COVID-19 – What The Industry Is Saying

Trying to monitor the COVID-19 situation but feeling lost in the deluge of media coverage? Here are eight stories worth reading when considering your Revenue response to the current crisis.

The Business Impact of Coronavirus

Hotel News Now reports on what hotel company executives have said about the coronavirus on fourth-quarter and full-year earnings calls.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reported a potential adverse impact of approximately $5 million to first-quarter adjusted EBITDA and a potential adverse impact of approximately $8 million to $12 million to full-year adjusted EBITDA.

On a Q4 and full-year 2019 earnings call, Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said the potential performance impact of the coronavirus in 2020 is estimated to be a 100-basis-point drag on comparable systemwide RevPAR growth, roughly a 0.5% reduction in net unit growth, and a $25-million to $50-million hit to full-year adjusted EBITDA.

As of 11 February, Hilton had closed 150 hotels in China, totalling 33,000 rooms, due to the outbreak.

Wynn Resorts President and CEO Matt Maddox said on a call with analysts that the company is facing losses of $2.4 million to $2.6 million per day while its casino properties in Macau are closed.

Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said on a 27 February call with analysts said that RevPAR at their hotels in Greater China had declined almost 90%, versus the same period last year.

Full story at Hotel News Now.

Travel and Hotel Websites Take Hit From Slowdown

Purchases on travel planning websites have decreased by 20% and time spent on travel sites is down 14%, that’s according to digital experience analytics firm Contentsquare.

Contentsquare analysed activity on 1,400 websites, covering 1.8 billion user sessions and 50 million transactions. It found that purchases on hotel booking sites have dropped by 8% while the amount of time spent on hotel booking sites has dropped by 5%.

Meanwhile, holiday comparison website icelolly.com reported that searches had recovered to be 10% down from 20% the week before. The firm said this was a sign that confidence is returning to the market, slowly but surely.

In terms of when users are still looking to go on holiday, icelolly.com said searches for holidays after this September were still relatively strong and May and April departures were stronger than June to August.

Full story at Travolution.

Hospitality Net COVID-19 World Panel

Hospitality Net asks hoteliers and industry experts around the world to share their professional opinion on the coronavirus and its impact on our industry.

“This is a very fast-evolving situation with a little outlook on how the situation will evolve in the coming weeks. Flexibility and agility are critical. Crisis, be it economic, social, environmental or health, are to become the ‘new norm’, and we shall adapt our business model and practices to this new paradigm,” says Martin R. Smura, Chief Executive Officer of the Kempinski Group

“This will be a learning experience for many: market segmentation, geographic source of business, technology, marketing spend, these are going to be some of the key talking points in how hotels will weather situations like this in the future,” says Philip Niemann, Group Vice President - APAC at Duetto.

Full story at Hospitality Net.

Why Now Is The Time To Focus on Technology Improvement

Larry Mogelonsky, the Hotel Mogul, writes that there is perhaps an opportunity for hoteliers to expand on how their property utilizes technologies in order to ensure any business interruptions are minimized.

He highlights several significant opportunities where technology can help, including business intelligence platforms that enable revenue managers to see rate gouging in real-time and make better decisions as to how to adjust appropriately.

He also advises hoteliers to use this downtime to “finally set up those software integrations that will take your operational efficiency to the next level.”

Full story at Hotel Technology News.

How Can Hotels Navigate The Coronavirus?

80 Days advises hotels: don’t stop marketing your hotel but do adapt your approach.

Data from the 80 Days hotel benchmarking tool shows that people are still actively looking at hotels, but perhaps don’t have the confidence to book right now.

City properties are the most affected, with a 15% drop in bookings and a 20% drop in revenue for city-based properties. Results are largely flat for country-based properties and resorts.

Full story at 80 Days.

How Travel Companies Are Taking Coronavirus Precautions

Earlier this month an employee at Travel Republic, a large online travel agency based in the UK and owned by Dnata, tested positive for coronavirus.

The company acted swiftly, closing the office the following morning, undertaking a deep clean, and implementing flexible working arrangements for staff. A day later the office reopened.

However, for a hotel or an airline it’s much harder to arrange for staff to work from home compared with, say, an online travel agency.

Skift takes a look at the actions being taken by hotel chains such as Accor and Hilton and tourism firms such as TUI Group.

Full story at Skift.

Singapore Tourism Board Focusing On Post-Coronavirus Strategy

Singapore Tourism Board responded swiftly to the challenges of COVID-19, putting in place measures to assist the industry, as well as assembling a Tourism Recovery Action Taskforce.

The city-state is focusing on quality tourism, with Keith Tan, CEO of Singapore Tourism Board telling Web In Travel that destinations need to “Dig deep into your brand equity and solidify it.”

Full story at Phocuswire.

UK Hotels Seek Emergency Government Help

Bookings for hotels and big events are down by as much as 50% in the UK, according to Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality.

The hospitality trade association is calling on the UK Government to provide emergency business support in the form of a business rate holiday and a cut VAT to prompt demand.

Full story at Skift.

Sarah McCay Tams, Director of Content, EMEA

Sarah joined Duetto in 2015 as a contributing editor covering Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA). In 2017, she was promoted to Director of Content, EMEA. An experienced B2B travel industry journalist, Sarah spent 14 years working in the Middle East, most notably as senior editor – hospitality for ITP Publishing Group in Dubai, where she headed up the editorial teams on Hotelier Middle East, Caterer Middle East and Arabian Travel News. Sarah is now based back in the UK.

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