01:07 — Today’s hotel is tomorrow’s coronavirus hospital
Questions for our guests
All three — how are we continuing to educate hoteliers to avoid drastic price drops when travel resumes that could take years to recover from? — Lily
All three — do you have any opinions on when to expect travel to return, and/or what segments they expect to come back first (corporate, leisure, group)? — lily
All three: When we move into recovery mode, are your organizations concerned the hotel industry will rely too heavily on third-party providers for inventory distribution, as it did to its detriment after 9/11 and in 2009? If so, what are your organizations doing to help maintain a healthy balance between direct and indirect bookings? — Valyn
All Three — Are there any concerns about longer-term impacts on groups and meetings past the near term? Some data suggest social distancing will remain the norm for longer periods once the shorter term effects begin to wind down. What can hotels more dependent on that business do now to be ready if meetings and groups face a longer recovery? — Tim
For Bob: The sudden proliferation of online video content (live, and streamed on demand) is proving that in-person meetings aren’t the only way to exchange ideas and foster networking. How will HSMAI take this into account in the short- and long-term planning of member education and events? — Valyn
Chip: With the passage of the $2 Trillion stimulous bill, how much money is the hotel industry getting, and how will it be allocated? – Robert
Cecil: There has been discussion of small business loans that may be forgiven predicated on retaining staff at pre-crisis levels. Is that even practical for hoteliers if demand is driving exceptionally low RevPAR? – Robert
Bob: What kind of marketing department staffing levels are you hearing about out in the field? If there are skeleton crews, who is being kept? — Robert
1. Today’s hotel is tomorrow’s coronavirus hospital
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the US hotel industry is finally beginning to sink in.
STR noted that last week’s occupancy percentage for the group segment within the luxury and upper upscale chain scales (across the entire United States, not just a single city) was… 1%. That reflects a -96.1% drop from the same week last year. Brutal and unexpected.
That was last week. What about this week and next week?
It’s going to get worse. Don’t plan on everything being fine on Easter Sunday. That’s not a political statement – look at the numbers and decide what measures will slow the growth rate in the US. If you know of any, please drop me a note.
New daily case growth rates in Italy have finally plateaued – 12 days after their nationwide lockdown.
Below are the weekly total coronavirus case counts for China, Italy and the US – aligned by a common start date. Italy is 2 weeks ahead of the US and China is 4 weeks ahead of Italy.
The accelerating US case growth rate is scary – especially given that US Week 4 of the chart only reflects 5 out of 7 days… Look for this week’s final case count to surpass 125,000 cases by tomorrow (Saturday March 28.)
Broader testing is critical to understanding the virus’ spread, but it will raise the case counts even further. And that’s not good for inspiring people to get out and travel.
A month ago, if someone told you Expedia would be running anti-travel ads, you would have called them crazy.
Well, this week Expedia produced a commercial featuring its Hotels.combrand character Captain Obvious asking people not to travel.