Lodging Daily News

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring that the Zika virus requires an urgent, united response, international travel insurance sales are soaring, says Reuters. Many vacationers are rerouting or cancelling trips to Latin America to avoid the rapidly spreading virus, which WHO is placing in the same category of concern as Ebola, reports the BBC. The rise in insurance sales provides insight into how travel is being impacted by the virus, although hotel chains and airlines have not yet been able to determine how it has or will affect bookings in the coming months. The infection, which can particularly affect pregnant women and cause birth defects, has raised concerns for the Rio Olympics this summer, but has not yet delayed plans. The Zika virus is not expected to have a widespread impact on the continental United States. To read more, click here.

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has formed a committee that will focus on issues related to hotel distribution. Made of 10 travel agency and industry representatives, the committee will meet regularly to share knowledge and keep abreast of lodging industry issues to best position ASTA’s response to events in the hotel space. The committee has already identified a number of issues they wish to address, including new distribution channels like apps and mobile technology, and book-direct marketing campaigns. To read more about this new committee, click here.

According to PwC U.S., Super Bowl 50 is projected to produce more than $220 million in direct spending for the San Francisco Bay Area on hospitality and tourism activities. PwC’s estimation is based on a proprietary analysis that focuses on exclusive characteristics of the 50th year’s events, such as the participating teams, attributes of the Bay Area, national economic conditions, and scheduled corporate activities. Read more here.

As primary market yields head toward historic lows, JLL expects investors to zero in on secondary markets to create more opportunities for profit growth and valuation increase. Additionally, JLL predicts more consolidation among operators and real-estate owners, as well as cross-border interest trends to take priority in 2016. To learn more, click here.

While 2015 marked the strongest U.S. lodging year on record, many panelists at last week’s Americas Lodging Investment Summit voiced concern that North American demand is due for a slowdown, Travel Weekly reports. From global stock market volatility to the strength of the U.S. dollar, which threatens to slow tourism growth, industry experts weighed in on the various issues facing hoteliers. To learn more, click here.

Chesapeake Lodging Trust maybe be exploring the possibility of a sale, says Globe St. The REIT would join three other public-to-private REIT transaction closings that have taken place in the past week–Blackstone’s closing on the acquisition of BioMed Realty Trust; Starwood Capital Group’s purchase of Equity Residential; and Starwood’s additional acquisition of Landmark Apartment Trust in partnership with Milestone Apartment REIT.

The Wall Street Journal initially reported Chesapeake’s possible sale, but the article has been removed from its website.