The American Society of Travel Advisors is asking the government to lift the ban on cruise ships, arguing that airlines and hotels are operating and cruise ships in other countries are allowed to sail. Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO, said the industry is willing to establish safety protocols, and surveys indicate the public is willing to sail.
Service Properties Trust, owner of 122 Marriott hotels, is threatening to break ties with the world's largest hospitality chain and rebrand with another company over delinquent payments. Service says Marriott has fallen sufficiently short of its $194.6 million per year obligation to trigger the rebranding option.
US hotels are now firmly part of a movement that began elsewhere in the world in the 1980s: elimination of the hotel shower door and curtain in favor of half-partitions and open space. Not always welcome with guests, the mode has such advantages as easier cleaning and creation of the illusion of greater roominess.
United will be the first US airline to offer pre-flight COVID-19 testing for passengers, including at-home tests and rapid testing at the airport. The airline will test the program on flights from San Francisco to Hawaii starting Oct. 15, when the islands are scheduled to reopen to tourists under rules that require them to submit negative tests.
"I take every call as though it's my first call," says Alaska Airlines reservation agent Kevin Tobey. "I still truly want to help the person on the other end asking me something I've been asked a thousand times." Tobey, who started as a ramp worker for Alaska's Horizon Air affiliate in 1994, is known for his positive attitude.
Ad tech firms like Koddi are expanding services to alternative accommodations like vacation rental homes and short-term rental apartments. Booking.com reports that 40% of its second quarter reservations were for alternative accommodations, indicating a new marketing and distribution tool.
The hospitality industry is demanding more specifics from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who pledged Thursday to take steps to revive a local economy in which some 200 hotels are shuttered because of the pandemic. A key move would be property tax relief, says Chip Rogers, president the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Amazon subsidiary Acorn Development LLC has purchased the Residence Inn by Marriott in Pentagon City, Va., for $148.5 million. A Blackstone Group affiliate sold the 299-key hotel, which Amazon plans to demolish as part of a 4-million-square-foot HQ2 redevelopment at the Northern Virginia site.
Luxury lodges in South African natural areas assign top priority to wild animal preservation, and invite guests to promote those efforts through fees and educational safaris. The country is scheduled to reopen to international visitors Oct. 1, and a prime spot for adventure- and conservation-minded guests is the remote KwaZulu-Natal region.
In a message to customers, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and Dr. Henry Ting of the Mayo Clinic highlighted the measures Delta has implemented to prioritize the health and safety of customers. Delta has delivered more than 100 enhanced cleanliness and safety innovations, including installing thousands of hand sanitizer station on board, replacing HEPA filters twice as often as recommended and partnering with the Mayo Clinic, Quest Diagnostics and CVS Health to create an employee COVID-19 testing program.
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