UK travel industry calls for urgent government action

Planes on the apron at London City Airport which has been closed after the discovery of an unexploded Second World War bomb.
Planes at London City Airport. Photo: PA

UK travel group ABTA said the government is not doing enough to support the sector, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

It criticised the government for “ever-changing quarantine rules and a dwindling number of destinations for holidaymakers to visit,” and demanded tailored support, including further grants.

ABTA said it is “vital that the Global Travel Taskforce launched this month to consider a testing regime, and other measures to support recovery of the travel industry, acts decisively and urgently to help increase consumer confidence and get the industry moving again.”

The taskforce was set up by the government and is meant to report to prime minister Boris Johnson no later than early November, setting out recommendations for how the UK can support the recovery of international travel.

According to new figures released by ABTA, only 15% of people took a foreign holiday between February and July 2020 compared to 51% over the 12-month period, and 64% the previous year.

READ MORE: EU gets approval to slap $4bn worth of tariffs on US imports in Boeing dispute

More than half (53%) of the people surveyed said they took fewer overseas holidays this past year compared to the previous year, with 87% of those saying they took fewer holidays because of coronavirus. 

Government restrictions were a contributing factor to a hesitation to travel, with 93% of people concerned about potential last-minute changes to foreign office travel advice and four in five people (80%) concerned about having to quarantine when they return to the UK.

The findings are from research based on a sample of 2,000 consumers and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to July 2020.

Meanwhile, figures also revealed that more than half of people (52%) believe that the travel industry should reopen in a greener way. 

A new report by ABTA identified the sustainability challenges faced by the industry, including the need to accelerate decarbonisation and to ensure that tourism generates greater benefits for destinations and local communities.

READ MORE: Turbulent times ahead for airlines as UK travel quarantine measures kick in

Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s CEO said: “There is no doubt that people’s confidence and trust in the industry has taken a huge hit — and we must work hard to earn that trust back. Not only is that by being creative and flexible in terms of the holiday and customer experience we offer, but also by making sustainability a fundamental principle of travel.”

Earlier this week a survey was reported to show that nearly two-thirds (64%) of business leaders see domestic and international travel as “key to their future prospects.”

The research, commissioned by London City Airport, also indicated that 48% believe the government’s quarantine restrictions are the biggest barrier to business air travel.

In other news showing the toll the pandemic has taken on the travel industry, British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz has quit the top job with immediate effect, to be replaced by

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Cornerstone Collective Announces Nexus Design Standards To Provide Updated and Unified Safety Protocols for Hotel Industry

BOISE, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 13, 2020–

Officials of The Cornerstone Collective today announced a comprehensive program to provide hotel brands, owners and operators with a road map to design their properties safely, intelligently and prudently for today and the inevitable recovery from the Covid-19 virus. The proprietary Nexus Design Standards lay out specific criteria culled from across the full spectrum of expert sources, including the CDC, EPA, WELL, LEED, IBC, Fitwel, Mindful Materials and medical specialists. The program provides non-biased, research-based solutions that provide critical guidance for safe design, while allowing the ability to optimize the hotel’s uniqueness.

“A number of brands and hotel management companies have put together their own pandemic safety procedures, but no two are alike,” said Suzie Hall, founder and president, The Cornerstone Collective. “If an owner has multiple brands or owns an independent property, there is no trusted resource to assist them through what can be a costly process. The Nexus Design Standards are the first unified, all-encompassing approach that addresses all aspects of design for the ‘new normal.’ There is a lot of confusion and conflicting claims ranging from what constitutes appropriate distancing to what makes the most effective barriers. Not only do Nexus Standards include potentially life-saving advice, but they can substantially reduce costs by 15 – 40 percent. The Standards are supplier-agnostic but provide clear specifications on materials which often cost less than other options, even though the quality is similar if not superior.”

Hall has spent the last 28 years designing and advocating for how indoor environments can improve human health and well-being. With 20 completed LEED projects and dozens of healthcare assignments, she was ideally qualified to lead this initiative. “We’ve called upon our experience in designing hospital interiors, which present a higher concern for safety, as well as my current position on the Board of the St. Alphonsus Hospital Foundation. Utilizing that expertise, we worked with expert sources that form the core of the program.”

The new standards address ten key areas: Disinfectability, Cleanability, Performance, Health, Environmental, Price, Life Cycle Cost, Sustainability, Proof of Product Properties / Claims and Warranties. The below are specifics from three of the previously mentioned areas above:

Disinfectability

1. FFE upholstery must be sanctioned as disinfectable by the EPA.

2. Cleaning agents should be EPA-approved against COVID-19. Disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.

3. When EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of 5.25%–8.25% bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions). Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together. This can cause fumes that may be extremely dangerous to enhale. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.

Performance

4. All FFE upholstery should have an integrated fabric barrier system (mitigates pathogens and bacteria getting through)

5. Upholstery should be PVC, phthalate and formaldehyde-free

6. Minimum 50,000 double rub rating for upholstery

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The Current State Of The Hotel Industry Isn’t ‘Sustainable’ Without Government Funding, CEO Says

Topline

The American hotel industry could be on the brink of collapse with as much as two-thirds of the nation’s hotels set to shutter in six months without financial help from the government and millions of industry workers laid off, a situation CEO of Best Western Hotels David Kong told CNBC on Monday was “not sustainable.”

Key Facts

Hotels have been the victim of a devastating one-two punch from the coronavirus pandemic, with forced closures leading to massive layoffs, and a sharp decline in bookings with travelers afraid checking in might mean contracting the virus.

“It’s really hard to say when a recovery is going to be. This situation we are in now, it’s not sustainable. It’s really bad,” Kong, who recently spoke with both the White House and Congressional Democrats about stimulus funding, told CNBC.

Kong noted the severity of the industry’s cash flow problem, saying “you can only do so much with eliminating expenses and cutting people, you still need revenue,” which is difficult with less people willing or able to travel and hotels slashing prices in a bid to fill rooms.

Without government help, over 38,000 of the nation’s almost 58,000 hotels could be forced to shut down in six months, according to a recent report by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

If Congress doesn’t extend PPP loans or expand Main street loans, the AHLA estimates over 3,700,000 jobs related to the hotel industry could be lost, according to the report.

Key Background

The battle on Capitol Hill and in the White House for a new coronavirus stimulus package has been long, complicated, and as the days and months grow longer since the CARES Act was passed, baffling. Republicans and Democrats can’t find common ground, and it seems almost daily President Donald Trump is alternately pulling the plug on stimulus talks or advocating for a bigger and bigger package. The airline industry cadged $32 billion in payroll support in the CARES Act and is pushing hard for a reup, but other parts of the travel industry like hotels haven’t been able to get support on Capitol Hill. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she won’t support a stimulus plan that’s less than $2.2 trillion, and Republicans hit a ceiling at around $1 trillion, though their latest plan included only $300 billion in new spending. Meanwhile, Trump, who blew up stimulus talks between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin shortly after being released from Walter Reed hospital, on Friday claimed to want a greater stimulus package than both Republicans and Democrats.

Big Number

33%. That’s how many Americans say they’ve traveled for pleasure since March, according to the AHLA, and only 38% say they may travel by the end of the year.

Key Quote

“It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and prioritize American workers in the hardest-hit industries. Hotels are cornerstones of the communities they serve, building strong local economies and supporting

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Vacation Weather Insurance – A Blessing for the Resort Industry

“I spent months planning my vacation from A to Z! How was I to know it would end in disaster because of the week-long storm that kept me cooped up when I should have been basking in the sun and swimming in the pool?!” said many an angry resort patron.

For hotels, motels, resort spots and other holiday retreat places, there’s a whole slew of liability exposure. From bodily injury due to the facility’s poor lighting or maintenance to property damages due to wear and tear or mold to medical payments to hired and non-owned auto accidents involving staff members, the possible peril list is a long one indeed.

As unpredictable as the weather can be over a long haul, the climatic conditions do play a rather large role in guest occupancy. Is there really such a thing as vacation weather insurance?

You bet there is! It’s insurance that will pay you if the weather is not suitable for your interests.

This type of insurance coverage helps the owner of the holiday facilities such as:

1. Resorts

2. Hotels

3. Motels

4. Inns

5. Convention or reunion centers

When weather threatens a hospitality business such as those mentioned above, policyholders are presented with the wherewithal to recompense paying guests. In addition to this, the insurance gives the resort owner an advertising tool to attract customers. With the promise that their entire payment will be given back to them, should the weather turn nasty and foil holiday fun, vacationers are drawn to the lodging spot. Resort or hotel owners often publicize refunds in relation to cash money or credit or refund to be used toward vacation hospitality services.

What does the insurance industry consider related bad weather that warrants insurance coverage? Coverage is provided for conditions that impede the intent of outdoor vacation activity, specifically:

• An over-abundance of rainfall

• Heavy fog

• The lack of sunshine

• Lack of enough snow for resorts where skiing is the featured activity

But not all bad weather insurance premiums are the same. Necessary coverage and insurance cost is dependent on researched historical climate info ass it pertains to the particular weather incident. Resorts, hotels, motels, inns, convention centers and the like can purchase weather related insurance for varied dates throughout the year: over a 24-hour duration, weekend, long weekend, a full week or a complete season.

Of particular note is that the typical travel insurance tour packages can include the weather vacation insurance if requested.…

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How Important Is Social Media in the Hotel Industry?

Social media is one of the most powerful forces driving the hotel industry today, playing a key role in the consumers travel experience from planning their trip to posting photos, updates and reviews of their vacation. The hotel industry depends heavily on word-of-mouth and the spread of opinions, and social networks provide the ideal platform for this.

81% of travelers said reviews were important when choosing a hotel.

70% of consumers said travel reviews had the biggest impact on their purchasing behavior.

43% of hoteliers believe that social media produces some of the highest ROIs.

40% of travelers post reviews.

38% of U.S. travelers use social networks to share their experiences while traveling.

Social sharing has a huge influence on travel bookings. Of those who used sites like Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Google+ and LinkedIn to research travel plans:

52% changed their original plans.

33% changed their hotel.

10% changed their resort.

7% changed their destination.

TripAdvisor for Business

83% of respondents usually consult TripAdvisor reviews before booking a hotel.

70% of senior hospitality professionals say TripAdvisor is the #1 site that influences customers.

Facebook

51% of Facebook fans are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.

52% of Facebook users said their friends’ photos inspired their holiday choice and travel plans.

Twitter

79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a follower.

67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy brands they follow or are a fan of.

Pinterest

81% of U.S. online consumers say they trust information and advice on Pinterest.

20% of total social referrals to commerce sites come from Pinterest.

With all of the information available the real question is, “can your hotel afford not to maximize your social media presence?”

Here are 7 tips to get your hotel social campaign started:

1. Create social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+. Keep in mind that Google+ likes are the #1 way to boost search engine optimization.

2. Use your property logo for your profile picture.

3. Make sure you have an appealing, visually attractive header image that shows off your property.

4. Make sure your contact information and website address are listed on the page.

5. On Facebook be sure to utilize the “book now” button feature.

6. Post across all social media platforms daily.

7. Only 1 in 5 posts should be self promoting.…

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Remaining Relevant – Edging Out Your Competition in the Hotel Industry

Unless they’re historic bed and breakfast inns, most hotels are modern and up-to-date, boasting high speed internet, sound wave alarm clocks and versatile hangers, among other hotel supplies. If you’re like most people who work in hotels and handle the amenities, in some capacity, on a daily basis, after a while you might not notice the details anymore. As with most day-to-day tasks, buying hotel supplies and amenities can become routine especially when you’re tasked with balancing budgetary constraints, style needs and guest preferences. If hotel supplies such as towels, ice buckets and bed spreads become dated, hotels can become dated, too, and get lost amongst the competition.

Hotels that are successful long-term attribute their success, in part, to their ability to remain relevant which means they know themselves and their brand identity. They also know the hotels near them and what makes them stand out. When you think about your hotel, what do people pay for? Is your service exceptional?

Maybe the views are amazing and the hotel supplies and amenities are unique. If luxury and convenience define your business, plush robes and bed linens and complimentary breakfast would be relevant hotel supplies and amenities. To maintain their place among the masses, hotels must keep current with trends to remain competitive and relevant.

Timeliness very likely isn’t a high priority for you or anybody else who works in hotels. However, if hotels want to maintain occupancy rates, attract new business and offer a great overall experience ensuring that everything from the amenities and hotel supplies to the color palettes and furniture are current and inviting is paramount. Have you ever gotten a room in a modern hotel and, upon walking into the room itself, felt like you traveled in time back to the early 1990s or worse, and it’s not a historic hotel? While it might not affect the visit, most people think less of hotels that are dated, especially when the amenities, hotel supplies and conveniences one would expect are either not offered or unavailable during their stay.

Whether you’re working for an eclectic bed and breakfast or a posh spa resort, conveying value to your guests is important. Quality amenities and hotel supplies, amazing views, superb locations and complimentary meals or snacks all convey the “we’re trying to maximize your dollar” message. It’s important, especially when consumers of every stripe are counting their pennies and paying more attention to what they’re getting for their money than ever before. While hotel supplies and amenities are important components of hotels, they aren’t everything. The cleanliness of your hotel, a responsive staff, spacious guest rooms and modern furnishings all play important roles in the overall guest experience.

Being and remaining competitive in the hospitality industry is no small feat. Maintaining your edge by providing quality hotel supplies and amenities helps you as the competition among hotels is stiff almost everywhere. When people feel like their opinion matters, when they see updated fixtures, renovations that modernize hotels and high quality hotel …

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Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Recreation is anything that’s stimulating and rejuvenating for a person. Senior Applications : The senior programs are for ages 50+ and designed to reinforce the quality of lifetime of senior adults in our group by way of social, recreational, health and wellness, educational, and nutritional services and programs. Participation in recreational activities improves mental well being, as effectively.

You might have found a pleasant stability by itemizing places to go that people who find themselves looking for fun, romance, and even the scarey (shut encounters) can discover gold here. Beaches are filled with individuals so there’s no motive that you would be able to’t make new buddies.

Ask them about what they do for fun (sports activities, hobbies, volunteering, kids’ actions) and speak about issues you may have in frequent or that you simply want to attempt sometime. Whereas at present, sloths spend nearly their total lifetimes hanging from bushes, in the past, many sloths had been aquatic or ground-dwelling.

The Arcadia Group Center, situated at 365 Campus Drive, is offered for rent to Arcadia civic and non-revenue organizations for actions and programs that contribute to the social, cultural, recreational and civic needs and interests of Arcadia residents.

It is necessary for senior citizens and people who care for them to hunt out recreational activities even at this time when they could be reluctant to do so. Research signifies that seniors who participate in these sorts of activities tend to remain active as soon as they start.

The few times that peasants were in a position to get pleasure from recreational actions were look forward to with anticipation. All of our recreation centers offer a range of applications for folks of all ages. Some recreational actions – corresponding to playing, recreational drug use , or delinquent actions – may violate societal norms and legal guidelines.…

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