Resorts Update: Outrigger, RIU, Karisma & More


When the world is ready to travel again from Outrigger Hospitality Group on Vimeo.

Outrigger Hotels & Resorts has just released a new “Video of Hope” for the travel industry.

The hotel company also recently launched #OutriggerCARES as a global platform to provide support for its internal team as well as offer resources and aid to the communities in which the brand operates. Localized care ranges from housing healthcare heroes in Hawaii to delivering meals in Mauritius and donating personal protective equipment to a hospital in Phuket.

Looking forward, Outrigger makes it clear that the wellbeing of its guests and hosts is a top priority, and right now, its using this time to calibrate even higher cleanliness standards that are aligned with the new needs of COVID-19.

Incorporating best practices for sanitization and hygiene, Outrigger’s Clean Commitment will be rolled out company-wide to offer additional peace of mind for its guests.

As well, Outrigger is also moving forward with a number of revitalization projects, including guest room transformations and significant enhancements to public spaces.

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Hilton Reports Q1, COVID-19 Impact

In presenting its first quarter 2020 results, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. makes it clear that they reflect “the material impact that the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic had on Hilton’s business, the effects of which were not significant until March 2020.”

Highlights include:

  • Diluted EPS was $0.06 for the first quarter, and diluted EPS, adjusted for special items, was $0.74
  • Net income was $18 million for the first quarter
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $363 million for the first quarter
  • System-wide comparable RevPAR decreased 22.6% on a currency neutral basis for the first quarter from the same period in 2019
  • Approved 29,500 new rooms for development during the first quarter, growing Hilton’s development pipeline to 405,000 rooms as of March 31, 2020, representing 9% growth from March 31, 2019
  • Opened 8,800 rooms in the first quarter, contributing to 6,100 net additional rooms
  • In April 2020, pre-sold Hilton Honors points to American Express for $1.0 billion in cash
  • In April 2020, issued $1.0 billion of senior notes consisting of: (i) $500 million aggregate principal amount of 5.375% Senior Notes due 2025 and (ii) $500 million aggregate principal amount of 5.750% Senior Notes due 2028
  • Giving effect to the Hilton Honors pre-sale and issuance of senior notes, as of March 31, 2020, cash, restricted cash and cash equivalents would have been $3.8 billion

Commenting on the results, Hilton’s president and CEO, Christopher J. Nassetta said: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our number one priority remains protecting the safety and security of our guests, team members and owners.”

Nassetta continued: “We have also taken precautionary measures to protect our business, including securing our liquidity position. Given the strength of our system and dedication of our people, we believe we are well-positioned to navigate this crisis and ultimately recover stronger.”

With the exception of the Asia Pacific region, Hilton’s first quarter results were not significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic until March 2020, with occupancy roughly flat through February in the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) regions.

As such, the results for the three months ended March 31, 2020 are not indicative of future results and the material negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have on Hilton’s business for an indeterminate length of time.

RIU Puts Health, Safety Protocols In Place

RIU Hotels & Resorts has been working on17 protocols that will serve to guide operations in the hotels when they reopen post-COVID.

The protocols detail each hotel department’s work to “offer the highest guarantees of safety to guests and staff.” The departments from now on will apply the new measures in their everyday work and include reception, housekeeping, dining rooms, bars, kitchens, confectionery, goods reception, technical service centre, industrial zones, staff areas, staff transport, fitness and entertainment.

Together, they will manage the reopening process in a way that covers aspects from limiting the occupancy of the hotel and each of its areas to the correct dosage of tried and tested virucidal products.

The protocols have been created by RIU professionals in collaboration with Preverisk Group, an international consultancy specializing in health and safety advice, auditing and training in the tourist industry.

According to RIU, the new protocols “offer specific, practical solutions for all the different areas of the hotels. The next step will be to create a network, constituted as a broad alliance in the sector, in order to share and disseminate this knowledge among all the sector players who want it, given that we are all now working with the shared goal of recovering our activities safely and earning the customers’ trust in the destinations and businesses.”

RIU said that: “As part of this alliance, all participants will also have access to training modules developed by Preverisk, which will explain the implementation of the recommended measures. These protocols are already in the hands of Spanish and international regional governments, as well as TUI Group, for their oversight.”

It notes that “staff training is an essential part of these protocols, as it ensures that all employees know what they need to know in order to act appropriately in every task they undertake in their role.”

Observing that: “Another key part of this plan’s success is monitoring staff and ensuring they only attend their place of work if they are in good health, as well as ensuring that no members of staff who belong to risk groups are in charge of hazardous jobs such as cleaning items or areas with suspected cases of COVID-19.”

RIU also says that “the protocols break down the new measures in detail, covering for example, the limitation of hotel occupancy to 50% or 60% (or the local restrictions, if lower), checking guests’ temperature on arrival, the gradual implementation of web check-in to reduce handling physical documents as much as possible, the installation of safety screens at reception desks, respecting safe distances and using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) among employees, disinfecting work stations and equipment at the end of every day, as well as encouraging guests to use the hotel app to search for information and opening hours, again as a way of avoiding handling documents.”

Check-out time will be brought forward to 11:00, while check-in is delayed until 16:00 to allow time for the new room cleaning measures. In the rooms, all non-essential items will be removed, such as coffee machines, magazines, leaflets and laundry bags.

Amenities are also reduced to only the essential, and a hand sanitizer gel will be included in every room.

“RIU has stepped up to this task with a view to leading the overhaul of all the hotel work processes, an essential task if we are to ensure maximum safety in the hotels following the outbreak of this health crisis. The work will undergo constant review, in line with the development of the pandemic, how it is being handled and the emergence of effective products and rules to fight against its spread.”

And it adds that: “The chain’s aspiration is to get back to action as soon as possible and offer all the guarantees within its reach. The chain is experiencing the worst crisis the sector has ever faced, having closed all 99 hotels in 19 countries, but it is now focusing on the work it needs to do to restart operations and welcome back its workforce.”

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Karisma Celebrates The Heroes

Karisma Hotels & Resorts has launched Holidays for Your Heroes, an initiative that will see it donate 150 luxury all-inclusive resort stays to essential workers and their families through its Karisma Foundation and partners.

The vacations provide heartfelt thanks for the tireless work of those in the healthcare, delivery and other frontline industries, giving them something to look forward to, in addition to much-needed rest and relaxation.

Karisma has opened a public call to nominate everyday heroes who are deserving of a five-day, five-star dream vacation at an all-inclusive resort of choice in Latin America or the Caribbean, when the time is right.

Holidays for Your Heroes is a part of the Karisma Foundation, an established charity that supports vulnerable populations in countries where the company’s resorts are located. The initiative also includes the ability for anyone to sponsor a vacation for a frontline worker, with one hundred percent of funds used to gift the trip at cost to a hero and their family.

The nomination process is simple. Now through June 30, 2020, anyone can nominate an essential hero with a short explanation of why they are deserving; those qualified can also apply directly. Nominations can also be submitted via Instagram by posting with the hashtag #HolidaysForYourHeroes.

Recipients of the 150 vacations will be selected in July 2020, and will receive a complimentary four-night, five-day stay for up to five family members (two adults and up to three children) – redeemable once travel restrictions are lifted.

In addition to Holidays for Your Heroes, Karisma is taking extraordinary measures to support employees and communities during the pandemic. This includes protecting the entirety of its full-time workforce despite the effect of this crisis on hotel operations. In the Dominican Republic, Karisma’s Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana is supplying and delivering more than 800 meals daily to families in the community with the assistance of the tourism police municipality. In Mexico, Karisma is providing food to employees and locals with fresh produce from El Dorado Royale by Karisma’s 75,000 square foot greenhouse, as well as medicine and medical supplies for 160 beneficiaries impacted by COVID-19.

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