Want to pay for a hotel but not book your date yet? Iowa hotels offer bonds to use after coronavirus

Want to pay for a hotel but not book your date yet? Iowa hotels offer bonds to use after coronavirus

Des Moines, Iowa, metro hotels are participating in a "Buy Now, Visit Later" hotel bonds campaign that will give guests who purchase a $100 voucher now an extra $50 when they book a room later, reports the Des Moines Register, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network.

The campaign, sponsored by Catch Des Moines, is aimed at giving hotels a boost during the coronavirus pandemic. People are invited to purchase a $100 hotel voucher at nearly 30 participating hotels, which will turn into $150 after the voucher, referred to as a bond, "matures" in 60 days.

Tech-savvy entrepreneurs and hotel groups have come up with the idea of selling credits that can be bought at a discount to be used for future room nights, food and for services like spa treatments.

If consumers bite, it's a win-win – hoteliers make a dent in their massive losses and locked-down customers get a big break on a future hotel stay. Whether or not it ends up making much of an impact, the concept shows that the hotel industry is at least trying to think creatively as it faces one of its biggest crises ever.

With empty hotel rooms and furloughed employees, the hospitality industry is one of the hardest-hit as Americans limit travel to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.

Metrowide, hotels are reporting occupancy rates of 20%, according to data from Catch Des Moines. A healthy occupancy rate is about 60%.

Nationally, hotels have lost more than $21 billion in room revenue and nearly 3.9 million total jobs have either been eliminated or will be eliminated, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

"Our hotels play a vital role in sustaining the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in Greater Des Moines," said Greg Edwards, president and CEO of Catch Des Moines, the metro's convention and visitors bureau and sports commission. "We're asking the community to invest in the industry that contributes to our culture and fuels growth for our entire region."

Outside the Hilton Des Moines Downtown at the corner of Fifth Street and Park Avenue and just south of the Iowa Events Center on Monday, March 19, 2018, in downtown Des Moines.

To learn more about the "Buy Now, Visit Later" campaign and purchase hotel bonds, visit catchdesmoines.com/buynowvisitlater.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, much like other hotel industry executives, painted a somber but hopeful picture about the state of hospitality during the coronavirus pandemic Monday – and introduced a new company gift card strategy likely to entice travel-hungry consumers.

Sorenson teased a new discount gift card promotion during an earnings call this week. Marriott spokesman John Wolf provided the details to USA TODAY: Until May 17, customers can purchase a Marriott Bonvoy gift card at a 20% discount, to be used globally this summer and beyond. Further details are available here, including which gift cards hold the applicable discount.

Guests can only purchase this online, and exclude the Bulgari and Design Hotels, Ritz-Carlton Residences and Homes and Villas by Marriott International brands.

Kim Norvell covers growth and development for the Register. Reach her at knorvell@dmreg.com or 515-284-8259. Follow her on Twitter @KimNorvellDMR.

Contributing: Chris Woodyard and David Oliver, USA TODAY

Pay now, book later:Hotels sell credits, offering deep discounts for future stays

More Marriott details:If you want 20% off your late-summer stay at Marriott, now's your chance

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2020/05/12/coronavirus-iowa-hotels-offering-bonds-guests/3114220001/

News Related

ORTHER NEWS

Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »