5 things to know: 22 October 2020
5 things to know: 22 October 2020
22 OCTOBER 2020 9:39 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Asia/Pacific hotel execs ponder prolonged downturn
  • US unemployment claims fall
  • US hotels report lowest Q3 occupancy
  • Report shows slowing economic recovery
  • Hotels promote good ventilation systems

Asia/Pacific hotel execs ponder prolonged downturn: A new wave of COVID-19 cases has hit the Asia/Pacific region, dampening demand and leading hotel executives in the region to brace for a longer road to recovery, HNN’s Terence Baker writes.

During a panel at the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), Alan Watts, president of Asia/Pacific at Hilton, said “a lot of people are in a pathway where they really need (COVID-19) to be over.”

“There are more buyers than there are sellers, and that makes a great comment on cash burn,” he said.

U.S. unemployment claims fall: The number of new jobless claims reported in the U.S. last week fell by 55,000 to 787,000, The Wall Street Journal reports.

For the week ending 10 October, the number of people collecting unemployment benefits decreased by 1 million to 8.4 million.

“The latest weekly figures reflect revisions from California that reduced the overall number of claims in October. The Labor Department said California completed its pause in processing of jobless applications and resumed reporting actual unemployment insurance claims data,” the news outlet reports.

U.S. hotels report lowest Q3 occupancy: Data from STR, HNN’s parent company, shows that the U.S. hotel industry reported the lowest occupancy level on record during the third quarter of 2020.

Occupancy dropped 32.2% to 48%, average daily rate decreased 24.1% to $101.25 and revenue per available room declined 48.5% to $48.58.

Of the top 25 markets, Oahu Island, Hawaii, reported the lowest occupancy level at 24.1%.

Report shows slowing economic recovery: A recent report from the Federal Reserve shows that the U.S. economy grew at a “slight to modest” pace in early fall, which indicates economic recovery is slowing, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“The report found that the recovery was proceeding on separate tracks, with the manufacturing, residential housing and banking industries reporting steady growth, while consumer spending and commercial real estate remained weak,” according to the news outlet.

The report also “painted a picture of a disjointed employment situation, where many companies continued to lay off some workers while also struggling to recruit others.”

Many employers in the report attributed the employment situation to a lack of childcare and employee health concerns, which has led some companies to raise wages and offer flexible work arrangements.

Hotels promote good ventilation systems: The coronavirus pandemic raised concerns among travelers about the virus passing through air filtration systems, which has made good ventilation a talking point for hotels, The Washington Post reports.

MGM Resorts International and Four Seasons Resorts have promoted the enhancement of ventilation systems.

Some health experts say travelers should not be worried about the ventilation in their hotel room.

Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the news outlet that most transmission of the virus is a result of close interpersonal contact.

“The key question when going to hotels is not so much the ventilation, but who you’re interacting with there and where you’re interacting with people,” he said.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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