 1-7 Atlanta Falcons.

At least that means the Saints don’t

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