5 things to know: 14 January 2021
5 things to know: 14 January 2021
14 JANUARY 2021 10:58 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Airbnb cancels, blocks DC-area reservations next week
  • Palisociety acquires Arrive Hotels & Restaurants
  • Whitbread stops job cuts, defends rent reductions
  • US weekly hotel results
  • Initial US jobless claims jumped by almost 1 million

Airbnb cancels, blocks D.C.-area reservations next week: In advance of next week’s presidential inauguration, Airbnb has canceled and blocked all reservations in the Washington, D.C., area from 15-21 January because of threats of violence similar to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on 6 January, The New York Times reports. The company will refund guests and reimburse hosts.

Earlier this week, Airbnb said it was reviewing reservations in the area and canceling those found to be made by people involved with extremist or hate groups but expanded its efforts days later, the article states. The company has also banned “numerous individuals” associated with hate groups or those involved with the attack on the Capitol.

Palisociety acquires Arrive Hotels & Restaurants: Palisociety announced it has acquired Arrive Hotels & Restaurants as well its collection of five properties currently under development, according to a news release.

“2020 ushered in a heightened level of creative thinking in our industry and we’ve become more inspired and encouraged than ever by the long-term potential of the boutique hospitality sector,” said Avi Brosh, founder and CEO of Palisociety, in the release. “Today’s traveler wants an experience that feels authentic and engaging, and by adding Arrive to our platform, we’ve enhanced our ability to bring that level of care and attention to the devoted fans of Palisociety branded hotels.”

Whitbread stops job cuts, defends rent reductions: During Whitbread PLC’s latest earnings call, company officials said conditions have improved enough that they will not go through with another round of job cuts, reports HNN’s Terence Baker. The company, which owns the Premier Inn brand, announced in September 2020 it would need to cut more than 6,000 jobs, but now that number is only about 1,500.

“We were really pleased the outcome was not as high,” said CEO Alison Brittain. “In law, you have to publish the highest number, and we worked very hard to find different ways to find savings in our operations. We thought there might have been a phase two of redundancies (this month), but we have now closed down that program.”

US hotel results for week ending 9 January: According to data from STR, parent company of HNN. Occupancy fell 28.3% year over year to 37% while average daily rate dropped 27.1% to $87.97, resulting in revenue per available room decreasing by 47.7% to $32.59.

While New Year’s travel helped lift the previous week’s occupancy, TSA checkpoint counts and hotel demand each dropped by approximately 1.3 million following the holidays.

Compared to all other U.S. markets, aggregate data for the top 25 markets showed lower occupancy (35.8%) but higher ADR ($93.85).

Initial U.S. jobless claims jumped by almost 1 million: New data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows initial jobless claims rose by nearly 1 million last week, The Wall Street Journal reports. Declines in household spending, household income and new- and existing-home sales, along with other factors, point to a possible economic slowdown.

However, “seasonal quirks” and the second COVID-19 relief package approved in December could be influencing the numbers, the newspaper reports. The number of initial claims and those who receive state benefits usually increase in the first week after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

“Any decrease we saw over the last two weeks we should view as artificial, either because offices were closed [during the holidays] or states were trying to implement the new extension,” said Elizabeth Pancotti, policy adviser at Employ America, referring to the bill that President Trump signed 27 December.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten. 

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