5 things to know: 1 July 2020
5 things to know: 1 July 2020
01 JULY 2020 9:47 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Survey finds 44% of Americans planning travel in 2020
  • US economy recovery slows with increase in COVID-19 cases
  • Hotels reopen pools with new safety measures
  • EU approves limited lifting of travel restrictions
  • California hotels house more than 14,000 homeless people

Survey finds 44% of Americans planning travel in 2020: A survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association found 44% of Americans are planning overnight vacation or leisure travel in 2020, according to a news release. Of those expectant travelers, 68% said they are likely to stay in a hotel this year.

Among those planning to travel, 59% said they expect to take their first overnight trip by the end of the summer, the news release states. Seventy-two percent plan to take an overnight vacation by car over the next five months, and 75% expect to drive two or more hours.

Fifty-five percent of those expecting to travel will do so for a family event, such as wedding or family reunion, the release states. The holidays are another source of travel, with 50% saying they plan to travel for Christmas, 43% for Thanksgiving, 33% for Independence Day and 30% for Labor Day.

U.S. economy recovery slows with increase in COVID-19 cases: The U.S. economy is showing signs of struggle after recovering from April into June as the number of new COVID-19 cases has grown in several states, The Wall Street Journal reports. It’s possible consumers in the affected states might be pulling back, the effect of the federal stimulus checks has run out or it’s a pause after some workplaces could reopen.

Several data sources are showing that there was a V-shaped plunge and partial recovery, but economic activity has flatlined, the article states.

“It was a straight line up for the better part of two months,” said Aneta Markowska, chief economist at financial services company Jefferies. “So this is definitely a notable slowdown that began around 17 June.”

Hotels reopen pools with new safety measures: Hotels are beginning to reopen their pools as restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic are lifting, writes HNN’s Danielle Hess. To keep guests and employees safe, however, the rules for pool use are changing.

MGM Resorts International has opened all its pools at its open hotels in Las Vegas, said John Flynn, MGM Resorts’ VP of administration and health and safety advisor, via email. All pool areas are operating at 50% occupancy, and the hotels are following the guidelines set by the CDC and state of Nevada.

“Pool lounge chairs have been placed six feet apart between groups of guests to follow appropriate physical distancing measures,” he said. “In addition to having our employees trained to offer assistance, we have placed signage around each property to easily provide guests with guidance on keeping safe distancing. Guests also are encouraged to review our detailed Seven-Point Safety Plan on (our website).”

EU approves limited lifting of travel restrictions: The Council of the European Union has approved the gradual lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel from a list of non-EU countries, according to a news release. The United States is not one of the countries on the list.

The council intends to review and update the list of approved countries every two weeks, the release states. To be included on the list, the EU will look at each country’s epidemiological situation and containment measures as well as economic and social considerations.

California hotels house more than 14,000 homeless people: Hotels in California have taken in more than 14,000 homeless Californians during the coronavirus pandemic, The Mercury News reports. The state government set up the Project Roomkey initiative with the goal of having 15,000 rooms available for homeless residents who tested positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to it or are susceptible to it for various reasons.

Eighty-five percent of the rooms in California reserved for people who do not have the virus but are likely to experience more severe symptoms have been filled, the article states. The state has leased 293 hotels and motels in 52 of California’s 58 counties.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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