This week in hospitality news, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson demonstrates his true leadership with a heartfelt yet candid message to employees outlining his coronavirus crisis plan. Like Marriott and other hotel giants, short-term rental companies have not been immune to the fallout, and they face mounting criticism over widely differing cancellation and refund policies.
Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines hospitality.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
Marriott CEO Sorenson Details Crisis Contingency Plans in Emotional Address: It’s fairly certain that many Marriott International-affiliated properties will never reopen. CEO Arne Sorenson is showing leadership in being candid about the tough measures the hotel chain has to take to emerge with a business worth running when coronavirus hopefully fades.
How Should Hotels Set Room Rates Now and After the Coronavirus Crisis? Granted, this crisis is unprecedented. Yet hotels worldwide can learn lessons from how hotels have faced regional shutdowns, such as in Asia-Pacific in recent months, in Las Vegas after the shooting rampage, and elsewhere after hurricanes and financial crises. Managing room rates and marketing offers is critical to making the most of a rebound in demand.
Airbnb Mulls Cash Infusion From New Investors, Explained: Many of Airbnb’s previous funding rounds were oversubscribed. But if Airbnb indeed taps new venture capital funding, it won’t have trouble finding benefactors. Still, the company’s valuation will be considerably lower than the prior $31 billion.
Hotels and Resorts Maverick Sol Kerzner Dies: Sol Kerzner was one of the world’s most innovative hoteliers. When facing hard times or crises, he would say “you just gotta box on” — fitting words in the current times.
Hotels Face Bigger Hit Than Post-9/11 and Great Recession Combined: Hospitality Official Warns: Will the U.S.government be able to bail out everyone? The line of businesses and people hoping for relief is getting very long.
Short-Term Rental Firms Face Backlash Over Sharply Different Coronavirus Cancellation Policies: It’s a decisive moment for short-term rental companies. When it comes to coronavirus-addled short-term rental cancellation and refund policies, Airbnb sided with guests while Vrbo shrugged its shoulders to soothe property managers and owners. Who has the longer memory?
Hotels Chains Maneuver to Deal With Coronavirus Gut Punch: Major hotel chains are undertaking financial moves to get past the coronavirus crisis. But without governmental relief, it likely won’t be enough.
Singapore Hotels See Some Hope as Bookings Surge After Malaysia Lockdown: Without the spread of the coronavirus being contained or widespread travel restrictions being lifted, any increase in hotel occupancy is little more than a short-term blip.
U.S. Travelers Rush to Cancel Domestic Travel Plans: New Skift Research Poll: This was the week that broke the camel’s back. Skift Research believes that effectively all short-term bookings in the U.S. have been canceled at this point. Three weeks ago that would’ve been a shocking statement; today not so much.
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Photo Credit: The JW Marriott Austin in Texas. In an emotional video message on Thursday to Marriott International employees, CEO Arne Sorenson characterized the coronavirus crisis as more severe for the hotel chain than the Great Depression and World War II. The chain’s global business is running about 75 percent lower than normal, hundreds of hotels have closed, and some may never reopen. Marriott International
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