5 things to know: 12 October 2020
5 things to know: 12 October 2020
12 OCTOBER 2020 9:44 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Global stocks reach five-week highs
  • New York’s landmark Roosevelt Hotel to close
  • UK hotel investors take long-term view in investments
  • Industry execs say as many as 20% of NYC’s rooms could close
  • How hoteliers became creative with meetings, events

Global stocks reach five-week highs: Reuters reports global stocks achieved five-week highs on Monday bolstered by China’s recent eight-day Mid-Autumn festival boosting tourism and investor optimism. However, investor concern remains about the rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States.

European stocks and U.S. stock futures increased 0.2% while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan grew 1% to two-and-half-year highs, led by a 3% gain in Chinese blue chips as well as a 2.2% increase in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index.

“European countries were considering adding fresh travel curbs due to rising coronavirus, a contrast to Asia-Pacific countries including Singapore, Australia and Japan, where a gradual easing of some international travel restrictions was under way,” the article states.

New York’s landmark Roosevelt Hotel to close: After nearly 100 years in business, New York City’s Roosevelt Hotel is set to permanently close this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a spokesperson told CNN.

The hotel, named after President Theodore Roosevelt, is owned by Pakistan International Airlines. The owners cited the unprecedented pandemic and subsequent drop in business in New York City as factors for deciding to shut down the hotel.

Throughout its history, the hotel has been featured in films such as “Maid in Manhattan,” “Malcolm X” and “Wall Street,” and was the election headquarters for New York Governor Thomas Dewey “when he incorrectly announced he defeated Harry Truman in the 1984 presidential election,” CNN writes.

U.K. hotel investors take long-term view in investments: Investors are staying committed to the United Kingdom hotel industry’s outlook despite parts or all the country possibly facing a second COVID-19 lockdown, writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker from the recent Annual Hotel Conference.

During a panel titled “The new U.K. investment landscape,” speakers discussed what’s next for the U.K.’s hotel segment. Desmond Taljaard, managing director of hotels at London & Regional Properties, said the hospitality sectors remains attractive to investors despite risks.

“It depends what your assets are, but too risky? As opposed to what—retail, oil-drilling?” he said. “As long as you have the commitment to research and operational capability.”

Munira Nathoo, director of Beverley Holdings Group, said her firm’s investment strategy has not changed despite the fluid situation.

“In August, we saw green shoots coming in the budget sector, and if you have a well-located asset, the fundamentals are the same across what will be a short-term blip,” she said. “It is not a risky sector, although (meetings, incentives, conventions and expositions) hotels will see a longer recovery period.”

Industry execs say as many as 20% of NYC’s rooms could close: In a typical year, New York City generates about $70 billion in economic activity. But this year, with events like Fashion Week and the New York City Marathon cancelled and virtually no business or international travel coming in, more than 200 of the city’s nearly 700 hotels have been forced to temporarily close, Bloomberg reports.

Though things are better now than at the start of the pandemic in March, it’s still historically bad. In the U.S., roughly 870,000 hotel employees are out of work and thousands of hotels may never reopen. Industry executives say as many as 20% of New York City’s rooms could permanently close.

“The problem isn’t just the cancellation of mass events. Risk-averse corporate travel departments are keeping employees from hitting the road. Government travel restrictions that require visitors from many states to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in New York pose another huge barrier for tourists and corporate travelers alike,” the article states.

How hoteliers became creative with meetings, events: Some hotels have proven to be nimble and creative in safely holding conferences and weddings over the past few months, Forbes reports.

David Sacco, director of event management for the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado, said travelers have pent-up demand and his hotel has already hosted multiple events ranging from 24 to 2,000 people.

Some ways hoteliers are getting creative with keeping guests safe at these events include a color-coded bracelet system, like at the Fairmont Austin, which indicate peoples’ “confidence with being approached so guests know when to elbow bump or steer clear all together,” the article states.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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