It's not much of a surprise to find out that the current health crisis combined with the catastrophic crash in the demand for travel has been taken a serious toll on the hospitality industry, but considering the European borders are already starting to open up it's more than a little shocking to find out that the Park Hyatt Mallorca will not be reopening before Spring 2021.
IHG has announced that it will be reintroducing the InterContinental brand to Rome 6 years after the last property to carry the InterContinental name in the Italian capital (the InterContinental De La Ville) was reflagged as a Rocco Forte property.
Last month, in the week that Marriott was selling its e-gift cards at a discount, I made 4 separate gift card purchases in an attempt to see how the transactions would be treated by various credit cards I hold and in an attempt to use up the Marriott travel credit offered by the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant credit card from American Express. Things did not progress smoothly.
Marriott has launched a new promotion in which it's offering customers a 20% discount on e-gift card purchases made through 17 May 2020. For frequent visitors to Marriott portfolio properties this could be a good time to lock in some savings for future travel and, as you'll see in the details of this promotion, there's a good incentive for Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit card holders to participate too.
Marriot has just announced that it has raised $920 million in cash through the agreements it holds with JPMorgan Chase and American Express and, in doing so, follows Hilton in using its credit card partners to raise much needed liquidity during the current crisis.
Just as we saw in the Great Recession it looks like major corporations are starting to turn to their financial partners to help with any liquidity problems that they may have and, this time around, it looks like Hilton is first to the well with a 1 billion dollar cash injection from American Express.
It was way back on 12 March that IHG Rewards was the first major loyalty program (from the hotel or airline industry) to take measures to make it easier for its members to earn/retain status this year but that appears to have been the end of the program's interest in looking after its members and guests.
Back on 12 March Hilton made a customer-friendly change to its change/cancellation fee policy when, amongst other things, it added all the EU countries to the list of destinations where change and cancellation fees are being waived and where refunds are being offered. As of yesterday, that policy got even better.
At some point in the future, life will return to what it was like just a few months ago and people will be going about their lives and doing their best to forget the chaos that we're witnessing right now...but I hope we don't forget everything.
In countries where the hotel industry lobby doesn't own the people's elected representatives (at least, not entirely), hotel websites are obliged to show the total cost of a room with all taxes and fees added in. Sadly the United States isn't such a country so, on most US hotel websites, the cost of a room that a customer is first presented with often has little in common with the final price paid.