5 things to know: 6 July 2020
5 things to know: 6 July 2020
06 JULY 2020 9:34 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hotel openings serve as hope for travel industry
  • UK hotels reopen with demand shifts in mind
  • South Koreans protest quarantined hotel guests
  • Outlook on reopening in Caribbean, LatAm
  • Maine hotels increase cleaning measures

Hotel openings serve as hope for travel industry: Some new hotels are opening despite the COVID-19 pandemic, raising hopes for the recovery of the travel industry, Forbes reports.

Hotels opening for the first time have had the advantage of being able to adjust to enhanced cleaning procedures and new protocols before welcoming guests.

The Quirk Hotel Charlottesville had to close after only two weeks of being in operation because of the virus, but GM Matthew Brink told Forbes “now is the perfect time to open a new hotel not to just survive, but to thrive. In fact, some guests may feel safer in a new and untouched hotel.”

U.K. hotels reopen with demand shifts in mind: Hotels in the United Kingdom are reopening but plan to cater to mostly domestic business for the remainder of summer, HNN’s Terence Baker writes.

Howard Hastings, managing director of Hastings Hotels, owns and operates seven hotels in Northern Ireland, and he said “his GMs are anticipating longer stays from travelers from the Republic of Ireland and the U.K., including a greater number of families than normal at this time of year,” Baker writes.

“Northern Ireland has also controlled the pandemic well, with almost no new cases being announced. So we are well-placed to end our lockdowns in a controlled and timely manner,” he said, adding he expects most hotels in the region to open for food and beverage on 3 July, with approximately 50% offering rooms on that date.

South Koreans protest quarantined hotel guests: At the Ramada hotel in Yongin, South Korea, 300 foreigners are being quarantined for two weeks and locals are protesting their stays, The New York Times reports.

Protesters have been creating a disturbance with drums, brass gongs and loud music, the article states.

“They are local residents, angry that the government chose a hotel in their neighborhood as a quarantine site,” the news outlet reports.

Outlook on reopening in Caribbean, LatAm: Hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America are starting to reopen, and sources on a recent webinar said they are optimistic the appeal of the region will drive demand, writes HNN’s Dan Kubacki.

Playa Hotels & Resorts Chairman and CEO Bruce Wardinski said the labor model of all-inclusive hotels is better suited to operate during and after the pandemic.

“For example, elevators: Every hotel anywhere in the world is going to have to be going in every hour and wiping down the elevator,” Wardinski said. “Well, we do that every hour anyway because people are coming in with wet feet and sand. We’re probably doing our elevators every half hour to begin with. In many ways, the fact that we are labor-intensive is helpful to us.”

Maine hotels increase cleaning measures: Hotels in Maine are going to “extreme lengths” to keep hotels clean and guests safe, the Press Herald reports.

At the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine, physical payments are not taken, and everything must be paid in advance.

Guests are given a white paper bag from an attendant wearing a mask which has their room keys and everything else needed for their stay, the news outlet writes.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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