Article Summary:

From the desks of the Hotel News Now Editorial staff:

  • UK quarantine rules dismay businesses
  • Bank of England boss warns business of possible no deal
  • US government puts pressure on Marriott to exit Cuba
  • Asian owners not offloading assets, for now
  • IHG signs luxury Rome hotel in sign of confidence

Primary Category: 5 Things to Know

Secondary Categories: News

U.K. quarantine rules dismay businesses: The United Kingdom today imposed its new regulation that those entering the country must quarantine for 14 days. The new rules include returning Brits but exclude travelers from the Republic of Ireland. Businesses have said the rule is unenforceable and lacks teeth, according to the BBC. Sky News added that two of the largest airlines operating in the U.K. and Europe, British Airways and Ryanair, are proposing legal action to stop the quarantine scheme.

Other countries have taken more business-like approaches. In May, Austria introduced at its major gateway, its international airport in its capital, Vienna, an instant COVID-19 test. Results, which will be available within three hours, are available for both those arriving and departing and costs €190 ($215).

Bank of England boss warns business of possible no deal: In a call with major firms and financial organizations in the U.K., Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has warned that businesses “ready for the possibility that the U.K. and (European Union) fail to agree (to) a free trade deal by the end of the year,” according to the BBC.

While the U.K. has officially left the EU, the two entities have continued trade under temporary “transition period” rules that expire at the end of 2020.

Ongoing negotiations have hit barriers, with the U.K. government consistently stating it will not ask for an extension in the talks. The Bank of England has said it has conducted stress tests and that “major U.K. banks have enough capitalization to withstand the shock of a no-deal Brexit.”

U.S. government puts pressure on Marriott to exit Cuba: The U.S. government reportedly is placing pressure on Marriott International to exit Cuba, according to Reuters. A Four Points by Sheraton property opened in Havana during President Barack Obama’s administration, when the former president sought to normalize relations with the Caribbean island nation. Marriott was the first U.S. hotel company to start operations in Cuba since 1959.

But current President Donald Trump has taken a harder line against Cuba, tightening long-standing embargo restrictions in an effort to “pressure the island into democratic reform and to stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.”

Marriott International issued an official statement confirming it “has been notified by the U.S. Department of Treasury that we must wind down our operation of the Four Points Sheraton in Havana, Cuba by 31 August, and that we will not be permitted to open other hotels in Cuba that have been in preparation. We entered the Cuban market in 2016, with permission from the U.S. government. Our operating license was reviewed and renewed in 2018. We have recently received notice that the government-issued license will not be renewed, forcing Marriott to cease operations in Cuba.

“Marriott continues to believe that Cuba is a destination that travelers, including Americans, want to visit. Marriott looks forward to reopening in Cuba if and when the US Government gives us permission to do business there again.”

Asian owners not offloading assets, for now: With Asia being the first continent to experience the COVID-19 crisis and emerge from it, the continent might be a good testing ground for what will happen in terms of hotel sales and deals, but panelists in a virtual conference session titled “HICAP 6x8: Recovery Top of Mind” said owners are not rushing to offload assets, Hotel News Now’s Dan Kubacki reports.

Transactions might become more plentiful in the second half of the year, panelists said. Mike Batchelor, CEO of Asia for business advisory JLL, said “there’s certainly a lot of opportunistic buyers who are circling, but we’re not seeing a lot of owners put assets to the market. I use the analogy ‘nobody wants to catch a falling knife.’”

IHG signs luxury Rome hotel in sign of confidence: InterContinental Hotels Group has signed a luxury hotel on the Via Vittorio Veneto, one off Rome’s most august streets, which IHG officials believe is a “welcome sign of confidence in the Italian tourism industry at this challenging time,” according to a news release.

Slated to open in 2022, the InterContinental Rome will have 160 rooms and is in a neo-Renaissance building designed at the beginning of the last century. It formerly was the Ambasciatori Palace Hotel. The project’s owners and investors are Oaktree Capital Management and UniCredit S.p.A under a new real-estate investment fund managed by Milan-based Castello SGR. The operator will be Westmont Hospitality Group.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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Headline: 5 things to know: 8 June 2020

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Article Time: 10:08:00 AM