From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- EU proposes €750 billion recovery plan
- Hawaii’s hotel occupancy rate in April was 9%
- How the pandemic could shift hotel design
- Wall Street, consumer sentiment far out of sync
- Two tropical storms form before start of hurricane season
EU proposes €750 billion recovery plan: The European Union has issued a €750 billion ($824 billion) recovery plan and €1.1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) budget proposal to improve the economies of member nations, The Wall Street Journal reports. The plan would allow members to make “significant new transfers of wealth” amongst themselves with €750 billion in commonly issued EU debt.
The goal is to provide aid for the countries hit the hardest, such as Italy, Spain and Greece, without increasing their “soaring debt levels,” the article states. Those who borrow would have to repay the debt over several decades starting in 2028.
All EU counties must approve the plan for it to go into effect, the newspaper reports. Several wealthier countries, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Sweden, dubbed the “frugal four,” are wary of “putting their taxpayers on the hook to repay EU debt issued to fund major spending in the bloc’s south.”
Hawaii’s hotel occupancy rate in April was 9%: The islands of Hawaii are welcoming only hundreds of visitors each day, and many of those arriving are staying with friends and family, not at hotels, HawaiiNewsNow reports. As a result, hotels in the state reported an occupancy rate of 9% in April.
While average daily rate was $131, the revenue per available room was about $12, the article states. Hotel revenue in the state dropped by 97% in April to about $10 million, the news outlet reports, citing the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Many hotels closed because of the pandemic, dropping room supply by 45%, which means if all rooms were available, the occupancy rate would be lower.
How the pandemic could shift hotel design: Hoteliers and hotel designers are adjusting to the new safety requirements created in response to the coronavirus pandemic, changing how they are designing their spaces and how they handle guest interactions, reports HNN’s Dana Miller.
“From a social-distancing standpoint, we have looked at the way our properties operate. Every property is built differently,” RLH Corporation COO Gary Sims said. “We have spent the last 25 to 30 years designing and concepting hotels to encourage group activities. … Now it’s 180 degrees from that.”
Wall Street, consumer sentiment far out of sync: On Wall Street, stocks have mostly recovered from a drop-off at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but consumers are not nearly as optimistic, The Wall Street Journal reports. Consumer sentiment is near its lowest in almost a decade, according to survey data.
“The spread between the monthly percentage change of the S&P 500 and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey climbed to 32 percentage points last month, the widest-ever gulf in data going back to 1978, according to Dow Jones Market Data,” the newspaper reports.
The pandemic took the economy off its expansion path into a contraction, pushing unemployment to record highs. Personal income in March saw its biggest drop since 2013, and consumer spending fell at its fastest pace since 1959.
“Yet stocks have continued to rise,” the newspaper reports. “The S&P 500 has surged 34% since bottoming March 23, cutting its losses for the year to 7.4%.”
Two tropical storms form before start of hurricane season: Tropical Storm Bertha has formed off the coast of South Carolina, making it the second tropical storm to form before the official 1 June start of hurricane season in the Atlantic, AL.com reports. Tropical Storm Bertha is expected to move inland over South Carolina today and weaken. Tropical Storm Arthur formed 16 May off the state’s coast and moved north, moving by the Outer Banks before turning out to sea.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting an above-average hurricane season this year, the article states. The agency is predicting 13 to 19 named storms, including six to 10 hurricanes, three to six of which could be major.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.