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How many hotels can survive COVID-19? + more travel news

How many hotels can survive COVID-19? + more travel news

In this week’s TravelSkills on SFGATE newsletter….

If you thought the outlook was bleak for airlines (as we wrote about recently), wait until you read about what’s happening at big downtown hotels that typically cater to summer vacationers, and fall season conventioneers. Business and bookings that had been on an upward track, have suddenly started to stall as new surges of the novel coronavirus and new travel restrictions have broken out in the United States. Some 8,000 hotel closures could happen, according to a key trade organization. Read: How many hotels can survive COVID-19?

Speaking of new travel restrictions, the Bahamas is the latest nation to explicitly deny entry to U.S. travelers, despite the painful fact that it derives most of its tourism revenue from Americans. Travelers from Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe are still allowed in with a recent COVID-19 test. Read: US tourists banned from Bahamas due to coronavirus concerns.

Please note our new TravelSkills on SFGATE newsletter format! Let us know what you think about the new conversational style versus to old list of links. Send me an email at chris@travelskills.com with your feedback! Thanks! — Chris

As usual, our weekly Saturday morning airline news and routes roundup up is chock-full of interesting developments. This week we chronicle yet another airline putting its Boeing 747 fleet out to pasture, and — in this case — “with immediate effect.” With Hawaii pushing back its plan to allow mainland travelers in without quarantine, Hawaiian Airlines has scaled back its plans to revive many flights to West Coast cities. JetBlue, Alaska and American team up in what we think could portend a post-pandemic merger. Plus, United expands at LAX while American retreats.  Read: Routes: Hawaiian drops Bay Area revival; Airline grounds its 747s for good + more airline news

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As we frequently report on airlines reviving more of their suspended international routes, some readers have wondered how the carriers can make money on these services when overseas passenger travel is banned or severely restricted, especially for Americans. Airlines are filling their seats with something else to eke out a few extra dollars — and these passengers don’t require much attention at all. Read: How airlines make money flying empty planes.

Airbnb’s latest attempt to appease hosts and customers amid a tumultuous year was met with a searing backlash on social media. The online vacation rental marketplace, headquartered in San Francisco, initiated a feature last week offering customers the chance to donate money and “kindness cards” to hosts. Ugh. Read: Airbnb asks people to donate money to landlords, backlash ensues.

So you think you can fly to New York and flout the new 14-day quarantine rules? Don’t take your chances. NY governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that quarantine scofflaws face a $2,000 fine and a mandatory quarantine order for failing to fill out personal information on a tracing form that New York will use to help make sure individuals stay indoors. Read: Non-compliant travelers face $2,000 fines in New York

Chris McGinnis is SFGATE’s senior travel correspondent. Email: chris@travelskills.com | Twitter: @cjmcginnis | Facebook: @TravelSkills

Source: www.sfgate.com

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