Tag Archives: travel industry

Hotel Industry Pleads for Government Help against Crippling Unprecedented Covid-19 Crisis

America’s hotels, supporting one out of ever 25 jobs, face catastrophe because of the coronavirus health crisis © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

Leading hotel CEOs met with the White House on March 17 to discuss urgent economic recovery solutions needed to protect millions of U.S. hotel employees and 33,000 small businesses as travel grinds to a virtual halt across the country because of the coronavirus health crisis.  From Main Street to major cities across the country, hotels everywhere are on the verge of shutting their doors in the coming days – many by the end of this week. With 1 in 25 jobs supported by the hotel industry, the rapid pace of booking cancellations is having an immediate, negative ripple effect that risks seeing mom and pop hotel owners shutter, furlough their employees, hurting community businesses.  

The hotel industry is an industry of people and the current human toll is proving to be catastrophic. Based on current occupancy estimates, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) says four million total jobs have been eliminated already or are on the verge of being lost in the next few weeks. In certain affected markets, including Seattle, San Francisco, Austin and Boston, hotel occupancy rates are already down below 20 percent and individual hotels and major operators have already shut down operations. 

The AHLA, the nation’s leading and largest trade association for hotel industry, made the case that the economic impact on the hotel industry is already more severe than 9/11 and the 2008 recession, combined. “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our 33,000 small business owners who operate 66 percent of hotel properties across the country has been extremely severe with many considering shuttering and closing their doors for good within days if they haven’t closed already.”

Chip Rogers, AHLA President and CEO, said the burgeoning COVID-19 health crisis is unprecedented in its size and scope, and it represents the single largest decline in travel in modern times.

“The impact to our industry is already more severe than anything we’ve seen before, including September 11th and the great recession of 2008 combined,” stated Rogers. “The White House and Congress can take urgent action to protect countless jobs, provide relief to our dedicated and hardworking employees, and ensure that our small business operators and franchise owners – who represent more than half of hotels in the country – can keep their doors open.”

According to an Oxford Economic Study, a 30 percent decline in hotel guest occupancy could result in the loss of nearly 4 million jobs, with $180 billion of wages and a $300 billion hit to the GDP – crippling the hotel industry, the local communities they serve and the U.S. economy.  

“This unprecedented public health crisis has quickly become a catastrophic economic crisis as well,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association President. “The losses for the travel industry alone are projected to double the unemployment rate over the next two months and plunge the country into recession. Small businesses, which make up 83% of travel businesses, need relief right now if they’re going to be able to keep paying their employees.”

The Oxford study estimates the hotel industry supports 1 in 25 American jobs, totaling 8.3 million jobs, paying more than $97 billion in wages and salary income, and contributes nearly $660 billion to the U.S. GDP annually.  In addition to major hotel brands, the hotel industry includes more than 33,000 small businesses, which represent 61 percent of hotel properties in the U.S.

Top hotel industry leaders laid out several immediate actions the White House and Congress could take to help the hotel industry protect jobs and help small business operators. The group focused on two critical goals – retaining and rehiring employees and keeping hotels from shutting down through access to liquidity and low interest loans, including for small businesses. 

Hotel CEOs who participated in the roundtable discussion today at the White House were hopeful that President Trump and Members of Congress will work together urgently to provide relief and ensure the industry is positioned to rebound from the unprecedented impact from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts President and CEO, David Kong said, “For nearly 75 years, Best Western has been a brand with small family businesses at our core. Most of our hotels are owned and operated by hardworking men and women with their children growing up in the business. For them, their hotels represent their families’ legacy and their future. Many are being forced to close their doors with no assurance of when they will be able to reopen. Their employees are left with no gainful employment and the resultant financial hardship. It is imperative that the government step in immediately with loan programs that provide capital and liquidity to help small businesses survive as well as other employment programs to help the impacted employees. The situation is dire.”

Choice Hotels International President & CEO, Pat Pacious said, “The majority of our 13,000 franchisees are small business hotel owners who have to meet payroll, pay their mortgages every month, and support their families during this crisis – as well as take care of their guests. As I told the Administration today, while Choice Hotels is acting to assist our franchisees, the federal government has a critical role to play in helping minimize the impact and disruption to the livelihoods of small business hotel owners and their employees, as well as stabilizing the economy during this difficult and unprecedented time.” 

Hilton President and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher J. Nassetta said, “In Hilton’s 100-year history, we have never seen anything like the current situation. I am hearing directly from hotel employees concerned about their mortgage payments and hotel owners worried about making payroll. Nearly eighty percent of the hotels in our U.S. network are franchise properties that employ less than 50 people, and we are using every tool in our toolkit to keep these small businesses viable. Ours is an industry of people serving people, and that’s why we’re asking Congress and the Administration to help shield them from the economic impact of the coronavirus, so they can be part of the recovery that will follow.”

Hyatt president and CEO, Mark Hoplamazian said, “In our industry, success depends entirely on the passion and dedication of our people. It is critical that we take swift action to ensure that our workforce is protected with the proper healthcare and financial support so that the industry can return in full force following this unprecedented degree of business interruption.”

InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Americas, Elie Maalouf said, “The coronavirus represents a global economic emergency as well as a global health emergency, and the impact it will have on the hospitality industry is unprecedented. Even as we’re currently managing this issue to keep our guests and colleagues safe, and hotel owners secure, we’re committed to doing everything we can to protect the future of the millions of Americans employed by the hotel industry and prepare to expedite a return to normal once this crisis passes. We appreciate the administration’s engagement in this issue and look forward to continuing this important discussion in the weeks ahead.”

Marriott International President and CEO, Arne Sorenson said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented decline in demand impacting our hotels and our associates. We are looking to government to support the hospitality industry through this period of time so we can assist our associates and hotel owners, many of whom are small businesses.”

MGM Resorts International Chairman & CEO, James Murren said, “Within days we have transformed from a vibrant industry welcoming people from around the world, to one experiencing a total shutdown of business.  Addressing this public health emergency required major collective action which is why MGM shut down our operations. But it comes at a cost to our tens of thousands of employees, small businesses and communities who depended on us.  We look forward to a productive dialogue on how to ensure that when it is safe, the gaming industry can be in a position to open our doors so that we and the 2 million jobs that depend can be part of the economic recovery that is to come.”

“Pebblebrook Hotel Trust is a REIT with 54 hotels with over 13,000 rooms and over 8,000 employees around the country. Our hotels are in most of the hardest hit cities – Seattle, San Francisco, here in Washington, DC, NYC, Boston, Chicago and more. As of today, we have had to make the difficult decision to let go over 4,000 employees,” noted Jon Bortz, Board Chair, AHLA and Chairman & CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust.

“By the end of the month, we expect another 2,000 employees will also be let go, representing over three quarters of our employees. We are looking at closing the doors at more than half of our properties. This is the reality we, and countless other owners and operators around the country are facing in the wake of this public health situation.”

HSMAI’s 61st Annual Adrian Awards Honor Luminaries in Travel Marketing

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

They are the CLIO awards of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry – a gigantic segment of the US economy and culture which people don’t readily recognize as being so integral to everyday life, so fundamental to local economies and communities. But these are the advertising, public relations and digital marketing campaigns that excite, engage, inform and ultimately spur millions of us to venture out and experience new places, people and activities. Travel bolster local, state and national economies, creates an economic underpinning that sustains heritage, culture and the environment, while travelers are themselves enriched, often with life-enhancing, life-changing experiences; they become ambassadors, opening lines of communication and understanding between people that break down the barriers that promote conflict. And going back to the age of Marco Polo, travelers help the free exchange and spread of ideas and innovations.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) hosted its 61st annual Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis, celebrating innovators in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations before more than 800 industry professionals. A highlight was a look back at the organization’s 90 year-history in promoting standards for hospitality and innovations in marketing campaigns that inspire travel.

“HSMAI applauds this evening’s winners for their ingenuity and hard work,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. He added, “Adrian Awards winners spark innovation throughout the entire hospitality industry.”

HSMAI Adrian Platinum Award winners for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Established in 1956, the Adrian Awards recognize marketing achievements in hospitality across multiple segments of the industry. Award winners are selected from more than 1,200 entries by senior industry and media experts, for four main entry divisions: advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and—newly added—integrated marketing. Gold Award winners across these categories were recognized during the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception, which was co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google, and TravelClick. Platinum winners were selected from exceptional Gold Award winners.

Rob Torres, Managing Director-Travle for google and Marina MacDonald, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Roof Inn, presenters at the 61st Annual HSMAI Adrian Awards © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The judges speak of authenticity, engagement, blurring of lines among media, emotionality, innovation and creativity, visual beauty, quality of content, storytelling, and most significantly measureable results in distinguishing the winners.

The stakes are huge: these advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns are a key part of the travel and tourism industry that generates $2.3 trillion in economic output (2.7% of the nation’s GDP) from domestic and international visitors. Travel expenditures support 15.3 million American jobs (8 million directly); account for $221.7 billion in wages, and generate $141.5 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments, levels that increased significantly over the past decade, and have been a significant factor lifting  the nation out of the Great Recession to “full” employment. International visitors to the United States in 2016 generated $212.3 billion, 9.5% of exports, but were forecast to fall by  0.6% in 2017, largely due to the political climate, travel ban, and concern over gun violence (which has accounted for several countries posting travel warnings). These are the kind of issues that the travel marketers address.

Travel and tourism is vital globally: Travel & Tourism generated $7.6 trillion (10.2% of global GDP) and 292 million jobs in 2016, equivalent to 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy. The sector accounted for 6.6% of total global exports and almost 30% of total global service exports. Travel and tourism doesn’t just improve lives, but is critical to livelihoods.

The United Nations has designated 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. “As one of the world’s largest economic sectors, Travel & Tourism creates jobs, drives exports, and generates prosperity across the world. The International Year provides an enormous opportunity to further showcase the tremendous economic, social, cultural, environmental, and heritage value that the sector can bring.”

The winner of the eighth annual Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award, presented by HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler, was Terranea Resort.

Terranea Resort won the 8th annual Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award presented by HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Here are the award winners:

Best of Show Awards, the pinnacle of the evening, were presented to Platinum Award winners from three divisions—advertising, digital marketing, and public relations—as follows:

(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” – Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism and its agency, Target: “Off the Beaten Path” Geo-Targeted Campaign

(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” – Marriott International and its agency, GREY New York: “You Are Here” Campaign

Marriott International and its agency, GREY New York wins Best of Show in Advertising for “You Are Here” Campaign © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Digital Marketing “Best of Show” – Amelia Island and its agency, Paradise Advertising and Marketing: “Destination Dysfunction” Video

Amelia Island and its agency, Paradise Advertising and Marketing won Digital Marketing Best of Show for “Destination Dysfunction” Video © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Public Relations “Best of Show” – Mexico City Tourism Board and its agency, Weber Shandwick: “From Humble to Haute: Changing Perceptions of Mexico City”

Mexico City Tourism Board and its agency, Weber Shandwick wins Best of Show for Public Relations for “From Humble to Haute: Changing Perceptions of Mexico City” © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Platinum Award winners in the advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and integrated marketing divisions are:

Advertising Platinum Winners:

Company; Agency

Space Florida; Paradise Advertising and Marketing

VisitBritain; Expedia Media Solutions

Maine Office of Tourism; BVK

                                                                                                                          NewFoundland and Labrador Tourism; TargetMarriott International; GREY New York


Digital Marketing Platinum Winners:

Company; Agency

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown; Connelly Partners

Best Western Hotels & Resorts; Ideas Collide

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism; Target

Amelia Island; Paradise Advertising and Marketing

Orlando Magic; Net Conversion

Aruba Tourism Authority; Concept Farm


Public Relations Platinum Winners

Company; Agency

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau; Finn Partners

Singita; Imagine Communications

Singita and agency Imagine Communications, a Platinum winner for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Hilton

Hilton, a Platinum winner for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Marriott Hotels; Catalyst PR

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Finger Lakes Tourism Promotion Agency; Quinn

Finger Lakes Tourism Promotion Agency and its agency Quinn, won Platinum for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Xanterra Parks & Resorts/Grand Canyon National Park Lodges; Percepture

Mexico City Tourism Board; Weber Shandwick

Mexico City Tourism Board and its agency Weber Shandwick won Platinum and Best of Show for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Visit Salt Lake


Integrated Marketing Platinum Winner

Company; Agency

Hilton Hotels + Resorts

Gold Award winners’ submissions were showcased on digital displays at the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and featured during the Gala stage presentations. “Right in line with this year’s theme, ‘be a travel marketing superhero,’ the Adrian Award-winning campaigns demonstrated boldness, resolve, and charisma,” said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI Executive Vice President.

Selected by a panel of senior industry executives, The HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization for 2017 were honored by HSMAI in a reception co-hosted by Questex Hospitality + Travel and also recognized on stage during the Gala.

The HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization for 2017 © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Additionally, the distinguished careers of two industry leaders were celebrated with HSMAI Lifetime Achievement awards. Edwin “Ed” Fuller, president, Laguna Strategic Advisors, was honored with the 2017 Albert E. Koehl Award and Terence “Terry” Gallagher, president, Lou Hammond Group, New York, was honored with the 2017 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations.

 

“I’d like to thank HSMAI for giving me an honor that I wouldn’t have imagined possible more than 30 years ago when I began my own professional career,” said Gallagher, at the awards ceremony. “I’ve been blessed to be in what I feel is the greatest industry and it’s because of some wonderful people who taught me so much along the way.”

Terence “Terry” Gallagher, president, Lou Hammond Group, New York, was presented with the 2017 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations Lifetime Achievement by last year’s honoree, Melanie Brandman, founder & CEO of The Brandman Agency © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

After expressing gratitude for his award, Koehl Award recipient Ed Fuller shared some advice to his industry colleagues in attendance, “Remember to work on developing your people and investing in the people you are growing.”

Edwin “Ed” Fuller, president, Laguna Strategic Advisors, was honored with the 2017 Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement by last year’s honoree, Randy Smith, chairman and co-founder of STR © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Pioneer in Visual Storytelling Award, presented by HSMAI and Libris by PhotoShelter, went to Aruba Tourism Authority and its agency, Concept Farm.

The Pioneer in Visual Storytelling Award, presented by HSMAI and Libris by PhotoShelter, went to Aruba Tourism Authority and its agency, Concept Farm © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Selected as one of the Top 100 Events in New York by BizBash, this year’s superhero-themed Adrian Awards incorporated eye-catching, comic book-inspired imagery and numerous other superhero references, which set an upbeat, playful tone for the evening.

For more information about the Adrian Awards visit www.adrianawards.com.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy ConferenceAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927 and celebrating 90 years in 2017, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region.

Connect with HSMAI at www.hsmai.org,www.facebook.com/hsmaiwww.twitter.com/hsmai and www.youtube.com/hsmai1.

 

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© 2018 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com,  www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin , and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures