Marriott Is Already Reopening China Hotels During Coronavirus Crisis


The JW Marriott Sanya Haitang Bay in China. Marriott is bringing closed hotels back online in China as the coronavirus crisis cools down. Marriott

Skift Take: Marriott was already having trouble in Asia Pacific in 2019 before the coronavirus impact hit. The company isn’t forecasting a major impact outside of Asia, and is already reopening hotels inside China. It pays to collect fees, and not actually own or run hotels during a crisis like this.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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How to Get Music Right in Luxury Lifestyle Hotels

Nick Simonite

The Hotel Saint Cecilia’s pool at dusk in Austin, Texas. Saint Cecilia has a carefully crafted musical soundtrack that taps into the soul of the property and the city of Austin. Nick Simonite

Skift Take: Music is getting better at hotels. What was once piped through in muted tones has now moved front and center. The strongest hospitality companies are investing in experiences in an effort to map from the soul of a brand and capture its signature sound. And, as Sister City has shown with its Björk collaboration, hotel music can become high-concept performance.

— Colin Nagy

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How Four Seasons and Others Are Welcoming Refugees With Job Training

Flamingo Images  / Adobe

A number of luxury hotels in Chicago are working with Heartland Alliance, which helps place refugees in hospitality jobs. Flamingo Images / Adobe

Skift Take: The U.S. government in 2020 may have severely limited the number of refugees it would resettle, but a luxury hospitality program taking place in America’s heartland is proof that refugees are still welcome here.

— Laura Powell

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Saudi Arabia Suspends Mecca Pilgrimages Amid Virus Fears

Amr Nabil  / The Associated Press

Muslim pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Amr Nabil / The Associated Press

Skift Take: The precautionary measure to limit entry to Islam’s holiest sites is a wise move on Saudi Arabia’s part, but this would mean a major hit on Umrah travel agents worldwide.

— Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

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Skift Forum Europe Preview: Why Ryanair Still Doesn’t Need to Be Loved

Anna Zvereva  / Flickr

A Ryanair aircraft. Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs will speak March 25 at Skift Forum Europe in Madrid. Anna Zvereva / Flickr

Skift Take: Kenny Jacobs has certainly helped soften some of the rougher edges during his time at Ryanair, but plenty of challenges still remain for the no-frills airline that’s committed to high growth. How will the low-cost carrier go about navigating them after his departure?

— Patrick Whyte

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Puerto Rico Events Sector Grows, Fueled by First Hotel Launch in El Distrito

Aloft San Juan

Aloft San Juan in Puerto Rico. El Distrito’s first hotel opened its doors last week. Aloft San Juan

Skift Take: Puerto Rico has seen its share of setbacks recently, but a fresh approach to experiential events paired with the launch of a tech-centered complex make the island an emerging leader for destination events.

— Lauren Ward

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Israel Cautions Against Foreign Travel Over Coronavirus Concerns

Israel Airports Authority

Israel asked its citizens to consider not flying abroad. Pictured is the country’s main airport, in Tel Aviv. Israel Airports Authority

Skift Take: Coronavirus has become a nightmare scenario for the world’s travel industry. Israel is a small country, and maybe this recommendation doesn’t matter much. But you can envision other countries making similar recommendations, with devastating consequences for travel brands.

— Tom Lowry

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Asia Tourism Tackles Climate Change: It Gets Confusing

Radek Kucharski  / Flickr

Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to the effects of climate change. Severe weather changes could greatly jeopardize traditional lifestyles and livelihoods in many parts of the region. Radek Kucharski / Flickr

Skift Take: Many tourism stakeholders in Asia are finally taking steps to tackle the climate change elephant in the room, but confusion over carbon offsetting is preventing the issue from being addressed swiftly and effectively. Meanwhile, the climate clock ticks on.

— Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

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