5 things to know: 19 October 2020
5 things to know: 19 October 2020
19 OCTOBER 2020 9:34 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hotels reconfigure outdoor spaces to meet demand
  • TSA screens over 1 million travelers
  • Stock indexes up at beginning of the week
  • Virginia hotels shelter homeless
  • Hotels chains still growing in Africa

Hotels reconfigure outdoor spaces to meet demand: During the pandemic, hoteliers are reimagining outdoor spaces to meet guest demand, HNN’s Dana Miller writes.

Suzie Hall, founder and president of design firm The Cornerstone Collective, said hoteliers need to find ways to optimize outdoor spaces and seating, even during the off-seasons.

“Many owners and operators have been really focusing on social and physical distancing options but to the point that it’s (become) … almost solo and individual. The reality is that for non-business travel, there’s typically more than one person (traveling) from the same household,” she said. “It’s (a challenge) then when they’re traveling … to find options that aren’t socially distanced.”

TSA screens over 1 million travelers: The Transportation Security Administration announced that it screened over 1 million passengers on Sunday at U.S. airports, which is the highest number it has seen since 17 March, The Street reports.

For the week ending on Sunday, TSA said screenings were estimated at 6.1 million, the highest since the start of the pandemic.

Airlines trading shares also rose Monday. American Airlines shares were 0.7% higher in early trading, and United’s were marked up 0.9%.

Stock indexes up at beginning of the week: U.S. stock futures rose Monday as investors are paying close attention to stimulus package talk and economic recovery in China, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 85 points, or 0.3%, in morning trading. The S&P 500 gained 0.5%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7%,” the news outlet writes.

A major stimulus package from the government is unlikely to be passed before the 3 November election, but investors are still paying attention to conversations between the White House and lawmakers “with the view that any relief offered to households or businesses before the election would be a bonus,” according to The WSJ.

Virginia hotels shelter homeless: Some areas of Virginia such as Richmond, Henrico County and Chesterfield County are working with local organizations to provide shelter in hotels to people at risk of homelessness, ABC 8 News reports.

Stimulus talks have been stalled and eviction notices are eminent for many people who lost their jobs and are struggling to pay rent, which has led to 426 people needing shelter in the last 30 days. As a result, two Richmond hotels will be used to house those who need shelter.

“The hotels are ultimately compensated by federal stimulus funding for providing the shelter to the agencies in a strategy being used by hotels across the nation — also giving opportunities for staff to work since hotels are an industry that took a hit during the pandemic,” the news outlet reports.

Hotel chains still growing in Africa: The tourism sector in Africa “has cratered” because of the pandemic, but hotel chains are still growing in that region, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Companies such as Marriott International, Accor and Radisson Hotel Group said their “African businesses are not only holding up, they are determined to stay on track with, if not grow, their footprints,” the news outlet writes.

Sub-Saharan Africa is seen as an area that’s underserved and underdeveloped in terms of hotels, and hotel companies expect demand for leisure and business to grow once the pandemic passes.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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