IHG’s Fast Response on Virus-Related Cancellations and 6 Other Top Hospitality Stories This Week

IHG

IHG debuted one of the most flexible cancellation policy of any major hotel company amid the coronavirus outbreak. IHG

Skift Take: This week in hospitality news, the coronavirus outbreak has led to a slew of hotel cancellations. IHG has emerged as a leader during this unprecedented crisis, offering customers the most generous cancellation policy. Plus, low-budget hotels embrace smart design.

— Danielle Hyams

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Spain Will Restrict Travel Starting Monday and Close Hotels and Restaurants Immediately

Joan Mateu  / Associated Press

People take a selfie outside the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, March 13, 2020. The basilica closed its doors to visitors and suspend construction from Friday, March 13 to prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 coronavirus. Spain, along with Italy and France, is among the countries worst hit by the virus so far in Europe. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. Joan Mateu / Associated Press

Skift Take: Expect this to roll out across other European countries in the coming days.

— Rachel Bronstein

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Traveling to Weddings Part of Coronavirus Anxieties as Couples Weigh Postponing

Teresa Crawford  / Associated Press

David Gaffke, owner of Complete Bridal, shown here in a shop in East Dundee, Illinois. Teresa Crawford / Associated Press

Skift Take: A wedding comes together with the help of a lot businesses along the way, including those in the travel industry. As wedding season fast approaches, coronavirus is creating major headaches for couples and guests with existing travel reservations.

— Tom Lowry

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Travel Brands, Remember Who You Really Serve — The Traveling Public

Claudio Furlan  / Lapresse via AP

FILE – In this Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 file photo, two waiters wait for customers in a restaurant at St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy. With the coronavirus emergency deepening in Europe, Italy, a focal point in the contagion, risks falling back into recession as foreign tourists are spooked from visiting its cultural treasures and the global market shrinks for prized artisanal products, from fashion to design. Claudio Furlan / Lapresse via AP

Skift Take: The travel industry went from overtourism to no tourism in a matter of weeks. Why are so many brands acting like they aren’t in the midst of an existential challenge and period of violent change?

— Andrew Sheivachman

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The Cruise Industry in Crisis and 13 Other Top Tourism Stories This Week

Carnival Corporation

Cruise companies are beginning to halt operations amid coronavirus concerns. Carnival Corporation

Skift Take: This week in tourism news, the cruise industry — which has long seemed immune to criticism about its health and safety record — is in deep trouble from coronavirus, with lines suspending cruises altogether. Plus, Baltimore rebrands itself as a tourist destination to fight stereotypes of violence.

— Danielle Hyams

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