Categories
Cruises

Hotels give healthcare workers some comfort

Hotels are using their empty rooms as a force for good,
offering to house healthcare workers and other essential personnel as hospitals
across the country grapple with Covid-19 cases.

Marriott International’s Bonvoy loyalty program has launched
its Rooms for Responders initiative, working with credit card partners American
Express and JPMorgan Chase to donate up to $10 million in hotel stays at no
cost to frontline healthcare workers in the U.S. 

Bonvoy will collaborate with the Emergency Nurses
Association and American College of Emergency Physicians to identify medical
professionals in need of accommodations. The Rooms for Responders program
expects to provide an estimated 100,000 room nights to healthcare workers in
hard-hit cities like New York, Newark, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Las Vegas,
New Orleans and Washington, D.C.  

Likewise, Hilton has teamed up with American Express to
donate up to a million hotel rooms to frontline medical professionals — including
doctors, nurses, EMTs and paramedics — through May 31.

Hilton said donated rooms will be available across the
company’s Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree flags, among other brands.
Employees at participating properties will receive health and safety training
in order to mitigate risk, while rooms and common areas will continue to be
sanitized using industrial-grade cleaners.

As part of the effort, Hilton and American Express have
partnered with 10 healthcare associations, including the American Association
of Critical Care Nurses, American College of Emergency Physicians, American
Hospital Association and American Nurses Association.

“Knowing that there is a safe, clean and comfortable hotel
room waiting for you at the end of a long shift can make all the difference in
the world right now,” said Dr. William Jaquis, president of the American
College of Emergency Physicians. “The kind of compassion and caring that Hilton
and American Express are offering has never been more welcome.”

In New York, the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, the
Four Seasons New York in midtown was the first New York hotel to officially
offer free accommodations to healthcare workers.

The luxury property announced in late March that it had
partnered with a network of New York medical associations and hospitals to
house doctors, nurses and critical care personnel, welcoming its first
frontline workers on April 2. 

To allow for social distancing, the Four Seasons New York
has made 225 of its 368 rooms available to medical professionals, with the
hotel expecting to reach full capacity by the end of this week.

Stringent entry, check-in and cleaning procedures have been
put in place to protect Four Seasons New York employees and guests. Only one
person is permitted into the building at a time and each person must undergo screening,
including a temperature check. Signage and floor markings are used to designate
proper social distancing throughout the hotel. All meals are boxed and designed
to be consumed in the room.

After a guest checks out, each room will remain empty for
three consecutive days and then cleaned and disinfected by a third-party
company before being cleaned again by the Four Seasons New York housekeeping
team.  

“Our healthcare workers are working tirelessly on the front
lines of this crisis,” said Ty Warner, founder and chairman of Ty Warner Hotels
and Resorts, which owns the Four Seasons New York. “Many of those working in New York City have to travel
long distances to and from their homes after putting in 18-hour days. They need
a place close to work where they can rest and regenerate.”

In Dallas, the Statler Hotel has pledged to provide some $30,000 in accommodations and meals to medical professionals. The
property, which is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, has set aside two floors
to house healthcare personnel, with each medical worker to receive meal
vouchers for a boxed breakfast, lunch and dinner provided daily by Refined
Hospitality Concepts, which operates the Statler’s restaurants.

Sean Terry, vice president of entitlements for Statler Hotel
owner Centurion America, urged other corporate leaders to reach out to the
property’s team with donations, with the hotel willing to allocate additional
space to first responders at cost.

“It is the responsibility of all of us to find creative
solutions to the problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic,” added Terry.

The individual brand and property efforts come as the
American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) promotes its industry-wide
Hospitality for Hope initiative,
which identifies properties that have offered to provide temporary housing to
emergency and healthcare workers. The AHLA said earlier this week that more
than 15,000 hotels have joined the campaign since its launch.

Also looking to connect hotels with healthcare professionals
is Cloudbeds’ #Hospitalityhelps campaign, which has accumulated well over 1.2 million
volunteered hotel beds in its centralized repository.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Occupancies at US Hotels Are at an All Time Low


With the COVID-19 pandemic effectively halting tourism around the world, hotels are facing a rough year with extraordinarily low occupancy rates. In the U.S. specifically, STR and Tourism Economics predict that RevPAR will drop 50.6 percent this year.

a close up of a person: Concierge service desk at a hotel

STR had originally expected occupancy to only drop 0.3 percent before the United States declared a nationwide emergency. Supply and demand had been expected to increase by 2 percent.

Now, according to Travel Weekly, occupancy is expected to fall by 42.6 percent to 37.9 percent while supply and demand may drop 14.9 percent and 51.2 percent, respectively.

GALLERY: 5 ways virtual travel can alleviate anxiety 

Slide 1 of 6: These are indeed crazy times as COVID-19 continues to shake the very foundation of our world. Travel as we know it is at a hiatus. Joyously anticipated vacations have been canceled, and even future trips are up in the air. There’s no doubt these are indeed uncertain and stressful times as many of us are now sheltering in place in order to ride out the pandemic. Yes, it’s a sacrifice, but also an opportunity. This too shall pass. Even the darkest days won’t last forever. Travel is a vital aspect of life that connects our past, present and future. It’s a continuum of our journey on this planet. And now, as travel is temporarily restricted, it is the perfect time to practice, employ and enjoy virtual travel to feed our souls. Here are some great ways to do that.
Slide 2 of 6: Networks like the Travel Channel feature a variety of documentaries, reality and practical shows related to travel around the United States and abroad. Additionally, there are a number of travel shows you can stream from home.  From African animal safaris and foodie adventures to ghost hunting, paranormal experiences and off-the-beaten-path journeys, these fascinating shows have always been an inspiration to travelers. They take us to destinations unknown and motivate us to reach out and discover new places. They not only encourage us to get out there and explore our big, beautiful world, but in these days of physical isolation, they provide the perfect escape. They are safe, but also fun, entertaining, ridiculous and sometimes off-the-wall. And with so many genres out there, everybody can find their favorites.
Slide 3 of 6: Reading a good book is like taking a journey. And today, it’s not even necessary to physically visit a bookstore, since we can order travel guide reference books and even fictional travel books online. The best part is that we can research the reviews, ratings and ‘look inside’ features before we hit that ‘buy’ button.  Amazon Prime members for example with a Kindle can read travel books for free. For those of us who still love to hold the written words in our hands, there’s a host of books to choose from. Readers can zero in on a city, country or region, journey through every continent on the globe or learn about the best U.S. road trips or how to discover the destinations of a lifetime.
Slide 4 of 6: There’s nothing better than believing that life will once again get back to normal, and it will. This includes travel. I don’t know how many times family and friends have said, “We need to sit down and plan that trip but we’re just so busy.” Well, now is the perfect time to do just that. Planning travel is a perfect distraction from all the mayhem around us. Instead of doing the same old, same old, this is a chance to regroup, rethink and re-evaluate. What are some of the places you’ve always wanted to visit? Life is a gift, and the world is a treasure trove filled with exotic places, fascinating cultures and unexperienced delights. Forget those routine trips to familiar destinations. Now it’s time to up your game. If you’ve been dreaming of that trip of a lifetime, this is your opportunity to start looking and planning for it. If nothing else, it provides travelers a sense of hope and a way to exert some control in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty. And when things settle down, it will be your time to make that dream trip a reality.

Slide 5 of 6: Rather than the typical recent travel posts we’re used to seeing daily on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, this is the perfect time to highlight destinations that we as travelers have loved and memories we’ve cherished. Sharing not only makes us feel good re-living those moments, but it is also a source of inspiration to others who may not have had those experiences or traveled to that destination. Those posts may, in turn, inspire us.
Slide 6 of 6: Nothing relieves anxiety and promotes family bonding like playing a game together. There are hosts of travel trivia games on the market (and perhaps even some already in your closet) that can entertain and inspire homebound adventures. For the little ones, Candy Land is a great example of fantasy travel. Ticket to Ride provides amazing cross-country train adventures across the vast divides of a host of nations and continents. It’s also a geographic learning experience while sowing the seeds for future travel destinations. Just last year, while playing the game, our grandchildren selected Paris as their next wish-list destination. Ancient philosopher Rumi once said, “Travel brings power and love back to your life.” In these anxious times, it’s important to tap into any of the powers that we can. So, ask yourself this: Where am I headed once the COVID-19 crisis is over?

Stressful Times

These are indeed crazy times as COVID-19 continues to shake the very foundation of our world.

Travel as we know it is at a hiatus. Joyously anticipated vacations have been canceled, and even future trips are up in the air. There’s no doubt these are indeed uncertain and stressful times as many of us are now sheltering in place in order to ride out the pandemic. Yes, it’s a sacrifice, but also an opportunity.

This too shall pass. Even the darkest days won’t last forever. Travel is a vital aspect of life that connects our past, present and future. It’s a continuum of our journey on this planet. And now, as travel is temporarily restricted, it is the perfect time to practice, employ and enjoy virtual travel to feed our souls.

Here are some great ways to do that.

Watch Travel Shows

Networks like the Travel Channel feature a variety of documentaries, reality and practical shows related to travel around the United States and abroad. Additionally, there are a number of travel shows you can stream from home. 

From African animal safaris and foodie adventures to ghost hunting, paranormal experiences and off-the-beaten-path journeys, these fascinating shows have always been an inspiration to travelers. They take us to destinations unknown and motivate us to reach out and discover new places.

They not only encourage us to get out there and explore our big, beautiful world, but in these days of physical isolation, they provide the perfect escape. They are safe, but also fun, entertaining, ridiculous and sometimes off-the-wall. And with so many genres out there, everybody can find their favorites.

Order Travel Books

Reading a good book is like taking a journey. And today, it’s not even necessary to physically visit a bookstore, since we can order travel guide reference books and even fictional travel books online. The best part is that we can research the reviews, ratings and ‘look inside’ features before we hit that ‘buy’ button. 

Amazon Prime members for example with a Kindle can read travel books for free. For those of us who still love to hold the written words in our hands, there’s a host of books to choose from. Readers can zero in on a city, country or region, journey through every continent on the globe or learn about the best U.S. road trips or how to discover the destinations of a lifetime.

Plan Future Travel

There’s nothing better than believing that life will once again get back to normal, and it will. This includes travel. I don’t know how many times family and friends have said, “We need to sit down and plan that trip but we’re just so busy.”

Well, now is the perfect time to do just that. Planning travel is a perfect distraction from all the mayhem around us. Instead of doing the same old, same old, this is a chance to regroup, rethink and re-evaluate. What are some of the places you’ve always wanted to visit?

Life is a gift, and the world is a treasure trove filled with exotic places, fascinating cultures and unexperienced delights. Forget those routine trips to familiar destinations. Now it’s time to up your game.

If you’ve been dreaming of that trip of a lifetime, this is your opportunity to start looking and planning for it. If nothing else, it provides travelers a sense of hope and a way to exert some control in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty. And when things settle down, it will be your time to make that dream trip a reality.

Share Favorite Travel Memories on Social Media

Rather than the typical recent travel posts we’re used to seeing daily on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, this is the perfect time to highlight destinations that we as travelers have loved and memories we’ve cherished.

Sharing not only makes us feel good re-living those moments, but it is also a source of inspiration to others who may not have had those experiences or traveled to that destination. Those posts may, in turn, inspire us.

Play Travel Games

Nothing relieves anxiety and promotes family bonding like playing a game together. There are hosts of travel trivia games on the market (and perhaps even some already in your closet) that can entertain and inspire homebound adventures.

For the little ones, Candy Land is a great example of fantasy travel. Ticket to Ride provides amazing cross-country train adventures across the vast divides of a host of nations and continents. It’s also a geographic learning experience while sowing the seeds for future travel destinations. Just last year, while playing the game, our grandchildren selected Paris as their next wish-list destination.

Ancient philosopher Rumi once said, “Travel brings power and love back to your life.”

In these anxious times, it’s important to tap into any of the powers that we can. So, ask yourself this: Where am I headed once the COVID-19 crisis is over?

“The industry was already set for a nongrowth year; now throw in this ultimate ‘black swan’ event, and we’re set to see occupancy drop to an unprecedented low,” said Jan Freitag, STR’s senior vice president of lodging insights. “Our historical database extends back to 1987, and the worst we have ever seen for absolute occupancy was 54.6% during the financial crisis in 2009.”

While STR saw the steepest U.S. RevPAR decline in 30 years the week of March 21, Tourism Economics remains optimistic that the hotel industry will see a quick rebound once the pandemic is over. The president of Tourism Economics, Adam Sacks, predicts “the market to begin to regain its footing this summer.”

STR and Tourism Economics expect that U.S. hotel RevPAR will increase 63.1 percent in 2021, with occupancy increasing 57.3 percent to 59.7 percent and supply and demand increasing by 15.6 percent and 81.8 percent respectively.

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Categories
Cruises

Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC Partners With the City of Chicago to Provide Sanctuary During COVID-19

WHY IT RATES: Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC responds to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus by offering over 1,000 rooms to support medical professionals working amid the pandemic. – Mackenzie Cullen, Editorial Associate

Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC, an Oxford Capital Group, LLC affiliate, is supplying the City of Chicago with up to 1,100 rooms at some of its hotel properties throughout Chicagoland to support efforts against the spread of coronavirus. In addition to housing asymptomatic guests and those requiring isolation, the rooms will also provide sanctuary for first responders who are involved in the war against COVID-19.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our community, we wanted to do our part to provide a sanctuary for those who need it during this difficult time,” says John W. Rutledge, founder, president, and CEO of Oxford Capital Group, LLC and Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC. “We’re proud to help the city combat this crisis and allow our brave medical professionals to focus on their most critical patients in their hospitals.”

The hotels will also provide three meals a day. As hotels have been deemed essential businesses to house travelers, including medical personnel, Oxford maintains strict protocols across the country around sanitation procedures that help combat the spread of viruses between guests and employees. This includes frequent sanitation of high-contact points, such as elevator buttons, door handles, reception counters, and bathrooms.

“Chicago is the first city to adopt this hotel plan, and we are gratified to be able to assist the city during this difficult time,” says George Jordan, President, Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC. “In addition to helping the city, this arrangement allows Oxford to retain a number of its employees who are interested in contributing to the relief effort. It’s inspiring to see our hospitality teams come together, even when they’ve had to weather the storm themselves.”

In building this partnership, Oxford Capital Group, LLC worked with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office, organized labor including UNITE-HERE Local 1 and the Operating Engineers Local 399, and other parties, to bring an end to an 18-month strike at Hotel 166. As part of this resolution, Oxford helped craft an amended collective bargaining agreement and is simultaneously taking over management of Hotel 166, demonstrating that business, labor, and the private equity investment community can productively work together in Chicago.

In addition to Hotel 166, the partnership includes Hotel Cass, Hotel Essex, Hotel Felix, and Hotel Julian. Oxford’s hotels LondonHouse Chicago, The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, and Hotel Versey are not currently part of the agreement.

Oxford’s partners in this initiative include Fillmore Capital Partners at Hotel 166, and The Bricton Group and The Gettys Group at Hotel Felix and Hotel Cass.

For more information, visit ohrllc.com

SOURCE: Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC press release.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Top Las Vegas Hotels, Casinos Announce Temporary Closures


Las Vegas is known as one of the biggest tourist hotspots in the United States, but many of the top hotels and casinos in the city are shutting down temporarily as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

a group of people in a pool of water: The Mirage, Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, officials from both MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts announced Sunday they would temporarily close their properties in Las Vegas starting Tuesday until further notice.

MGM Resorts revealed that all casinos would be closed on Monday and hotel operations will shutter Tuesday. The hotel giant owns the Bellagio, CityCenter, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, New York-New York, Park MGM and T-Mobile Arena.

MGM Resorts will not be taking reservations for arrivals before May 1. Chairman and CEO Jim Murren released a statement about the closures:

“Despite our commitment to dedicating additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health, while making difficult decisions to close certain aspects of our operations, it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression.”

“Accordingly, we will close all of our Las Vegas properties as of Tuesday, March 17th, for the good of our employees, guests and communities. This is a time of uncertainty across our country and the globe and we must all do our part to curtail the spread of this virus. We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.”

Murren also said MGM Resorts would pay full-time employees being laid off or furloughed for two weeks from their last date of work and all health plans will continue through June 30.

For Wynn Resorts, the temporary closure of its properties would be effective Tuesday at 6 p.m. local time and is expected to remain closed for two weeks, at which point officials would reevaluate. The company said it would pay full-time Wynn and Encore employees during the shutdown.

On Sunday, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation announced its properties would remain open.

The hotel industry took another blow Monday, as the Walt Disney Company announced it would temporarily shut down all Disney stores and hotels on Tuesday, including the locations at Disney Springs in Orlando and Downtown Disney in Anaheim.

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