5 things to know: 7 July 2020
5 things to know: 7 July 2020
07 JULY 2020 9:26 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hotel sales fall amid pandemic
  • US pipeline up, but pandemic will have an impact
  • DC hotels report low occupancy
  • Australia closes border between two states
  • Whitbread hopes to benefit from pent-up demand

Hotel sales fall amid pandemic: Hotel transactions across the globe have “flat out tumbled” compared to 2019 and a rebound in sales is uncertain, GlobeSt reports. 

From 1 April to late June, 113 hotels have sold globally, which is an 86.7% drop from the 850 hotels that were sold in the second quarter of last year, according to data from Real Capital Analytics.

“Real Capital cautioned against betting on a market rebound as the outlook remains gloomy as a result of a still increasing (COVID-19) global infection rate and decreasing travel demand,” the news outlet reports.

U.S. pipeline up, but pandemic will have an impact: U.S. pipeline data from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now, shows the pipeline of under-construction hotel rooms was up through May, but current pandemic conditions could lead to a slowdown in openings and permanent hotel closures, HNN’s Stephanie Ricca reports.

Bobby Bowers, SVP of operations for STR, said upper midscale and midscale hotel rooms made up 62% of the under-construction pipeline as of May.

There are currently 15,400 luxury hotel rooms under construction, and “about a third of those are in just one market, Las Vegas, and the second-highest number of luxury hotel rooms under construction are in Nashville,” Bowers said.

D.C. hotels report low occupancy: Summer is usually a busy time for hotels in Washington, D.C., but the pandemic has led to a sharp drop in tourism and occupancy levels near 20%, Bisnow reports.

For the week ending 20 June, the occupancy rate for hotels in D.C. was 19.2%, data from STR shows.

“That figure, which only counts the occupancy among hotels that remain open, represents a 78.6% decrease from the same period last year. For the week ending June 13, STR pegged D.C.’s hotel occupancy at 20.4%, down 76% from last year,” the news outlet writes.

Australia closes border between two states: After a spike in COVID-19 cases in Melbourne, Australia, the country is closing its border between its two most populous states, Victoria and New South Wales, the BBC reports.

More than 95% of new cases in Australia have been recorded in Melbourne, and “until now, the two states had maintained open borders even when others had shut them,” according to the news outlet.

The closure will start on Wednesday and will restrict travel for permit holders.

Whitbread hopes to benefit from pent-up demand: Whitbread PLC currently only has about a third of its hotels open, but the company plans to reopen all of its hotels by the end of July to benefit from pent-up demand, HNN’s Terence Baker writes.

In its first-quarter trading update, Whitbread “reported on 10 June it raised £1 billion ($1.25 billion) in new capital with a fully underwritten rights issue that issued one new share for shareholders’ every two,” Baker writes.

CEO Alison Brittain said this places the company in a good position as the U.K. comes out of lockdown measures.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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