5 things to know: 23 September 2020
5 things to know: 23 September 2020
23 SEPTEMBER 2020 9:42 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Factors affecting US economic recovery
  • 5 hotel companies see big drop in market cap in 2020
  • Riu delivers over 22,000 hours of COVID-19 training
  • Could the pandemic eliminate resort fees?
  • Bay Area hotels to be converted to homeless shelters

Factors affecting U.S. economic recovery: There are three main factors affecting when and how the U.S. economy will recover from the COVID-19 pandemic: the path of the virus, the presidential election and whether there is another federal stimulus package passed and signed, said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist for The Economic Outlook Group, during a presentation in conjunction with The Lodging Conference’s online event, writes HNN’s Danielle Hess.

Some people are optimistic because retail sales have improved and there have been positive economic reports in the housing market, but Baumohl warned to “be very careful about having a false sense of security.”

“The reason is that an economic rebound is not the same thing as an economic recovery. It doesn’t tell us we’re on a sustainable economic recovery course right now because, again, it is the virus that is still calling the shots and will until there is a vaccine,” he said.

5 hotel companies see big drop in market cap in 2020: The combined market capitalization of five of the world’s largest hotel companies has plunged $25.2 billion since the beginning of 2020, StockApps reports.

The companies included in this number are Marriott International, Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group.

Marriott, which is the third-largest hotel chain in the study based on number of hotels, saw the biggest drop in market capitalization since the beginning of the year.

“In December, the combined value of stocks of the (company) stood at $49.51 (billion). By the end of the second quarter, it halved to $24.25 (billion). Although the company’s market cap recovered to $33.86 (billion) in September, this figure still represents a 31% plunge since the beginning of 2020,” StockApps writes.

Riu delivers over 22,000 hours of COVID-19 training: Riu Hotels & Resorts announced that is has provided its employees with 22,138 hours of online training on the prevention of COVID-19 infection, according to a news release.

The objective of the training is to keep staff and customers safe. The company launched the training program while its hotels were closed because of the pandemic. The training included webinars as well as face-to-face training on practical application and crisis management.

“As a result of this first phase of online learning, the Riu workforce has implemented the 17 safety protocols in the Riu Manual in all the hotel departments: reception, housekeeping, dining room, bar, kitchen and technical services, as well as others,” the release states.

Could the pandemic eliminate resort fees?: Some major airlines have eliminated change fees to entice more people to travel, and The Washington Post reports on whether hotels and other travel accommodations could be next to cut fees.

Some hotels have pulled back on resort fees since the pandemic hit, but “experts say not to hold your breath for the controversial resort fee to disappear widely—even though the amenities they typically cover, such as fitness centers and towel service, are closed because of the novel coronavirus,” according to the news outlet.

Bay Area hotels to be converted to homeless shelters: Millions of dollars are being injected into the San Francisco Bay Area to permanently convert some hotels into homeless shelters, with half a billion coming from federal dollars, NBC Bay Area reports.

The initiative is called Project Homekey, and Santa Clara County announced that it will receive $30 million as part of the project.

“These projects usually take years, but developers estimate this one will take months,” the news outlet reports.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

1 Comment

  • Richard Welch September 23, 2020 11:14 AM Reply

    what a waste of taxpayers money. Paying that amount of money, over 200k a key for a hotel for the homeless. They could build something better than what they are getting for half of that.

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