Hotel Wrap: Marriott sees signs of China recovery, Crown’s staff support + MORE!

Keen for some uplifting hospitality news? Take the elevator up to this week’s Hotel Wrap.

Marriott International provides business performance update

Marriott encompasses a portfolio of some 7,000 properties under 30 brands across the globe

Marriott has withdrawn its financial outlook for 2020 due to uncertainties surrounding the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19); however, it believes there are very early signs of improvement in Greater China, as workers return to their jobs at its hotels.

The number of closed hotels in Greater China has declined from more than 90 hotels a month ago to under 30 today. While occupancy levels in Greater China are still under 15 per cent today, this is an improvement, Marriott said, and trend lines are pointing in the right direction.

In the rest of the world, where the situation is much more recent, the trend lines for Marriott are still negative. North America and Europe have seen occupancy levels below 25 per cent over the last few days, compared to around 70 per cent a year ago.

The company said it could see further erosion in performance in the weeks ahead and does not expect to see material improvement until there is a sense that the spread of the virus has moderated.

However, while there have been historically high levels of cancellations for stays through the first half of this year, there have not yet been meaningful group cancellations for 2021 related to COVID-19, Marriott said. Many group customers are at least tentatively rebooking for later in 2020.

Otahuna Lodge cuts tariffs in half to promote NZ domestic tourism

Otahuna Lodge drawing room (supplied)

Otahuna Lodge is calling on its fellow kiwis to showcase their support for domestic tourism by experiencing the nation’s very best with a once-in-a-lifetime offer.

“For 125 years Otahuna has stood witness to both New Zealand’s highs and lows. With that history comes the knowledge that we’re a pretty supportive, resilient lot here in Aotearoa,” the company said.

The best offer in the Lodge’s history, the “Back Your Backyard” rate gives New Zealanders the opportunity to enjoy more than 50 per cent off the lodge’s normal tariffs.

The per person tariff of $599 (incl. GST) is valid until 30 May 2020 and encompasses the following inclusions:

  • Upgrade to a Master Suite based upon availability
  • Pre-dinner drinks with canapés
  • An exquisite 4-course, set menu dinner served with a complimentary bottle of premium New Zealand wine from the lodge cellar
  • Full cooked breakfast
  • Use of all lodge facilities.

Crown announces support to employees

Crown Towers Sydney: Lobby

Crown will provide an additional 14 days of paid leave for any of its employees – whether full-time, part-time or casual – who are affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The additional leave is available to all employees who either contract COVID-19, or who have come into close contact with a confirmed case.

In addition, the leave will also be available to employees who are providing care to a member of their family because of coronavirus – supplementing existing carer’s leave policy.

It comes as Crown amends its social distancing policies at Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth to revise the restriction on the number of patrons in individual food and beverage, banqueting and conference facilities from 450 persons to 100 persons.

This followed consultation with the Victorian and Western Australian Governments.

Fiji’s Turtle Island celebrates 40th anniversary with a traditional blessing

Turtle Island, a private luxury Fijian island in the Yasawa Group, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

A traditional ceremony honouring the seven Chiefs of the Nacula tikina, the local area to which Turtle Island belongs, was held recently to mark the milestone.

American entrepreneur and eco-visionary Richard Evanson was honoured during the event for his untiring work in creating a strong local community among the seven local villages on the three neighbouring islands.

Hotels and their workers supported by stimulus: TAA

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) CEO Michael Johnson has commended the Federal Government for its $17.6 billion economic stimulus, and said it would provide timely support to Australia’s accommodation sector and the many workers it employs.

Among his comments, Johnson said small and medium-sized accommodation providers would benefit from the announced immediate cash flow support payments of up to $25,000, “which is vitally important to many businesses impacted by both COVID-19 and the summer bushfires”.

“The $1.3 billion being made available to provide wage subsidies to businesses employing apprentices and trainees is particularly welcomed by the accommodation sector, which invests heavily in recruiting and training the workforce of tomorrow,” Johnson said.

TAA said the industry is set to endure its toughest period in decades over the next few months, but is “resilient” and “will recover”.

Update: Easter at DoubleTree by Hilton – Flinders Street Melbourne

In light of recent events and based on advice from state and national regulatory authorities, DoubleTree by Hilton – Flinders Street has decided to cancel the ‘Bunny Sweet’ event held on Easter Saturday, 11 April 2020.

In support of the local travel industry, DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne is offering a special Easter upgrade to its ‘Weekend Staycation Package’ during the month of April.

Book an overnight stay and receive an Easter welcome cocktail and treat, and receive a complimentary room upgrade (subject to availability).

NSW Government support package falls short for the Tourism sector: AAoA

The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of a $2.3 billion economic stimulus package as a “good first step”.

However, the association said it falls short of recognising the impact of the federal and state emergency measures, which have led to mass cancellations of domestic and international bookings.

“The NSW government’s response in providing a $450 million waiver of payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million might have been right for that moment in time, but it is no longer adequate for the situation that has unfolded this week,” CEO Dean Long said.

The association said it looked forward to working with government to develop a package that recognises the escalation of impacts and introduces measures that ensure accommodation businesses stay open, keep staff employed and protects future investment.

Meanwhile, adding to this were comments from the Australian Hotels Association Western Australia (AHA WA), which said it is “incumbent on banks and financial lenders to work closely with businesses to ensure doors remain open”.

Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa unveils Garden Bure upgrade: WRD

Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa (supplied)

Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa is excited to unveil a sleek upgrade to its Garden Bure room category, further elevating the prestigious Fijian property.

World Resorts of Distinction (WRD) resort marketing director Nina Coulson said all seven Garden Bures have been updated and offer guests a stylish accommodation option in the serenity of the property’s tropical grounds.

“The interiors of the Garden Bures are light and bright with pops of tropical patterns, while beautiful textures such as rattan light pendants and woven accent chairs add a coastal-cool feel to the rainforest hideaways,” she said.

Garden Bure room

“Guests will enjoy the sound of the birds from their private rock-walled shower and can spend the day in their private courtyard reading on a daybed or taking in the view over a sunset cocktail.”

Travellers can enjoy Koro Sun Resort’s newly-refurbished rooms with the resort’s 30 per cent off offer, staying five nights in Garden Bure from FJ$3,015 ($2,322) per couple. Sale ends 30 April 2020.

Featured image: Otahuna Lodge (supplied)


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