Covid19 live blog roundup: Hotels get to grips with coronavirus emergency

by | 14 Aug 2020 | General News

We summarise updates shared on the TOPHOTELNEWS Covid19 live blog to draw a picture of how the international hotel industry is negotiating the ongoing crisis.

The international hospitality industry has been sent into a tailspin with the sudden onslaught of the coronavirus crisis. From lockdowns to travel bans and border closures, hotels are having to navigate more uncertain waters than ever before.

Our team has been tracking in real-time how the industry is reacting to the continuing crisis, and here we recap some of the recent activity around the world, focusing on positive developments in particular.

Back in business

Many hotels and hoteliers worried about the long-term impact of Covid19 on their industry will doubtless have been heartened to see countless properties returning around the world. In this vein, the sector received a boost from the UK, with the news that the highly regarded Rosewood London is reopening on 1 September 2020.

Over in Asia, two Waldorf Astoria properties are on the comeback trail. Paul Hutton, VP operations, South East Asia at Hilton, explained: “Yesterday marked a big milestone for us as our two halo Waldorf Astoria properties in South-East Asia reopened to guests.”

Meanwhile, a Cartoon Network-themed hotel is welcoming guests once again in the US, and Dream Hotel Group has announced that six of its lifestyle properties across the country are now back open.

Tackling Covid19 head on

Speaking of the emerging coronavirus fightback, Barceló Hotels & Resorts is one of the latest high-profile names to join a new cleanliness programme in the hope of instilling trust among guests. It has signed up to the HRS Clean & Safe Protocol, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to health and safety.

Elsewhere, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has issued a press release about face coverings, saying that they will be a requirement for both staff and guests as of 10 August. Face masks have become a hotly debated topic in the US, so it’s encouraging to hear a hotel group taking a definitive stance on the matter. ”We all must play a role in slowing the spread of Covid19,” said Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “This is a simple step we can take to help protect guests, team members, franchisees, and the countless communities we serve.”

Switching our attention to another of America’s biggest hotel groups, Hilton has launched a new event-planning solution, the Hilton EventReady Flexible Offer, which should help customers weather the uncertainty of organising meetings during the pandemic. And while we’re on the subject of events, the SAHIC 2020 tourism investment conference for Latin America will now be held virtually, with Arturo Garcia Rosa, president and founder of SAHIC, saying: “The crisis we are facing due to the Covid19 outbreak has become a day-to-day challenge. As part of the industry, we feel the need to send out an encouraging message and facilitate encounter and close exchange between all members of our community.”

All of this comes after the UNWTO announced that 40% of the world’s tourist destinations have now eased travel restrictions, making it possible for tourism numbers to pick up once again.