5 things to know: 29 September 2020
5 things to know: 29 September 2020
29 SEPTEMBER 2020 9:31 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Global coronavirus deaths rise above 1 million
  • Brand execs predict more LatAm indie conversions
  • Fitch pins hotels recovery on high-end upswing
  • Irish hoteliers call for government help
  • Demo of collapsed Hard Rock hotel causes fire

Global coronavirus deaths rise above 1 million: According to research from Johns Hopkins University, the global death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic now has passed the 1 million mark, with deaths in the U.S., Brazil and India making up nearly 50% of the total, writes the BBC.

The media outlet reported that the U.S. has recorded more than 7 million cases, equivalent to more than one-fifth of the global total. The virus has been spreading fast in India, too, with the country recording approximately 95,500 cases a day earlier in September.

Brand execs predict more LatAm indie conversions: Hotel brand executives speaking during the recent CHRIS+HOLA Connect online conference said they believe owners of independent hotels in Latin America will be drawn to brands’ distribution channels during this low-demand environment, reports Hotel News Now’s Sean McCracken.

“I’m a big believer in diversifying your channels,” said Mario Carbone, managing director of Mexico and Central America for Hilton. “If I’m an independent heavily reliant on the (online travel agencies) or an independent all-inclusive (resort) heavily reliant on the wholesalers, it can be a risky game on the long term. You are at their mercy, and you’re unable to revenue-manage because you just have that one channel.”

Fitch pins hotels recovery on high-end upswing: The post-pandemic revenue recovery trajectory for U.S. hotels will be slower than originally anticipated if there is no meaningful rebound in upper-tier hotel demand, according to financial advisory Fitch Ratings. In a new analysis, the credit ratings agency said it is “tempering our U.S. revenue per available room outlook for the sector in 2021 but are maintaining our forecasts for 2020, as second-quarter 2020 was generally in line with our expectations.” It does not predict an upswing in high-end hotel performance in the short term.

Fitch said that across the industry, liquidity is ample, there is concerted effort on controlling costs and good access to capital access has enabled companies “to take advantage of improved market conditions over the past few months.”

Irish hoteliers call for government help: Irish hoteliers are requesting help from the government as occupancy crashes in the country, reports the Irish Hotel Federation. The organization’s latest findings report occupancy is predicted to be 23% for October and only 12% for November.

Approximately 100,000 jobs have been lost in the Irish lodgings and hospitality business, IHF reports.

With a new budget due next month, IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane said “it is now ‘make or break time.’ Urgent and unprecedented intervention from the government is required to support tourism businesses and safeguard thousands of jobs.”

Demo of collapsed Hard Rock hotel causes fire: Demolition work of the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel construction project in New Orleans caught roofing material on fire, reports local news channel 4WWL. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire before anyone was injured.

The New Orleans Fire Department found that sparks from workers cutting through steel girders caused the roofing material to catch fire, the article states. The hotel had been under construction until last October when it collapsed and killed three workers.

Compiled by Terence Baker and Bryan Wroten.

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