5 things to know: 13 May 2020
5 things to know: 13 May 2020
13 MAY 2020 9:42 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Businesses struggle with federal aid rule changes
  • As Spain reopens, hoteliers weigh options
  • Extended-stay segment resilient in Q1
  • Oyo’s hotels open back up
  • Travel trends post-COVID-19

Businesses struggle with federal aid rule changes: The Paycheck Protection Program has allotted around $670 billion already to small businesses struggling to stay afloat and offset losses during the coronavirus pandemic. Some business owners, however, have expressed difficulties “wading through a thicket of rule changes to determine whether they still qualify,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

Since the program rolled out in April, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration has issued nine “interim final rules” as well as “frequently asked questions” comprised of more than 40 items. The latest updates occurred last week following more than four million loan approvals totaling more than $500 billion, the article states.

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hinted the government is considering additional technical fixes to the program.

As Spain reopens, hoteliers weigh options: The government of Spain is considering reopening its economy in phases, potentially including hotels on 1 July, but hoteliers are looking for more clarification on the rules, reports Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

Even if the government lifts restrictions on 1 July, with continued requirements for social distancing, it’s likely not all hotel rooms could be operational, and only 30% of outdoor restaurant, bar, terrace and other public spaces could be used. Some hoteliers in Spain said that might not make economic sense.

“With 30%, some say this is like a joke, as restaurants cannot possibly cover costs. … The summer season is gone,” said Inmaculada Ranera, managing director for Spain and Portugal at business advisory Christie & Co. “Some hotels were initially thinking of opening from September onwards, but the general sentiment in the Balearic Islands is not to open until next year. The Canary Islands enjoy a very strong winter season, so there is hope there, and urban hotels will likely to be the ones that will reopen between July to September.”

Extended-stay segment resilient in Q1: According to the latest research from The Highland Group, the U.S. extended-stay hotel segment is weathering the COVID-19 downturn “better than the overall hotel industry.”

The group’s research shows only about 5% of extended-stay hotel rooms in the U.S. are closed. Though the segment recorded its largest quarterly room revenue decline on record, “it was less than 70% the decline for all hotels,” according to The Highland Group.

“The reopening of mid-price and upscale extended-stay hotels will increase competition within the sector but should limit falls in overall extended-stay hotel (average daily rate) and help keep (revenue per available room) declines lower than the overall hotel industry,” said Mark Skinner, partner at The Highland Group.

Oyo’s hotels open back up: Oyo Hotels & Homes said 70% of its hotels in China are open and operating, and the company plans to open its remaining hotels within the next 30 to 45 days, Business Insider reports.

Oyo has 500,000 rooms in China, and in full-year 2019, Oyo China contributed to $307 million of the company’s global revenue, the article states. As China begins to reopen, Oyo is also seeing signs of recovery.

“We have seen a consistent and consecutive occupancy rise in the last five weeks. We are witnessing over 50% occupancy levels in South China in comparison to North China,” a company spokesperson told Business Insider.

Travel trends post-COVID-19: Travel experts outlined potential trends to look for in a post-COVID-19 era, including growing demand for domestic travel reachable by car and overnight stays in private rental properties opposed to hotels and resorts, CNBC reports.

“We see a much better recovery and occupancy for drive-to destinations,” said Omer Rabin, managing director for the Americas at Guesty. “People say, ‘We don’t know what’s going to happen with flights, but we do know that we’re going to be able to get in the car and drive for three hours and have our own place and stay there for two weeks.’”

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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