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11th May 2020

Following the recent announcement of Marriott’s Q1 results;

Ralph Hollister, Analyst, Travel & Tourism at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the situation:

“Marriott significantly missed already lowered estimates for first-quarter profit. Alike its competitors, bookings plunged in the later stages of Q1 as restrictions on movement became more draconian around the globe. Factors that contributed to the loss that were specific to Marriott included guaranteed reserves of $148m, as well as impairment charges and bad-debt expenses.

“Although adjusted earnings of $0.26 per share severely lagged estimates, a total revenue of $4.7bn beat forecasts with franchise fees coming in at $415m, which was down 8% year-on-year (YOY). Marriott now places a strong emphasis on franchising, which has allowed the company to mitigate some of the impact of COVID-19. Wyndham has also achieved damage limitation this way, its asset-light select service franchise business model has put the company in a better position to deal with the impact of COVID-19. There are fewer fixed costs associated with this model.

“Marriott’s system-wide RevPAR plunged 22.5%, which is very similar to declines experienced by Hilton (22.6%), Wyndham (23%) and IHG (25%). This similarity may point to the fact that these companies have not sacrificed pricing power in order to stimulate any remaining demand that may have been present.

“In terms of net earnings, Marriott reported at total of $31m, Hilton turned a profit of $18m and Wyndham announced a net income of $22m. With the lowest RevPAR decline and highest net earnings in relation to its close rivals, Marriott looks to be in a solid position to navigate through this pandemic.

“Q2 results will reveal the full impact of COVID-19, all major companies advised that their Q2 numbers would look worse. It’s likely to be the worst quarter of the year due to an almost global restriction on domestic and international travel in this period. Hilton has already reported a system wide RevPAR decline of roughly 90% for April.”

 
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TORONTO, May 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) is applying the latest disinfection technologies, including disinfection channels, antimicrobial coating and autonomous cleaning robots, at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to protect passengers and airport staff from COVID-19 infection.

HKIA is the world’s first airport where “CLeanTech”, a full-body disinfection channel facility, is trialled in live operation. Persons using the facility will have a temperature check before entering an enclosed channel for the 40-second disinfection and sanitizing procedures. The interior surface of the channel is equipped with antimicrobial coating which can remotely kill virus and bacteria on human bodies and clothing by using the technologies of photocatalyst and “nano needles”. Sanitizing spray is also applied for instant disinfection. The channel is kept under negative pressure to prevent cross-contamination between the outside and inside environment. Currently, the facility is designated for use by the staffs who take part in public health and quarantine duties at the airport in relation to arriving passengers.

Meanwhile, the AA is conducting a pilot test of applying antimicrobial coating at all passenger facilities. An invisible coating to destroy germs, bacteria and viruses is applied to high-touch surfaces in the terminal, including handles and seats of Automated People Movers and passenger buses, smart check-in kiosks and check-in counters, toilets, seating area in the terminal, baggage trolleys, elevator buttons, and more. After completion of the trial in May, the AA will consider implementing it as a long-term disinfection measure.

Autonomous cleaning robots are also deployed to ensure thorough disinfection of public areas and passenger facilities in HKIA. Intelligent Sterilization Robot, equipped with ultra violet light sterilizer and air sterilizer, is deployed round-the-clock in public toilets and key operating areas in the terminal building. The robot can move around autonomously and sterilize up to 99.99% of bacteria in its vicinity, including both the air and object surfaces, in just 10 minutes.

Steven Yiu, Deputy Director, Service Delivery of the AA, said, “The safety and wellbeing of airport staff and passengers are always our first priority. Although air traffic has been impacted by the pandemic, the Airport Authority spares no effort in ensuring that the airport is a safe environment for all users. We will continue to look into new measures to enhance our cleaning and disinfection work.”

For more information on Hong Kong, please visit www.discoverhongkong.com/ca and www.hongkongairport.com.

 
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MISSISSAUGA – As businesses seek solutions to keep employees and customers safe, Canada’s leading pest control provider has announced their new Orkin® VitalClean service designed to quickly eliminate a wide variety of pathogens.

The Orkin® VitalClean™ service uses a Health Canada-registered disinfectant labeled for use against a wide variety of pathogens and is included on Health Canada’s list of products that meet their criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. When applied at full strength in accordance with the product label, it will kill 100 per cent of bacteria and viruses on hard, non-porous surfaces and will also sanitize soft, porous surfaces.

"Orkin® VitalClean™ is an effective option for helping reduce risk and restore a safer and healthier business environment which is critical to getting our economy up and running again," said Rob Quinn, Senior Vice President of Operations, Orkin Canada. "This product has been used for years to disinfect commercial facilities after pest cleanouts. We are now pleased that it can serve a broader public health purpose as well.”

In dense places where people congregate, if high-touch surfaces such as countertops, fixtures and public seating are not disinfected, harmful viruses can spread rapidly. Just like frequent, careful handwashing is a basic measure for humans to stave off virus transmission, regular large-scale disinfection is imperative to helping keep establishments where people shop, eat and work as protected as possible.

For more information, visit: www.orkincanada.ca/commercial/services/vitalclean/

 
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May 7, 2020

 

TOPLINE: Hotels Have Applied for Paycheck Protection Program and Other Loans

More than 95% of respondents applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and/or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). 79% of applicants were approved for one or both. The median loan amount applied for was $150,000 (max PPP loan amount is 2.5x monthly payroll).

Top reasons why: A) Loan only covers 8 weeks of payroll and expected recovery to take much longer; B) Many hotels are still closed by government order and unable to reopen C) Have to spend PPP funds in short window of time to be forgivable, unable to hire staff back and will then be required to repay the loan.

TOPLINE: Lack of Debt Forbearance is a major issue for hotel owners NOW

Survey of hotels highlights urgent need for AHLA’s requested updates to Paycheck Protection Program and for debt relief from lenders, especially within the CMBS market.

BOTTOM LINE: With little to no revenue + no forbearance = hotels permanently close

BOTTOM LINE: More than 50% said the loan amount is not enough to rehire their staff.

BOTTOM LINE: More than 50% said the loan amount is not enough to rehire their staff.

 
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AMBLER, PA - May 7, 2020 - With stay-at-home orders in place in most states, public health structural pests like bedbugs, roaches and rodents are proliferating because of increased accessibility to food sources.  All of these contribute to worsening asthma conditions and related breathing complications, which may lead to more severe cases of COVID-19 for the 25 million asthmatics in the U.S.

 

Although pest control has been deemed an essential service by Homeland Security and the vast majority of states during the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns over maintaining social distancing and possible exposure to the coronavirus has significantly slowed, or stopped, treatments for these internal structural pests. 

 

“The implementation of stay-at-home mandates has created a fertile breeding ground for bedbugs, roaches, and rodents. This is especially true for multi-occupant, assisted living, and hospitality properties,” said Joseph Latino, President of Allergy Technologies.  “There is a need to strike the ‘right’ balance between preserving public health through preventive and focused pest control, while not causing undue exposure risk to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

 

Bedbugs

 

Bedbugs require frequent blood meals to grow into adulthood and reproduce. Within several months one pregnant female can result in over 30,000 bedbugs.  If left unaddressed, bedbugs will spread throughout a facility, affecting the lives of neighboring tenants in multi-occupant environments.

 

Bedbugs also prefer to feed while being undisturbed; for example, when people are sleeping or resting for extended periods on a couch, while watching TV or playing video games. Stay-at-home social behavior has provided plenty of opportunities for bedbugs to feed. Sadly, those affected by the coronavirus, who are too sick to get out of bed, provide the ideal bedbug victim.  Resulting bites, when repeatedly scratched, can result in infections that further complicate the condition of the patient. 

 

Hotels are also increasingly being repurposed as locations for the homeless, quarantine sites, and temporary housing for healthcare workers and emergency first responders. Bedbug introductions will undoubtedly rise substantially without implementing prevention and affecting timely treatments. While hotels are being returned to service and are undergoing sanitization, they should consider including bedbug detection, treatment and instituting preventive strategies.  These measures are significantly easier to enact, less disruptive and less expensive while the hotel is unoccupied.   Taking proactive steps now to treat and prevent bedbugs will create great savings down the road.

 

Rodents and Roaches

 

Rodent activity is on the uptick throughout the country. Increased food storage, food waste and delayed garbage removal provide ample food sources for these pests to grow quickly in number. National experts in the control of rodents note that, as quarantines continue and restaurants remain closed, rodent activity is likely to rise in homes, apartments, affordable housing and assisted living facilities.

 

In addition, roach infestations are on the rise in environments with poor sanitation. In just 3-4 months, a roach population can multiply by over 600 times, and will continue to expand exponentially without periodic pest control maintenance and proper cleaning procedures.

 

Solution

 

If pest management professionals are not being engaged to control these public health pests, residents are likely to resort to ‘do-it-yourself’ pest control, including the improper use of household chemicals, which are ineffective and often dangerous. “Many of these chemicals are highly flammable and can compromise those with breathing difficulties,” Latino added. “And some treatments may actually enhance the resistance of these pests to traditional chemical treatments, making treatment less effective and more time-consuming.”

 

Pest management professionals, using well-established COVID-19 hygiene guidelines, can implement prevention programs that will significantly reduce the problems caused by these public health pests. 

 

Untreated pests can spread to infest entire buildings over several months, resulting in  extensive and costly treatments; significant facility-wide disruption; and unnecessarily prolonged interactions between staff, residents and pest managers which is a problem in today’s environment. “Delaying treatment and the implementation of preventive programs has created an explosion of infestations, which dangerously increases the levels of allergens for residents subject to asthma and related allergies,” added Gus Carey, Founder of Allergy Technologies.  “Residents of these facilities, particularly in typically underserved affordable housing, should not have to suffer the health problems, psychological distress and disruptions caused by these pests.” 

  

In trying to control the delicate balance between the short term needs of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and securing public safety through responsible pest control, the unintended hazards of deferring treatments for public health pests must be recognized.  “Even in the short- and medium term, adopting preventive strategies now, using well-documented IPM-based protocols, will reduce the need for contact time between residents and pest management service providers by 50-65%,” Latino concluded. 

 

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