5 things to know: 31 January 2020
5 things to know: 31 January 2020
31 JANUARY 2020 10:36 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • How the Wuhan coronavirus could affect US travel
  • United Kingdom to leave European Union today
  • Miami hoteliers prepare for Super Bowl LIV
  • Stopping sex trafficking around Super Bowl
  • Hard Rock Las Vegas selling furniture to public

How the Wuhan coronavirus could affect US travel: The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak originating in Wuhan, China, a public health emergency of international concern Thursday, and new analysis from Tourism Economics indicates the virus could cost the U.S. travel industry $5.8 billion this year and cumulatively $10 billion through 2024, HNN’s Robert McCune writes.

On a webinar Thursday titled “U.S. economy and hotel industry 2020 outlook: Navigating the slowdown,” Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, said travelers from China to the U.S. could drop by 25% (or about 885,000 visitors) in 2020.

The analysis was modeled on the impact of the 2003 SARS virus.

United Kingdom to leave European Union today: Forty or so months since the United Kingdom voted in the Brexit referendum to leave the European Union, and through three different prime ministers, it will officially become separate from the EU this evening at 11 p.m. GMT (6 p.m. EST). It begins a transition period during which the U.K. will still adhere to many EU regulations through the end of the year, according to government news releases.

The BBC reports that during this 11-month period, rules on traveling to and from the EU are not expected to change, nor is the freedom of movement to live and work in the U.K. and EU for member-nation populations, or the conditions and rules of U.K.-EU trade. However, the U.K. will lose its membership in the EU’s political institutions and no longer have any voting rights. Many commentators state the real work begins now, with the U.K. having to negotiate trade deals with the EU, as well as with the U.S. and other third-party countries.

Miami hoteliers prepare for Super Bowl LIV: Miami is set to host the Super Bowl this weekend for the first time since 2010, and hoteliers are expecting a great turnout from the event, Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten writes.

According to STR, HNN’s parent company, the market is projected to see occupancy of 91% to 94%, average daily rate ranging between $520 and $540 over the weekend and revenue per available room of $473 to $508.

The Miami market’s high season is in February and March, and while an increase in room rates might not significantly affect year-over-year percentage changes, Super Bowl LIV is expected to push rates above already high performance.

Jacqueline Lejart, GM of the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, Autograph Collection by Marriott, in Miami Beach, said her hotel is expected to sell out from 31 January to 2 February for the event. The business mix is 30% transient and 60% group, and most guests will check out the day after the game, she said.

Stopping sex trafficking around Super Bowl: The Super Bowl brings in a lot of visitors and spending to host cities, but “the ugly truth is the Super Bowl brings a spike in human trafficking,” CBS 12 News reports.

Last year when the Super Bowl was held in Atlanta, the Federal Bureau of Investigations reported 169 human trafficking-related arrests were made, and “officials in South Florida are bracing for more of the same,” according to the news outlet.

Human trafficking training for hotel employees will soon be required by law, and so far Florida is one of five states to pass a trafficking education law. The law will take effect in Florida in January 2021.

Hard Rock Las Vegas selling furniture to the public: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is selling all of its furniture to the public before closing on 3 February. The hotel will reopen as the Virgin Hotel Las Vegas in the fall, Fox Business reports.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the sale will start on 1 February, and furniture will be sold in $400 packages and $800 packages.

“The $800 room package comes with a king or queen bed frame and headboard but the mattress and bedding aren’t included. That package also comes with two nightstands, a sofa, ottoman, end table, two lamps, a dresser, desk and chair, and two 42-inch or larger TVs,” the news outlet reports.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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