From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- New weekly US jobless claims fall to 1.2 million
- GM on reopening 128-year-old hotel closed by pandemic
- US hotel results for week ending 1 August
- Survey gauges Americans’ willingness to travel
- Thailand puts ‘travel bubble’ agreement on hold
New weekly US jobless claims fall to 1.2 million: Data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows initial unemployment claims for the week ending 1 August fell by a seasonally adjusted 249,000 to 1.2 million, The Wall Street Journal reports. The level of applications was the lowest since early March but still above the highest recorded before this year, which was 695,000 in 1982.
Hiring surged back in May and June for a combined 7.5 million jobs added after employers let go 21 million workers earlier in the year, the article states. The recent increase in hiring comes from employers recalling temporarily laid-off employees. St. Cloud State University labor economist Mónica García-Pérez
told the newspaper job gains won’t likely continue at this rate and future hiring is dependent upon controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If we see a new wave of cases this fall and new restrictions, you’ll see layoffs move back up,” she said.
The labor department will release July’s job report tomorrow.
GM on reopening 128-year-old hotel closed by pandemic: The 128-year-old Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver stayed open through the Great Depression, World War I and World War II, but closed temporarily for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. HNN’s Danielle Hess interviewed the hotel’s GM Nick Moschetti about his experience closing and reopening the hotel.
“The business has been better than initially expected but still very soft, relatively speaking,” Moschetti said. “Generally, in the summer months, the city of Denver has occupancies in the 80% range; we have been averaging around 40%. Without large conferences happening at the convention center, the travel restrictions on corporate travelers and the continued unknown of the future, we are seeing a definite shift in business from prior to the pandemic. We have seen more drive-in and local leisure travelers who are looking to have a unique experience closer to home.”
U.S. hotel results for week ending 1 August: Data from STR shows U.S. hotels reported continued year-over-year declines in the three key performance metrics; however, week-to-week performance has improved, with occupancy rising for 15 out of the last 16 weeks. STR is the parent company of HNN.
Occupancy dropped 34.5% year over year to 48.9% while average daily rate fell 25.3% to $100.04, resulting in revenue per available room dropping 51.1% to $48.96.
“Aggregate data for the top 25 markets showed lower occupancy (41.4%) and ADR (US$97.58) than all other markets,” the release states.
Survey gauges Americans’ willingness to travel: Roughly half of Americans would feel comfortable enough to travel again if hotels and airplanes showed evidence of “advanced sanitizing efforts” or if a proven COVID-19 vaccine is developed, CNBC reports on a survey released by travel insurance company Allianz Travel.
The survey of 4,300 travel insurance customers found that most would vacation within the U.S. and stay in hotels and resorts. Interest in popular European destinations dropped, however.
Thailand puts ‘travel bubble’ agreement on hold: Thailand’s government is delaying its plans to create a “travel bubble” with other countries in Asia as new cases of COVID-19 rise daily across the continent, Reuters reports. In 2019, Thailand received 39.8 million tourists, who spent 1.93 trillion Thai baht ($62 billion), but this year foreign arrivals dropped by 66% in the first six months of the year.
“Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea were among those considered (for a travel bubble) because those areas had a low number of cases, but now they were in double-digits so discussions were put on hold,” Thailand’s coronavirus taskforce spokesman, Taweesin Visanuyothin, told Reuters.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.