Hotel tycoon Surinder Arora had a plan to attract business and leisure travellers back to his Sofitel at Heathrow airport: a £179 “test and rest” deal, where guests could enjoy a night’s stay and a Covid-19 test before flying, with breakfast thrown in.
Occupancy levels at his Arora Group’s 15 hotels are languishing at a fraction of pre-Covid rates — 10%, in some cases. Arora, 62, had been hoping his initiative would give passengers the confidence to travel again.
That now looks like a distant dream. The prime minister’s announcement last night that England was about to be plunged into a second lockdown — with holidays off the table — has thrown the travel sector into a new crisis.
The aviation and tourism industry was already in the midst of its worst downturn since the Second World War. For Heathrow, the impact of the shutdown has been seismic. In normal
Ireland is warning that no post-Brexit trade deal will be struck if the UK pushes on with a plan to break international law.
Tensions have ratcheted up following comments by senior figures in both governments ahead of another crucial week for negotiations.
Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney told Sky News that should Boris Johnson persist with trying to override parts of the EU divorce deal, then a new treaty on the future relationship will be off the table.
“This is move week,” he said. “We’ve got to make big progress.”
But a senior minister in the UK confirmed that Mr Johnson will stick to his plan and keep the controversial parts of the draft legislation in place.
Peers have removed the offending bits of the Internal Market Bill, which included giving ministers the power to “disapply” parts of the with withdrawal agreement relating to goods moving between Northern Ireland and
Sara Jerde of Adweek writes about how tech news site The Information has been successful in putting its events online during a pandemic.
Jerde writes, “The Information’s WTF virtual conference took place over two days in early September, featuring a lineup of speakers including Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg and chief diversity officer Maxine Williams, according to Lessin. In total, over 500 attendees bought tickets costing $1,000. For comparison, 2019’s event hosted fewer than 200 attendees in Times Square.
“To recreate the interactions between attendees, The Information used software Hoppin to chat with people during appointed network breaks in five-minute intervals. The publisher also uses Zoom for its virtual events. Most of the speaker sessions were pre-recorded, which helped with preparation but limited their timeliness. In the virtual world, attendees were more inclined to interact, ask questions and chat, too. According to Lessin, this model generated greater revenue and far