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WASHINGTON – (August 26, 2020) – A new national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) conducted by Morning Consult shows that a number of improvements to health and sanitation protocol at U.S. hotels would have considerable impact on guests' comfort levels staying there, with the top three including face coverings for employees (87% a lot/some impact) and guests (85%), suspending daily housekeeping of rooms (86%), and utilizing technology to reduce direct contact (85%), are the top priorities among frequent travelers to staying in hotels during this pandemic. These priorities align with AHLA’s Safe Stay Guest Checklist and CDC recommendations distributed on behalf of the industry. 

Other popular measures to increase a guest’s comfort level include adding transparent barriers at front desks, concierge or valet stations (82%), signage for washing hands, distancing and PPE (80%), temporarily closing amenities (77%) and floor markings to promote social distancing (77%).  The overwhelming majority of respondents indicate that these protocols would impact their comfort level, with eight out of ten (81%) frequent travelers responding that they feel comfortable staying in a hotel that has implemented the enhanced cleaning and safety protocols called for in AHLA’s Safe Stay initiative.

Among the key findings of travelers staying in hotels five or more nights per year:

  • Cleanliness Is the Top Priority: Out of a list of nine options, frequent travelers most often chose cleanliness as the most important factor when determining their next hotel stay, and 81% of travelers are more comfortable staying at hotels now with enhanced protocols and standards implemented. 
  • Guests Prefer Housekeeping by Request Only: Nearly nine out of ten (88%) frequent travelers say that limiting in-room housekeeping to “by request only” would increase their comfort level. Nearly three-in-five (58%)  guests do not want daily housekeeping; and 58% would not be comfortable with housekeeping staff entering their room without advance permission.
  • The Use of Face Coverings is a Priority: The majority of guests (62%) are a lot more comfortable if hotels require face coverings and 66% of guests are a lot more comfortable if hotels require employees to wear face coverings and gloves.

The pandemic has decimated the hotel industry as travel has slowed significantly throughout the last few months. The fall looks to be equally as challenging, with only one-third of frequent travelers (33%) expecting their next hotel stay to be within the next three months, 18 percent within three to six months, and 25 percent in 6-12 months.

“The hotel industry united to enhance our already rigorous cleaning protocols for the health and safety of our guests, and it’s working,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “It’s more important than ever that guests follow our Safe Stay Guest Checklist so they understand what is expected of them no matter where they stay. Travelers across the country looking to include a hotel stay in their upcoming vacation plans know that with the implementation of Safe Stay, hotels will be safer and cleaner than ever before.”

AHLA recently released the “Safe Stay Guest Checklist” for guests on how to travel safely while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide, which includes several requirements such as the use of face coverings and limiting daily room cleaning. This checklist is part of AHLA’s Safe Stay guidelines, an industry-wide, enhanced set of health and safety protocols designed to provide a safe and clean environment for all hotel guests and employees.

 
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August 21, 2020

During the Covid 19 pandemic, hoteliers have faced an unprecedented period of challenged cash flows amid restricted operations. The American Hotel and Lodging Association is now saying 1 in 4 hoteliers in the U.S. cannot make their monthly mortgage payments. While there is some relief from government programs here in Canada, the situation is not much better.

Western Hotelier caught up with Mark Kay, president of CFO Capital to discuss what options are out there for hoteliers in today’s challenging climate.

CFO Capital, incorporated in 2004, is a national commercial mortgage brokerage firm with head office in Markham Ontario housing housing a team of former Commercial Real Estate Bankers comprising of analysts and business developers.The company also has an office in Vancouver led by Trevor Scott and has a presence in East Coast led by Ian Hurst.

“CFO's mission” says Kay, “has always been providing a consistent flow of competitive capital to all industry sectors with a focus and passion to the Hotel sector. In early 2000 there were under 10 lenders supporting hotel industry and prior to Pandemic we have reached over 50 active institutional partners”.

The key problem hoteliers face today, says Kay, is that two-thirds of hospitality lending is on a moratorium while only one third of lenders are still active providing financing for construction, term and refinance.

Right now, hoteliers can get construction loans up to 65% Loan to Cost (LTC), the loan amount divided by the construction cost, with values stabilizing over a 3-4yr period to get over the COVID bump.

For new loans, Term/Refinance up to 65% loan-to-value (LTV), the loan amount compared to the expected market value of the completed project (values defined as 3-4 yrs stabilized) with inclusion of working capital to cover the burn rate.

“There's lot of frustration to the lack of access to working capital from EDC/BDC programs which hoteliers nation wide desperately need due to the forced shut down of provincial and international travel that has an obvious direct correlation to revenue. The wage subsidy programs definitely assist but not nearly sufficient enough to cover bank principal and interest payments, taxes and so on... once the bank deferrals come to a halt”.

This liquidity crisis is an industry wide issue for a broad segment of owners.  “2020 demand is not anticipated to return to levels where owners can sustain a cash flow positive position. In the absence of financial support from government sponsored programs through the financial institutions, hotel owners will not be able to sustain operations”. 

Hopefully, says Kay, as an alternative or in collaboration with the fed program, institutional regulators may allow for the further extension of principal and interest until the provinces fully open which will assist in the liquidity.

There are some other measures, however, that hoteliers can take such as the temporary solution of a bridge loan.

“In anticipation for a demand of bridge capital required for the hotel industry we have been working with lending partners to provide first and second mortgages, 6-18 months as well as alternative security structures in lieu of registered 2nd mortgages for those that require immediate relief. It comes at a higher cost of capital but it's an avenue to help bridge the working capital”.

Despite the liquidity crisis brought on by the Covid 19 pandemic, CFO Capital has been very active securing new financing deals in the hotel sector. So while these are clearly challenging times, there is some light on the horizon.

 
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August 19, 2020

Tourism HR Canada would like to extend its thanks to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and the Government of Canada on their appointment of Marsha Walden as President and CEO of Destination Canada.

The Tourism HR Canada team offers its sincere congratulations to Marsha on her new role leading Canada's national tourism marketing organization. Tourism HR Canada is eager to build on its longstanding relationship with Destination Canada and support the agency as the tourism community navigates the challenges brought about by the current global pandemic.

"I am excited by today’s announcement and warmly wish Marsha the best in this well-deserved appointment,” stated Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “Marsha brings a wealth of experience and a passion for the tourism sector, as demonstrated through her successes during her recent tenure as President and CEO of Destination British Columbia. We look forward to working more closely with her and the Destination Canada team as our entire sector collaborates to reopen Canada’s vibrant tourism businesses and boost the resiliency of its world-class workforce.”

Tourism HR Canada will continue to provide the latest labour market insights to complement Destination Canada’s robust marketing research, as well as offer resources, tools, and training to ensure Canada’s tourism workforce is equipped to deliver on the incredible experiences promoted by Destination Canada—whether locally while restrictions remain in place or internationally as we once again welcome visitors from around the globe.

Tourism HR Canada is a pan-Canadian organization with a mandate aimed at building a world-leading tourism workforce. Tourism HR Canada facilitates, coordinates, and enables human resource development activities that support a globally competitive and sustainable industry and foster the development of a dynamic and resilient workforce.

Tourism HR Canada is your source for current human resources issues and solutions, and works with the industry to attract, train, and retain valuable tourism professionals by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed in their careers and entrepreneurial endeavours.

Look for timely, relevant labour market intelligence, industry success stories, news and event details, surveys, and articles on HR themes impacting tourism’s current and future success.

Performance Matters—and in tourism, performance is powered by people.

 
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TORONTO, August 18, 2020 – Realstar Hospitality is thrilled to announce that Motel 6 has been named the “Best Budget-Friendly Hotel Brand ” by USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. As founders of economy lodging, Motel 6 has been best known for cleanliness, affordability, friendliness and dependability over the past 58 years.

Easily recognized by those travelling the wide-open road, Motel 6 focuses on providing guests with everything they need and nothing they don’t. Hotels feature complimentary Wi-Fi, expanded cable TV and pet-friendly rooms at no extra cost, while many also boast indoor/outdoor pools, free parking and guest laundry facilities*.

“It is no surprise that travellers voted Motel 6 the Best Budget-Friendly Hotel Brand in the United States,” said Irwin Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality. “It is a true testament of the hard work and dedication Motel 6 team members showcase every day.”

To ensure guests feel confident when staying at any of the brand’s locations across the U.S. and Canada, Motel 6 recently announced the “Clean@6 ” initiative. Since the onset of the global health crisis, Motel 6 has partnered with medical experts and franchise owners to adopt a thoughtful and proactive approach to serve guests and protect against the spread of viruses. The approach includes enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols, as well as physical distancing in all common areas of hotels.

A panel of travel experts and 10Best.com editors select USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Award nominees, and the final top 10 winners are then chosen by the readers’ popular vote.

To book a stay at one of the nearly 1,400 Motel 6 or Studio 6 properties across the U.S. and Canada, visit www.motel6.com or www.staystudio6.com .

*Due to the global health pandemic, some amenities may be suspended. Contact your destination directly to find the latest information.

 

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