Expedia and Marriott rise as stimulus checks and easing restrictions boost optimism for travel and hospitality

family travel road trip
  • Expedia stock ended Thursday’s session at a record high and Marriott gained as travel optimism grew.
  • The US will begin sending $1,400 checks after President Biden signed off on a stimulus package.
  • New York State will lift some travel restrictions starting on April 1.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of Marriot and other hotel chains pushed toward record highs Thursday as investors anticipated that new stimulus checks for millions of Americans and relaxed travel restrictions will lead to more bookings.

Hotel names rode up alongside other consumer discretionary stocks, in turn drawing the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund up by 1.5% at the close.

Online travel bookings site Expedia rose by 2.1% at end at a record close of $171.08. Marriott tacked on 1.6% to end at $148.83, a third winning session. The stock two weeks ago logged its all-time high of $159.98.

The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high Thursday, the same day President Joe Biden signed off on a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus package passed by Congress. With his signature, the government will begin sending $1,400 checks to most Americans with the aim of assisting them until the economy fully recovers.

Some industry watchers have said consumers having more spending money can help the travel sector recover from the coronavirus crisis, but hurdles remain. The pandemic is still not over and millions of Americans are still out of work, they’ve cautioned.

But COVID-19 case counts “continue to decrease every day,” as more people are vaccinated, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday as the state lifted its requirement for domestic travelers to quarantine after arrival, effective April 1. International travelers will still be required to quarantine.

Among other travel stocks, Hyatt rose 1.6% and InterContinental Hotels Group added on 0.6%. Hilton had been more than 1% higher intraday before turning lower, ending down by less than 1%.

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Hyatt says it’s creating a ‘highly inclusive environment’ as people call for a boycott of the hotel chain for hosting CPAC in Florida

trump cpac merch
Various items are seen on sale at the merchandise show at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

  • People are calling for a boycott of Hyatt, an American hotel chain that is hosting CPAC this weekend.
  • The annual political gathering for conservatives is taking place at Orlando’s Hyatt Regency hotel.
  • A Hyatt spokesperson said the chain is responsible for creating an inclusive environment.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

As people call for a boycott of Hyatt for hosting this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, the American hotel chain is standing up for what it is describing as its  values of inclusivity and respect.

“We take pride in operating a highly inclusive environment and we believe that the facilitation of gatherings is a central element of what we do as a hospitality company,” a Hyatt spokesperson told Fox Business in response to hosting CPAC in its Hyatt Regency hotel in Orlando, Florida.

“We believe in the right of individuals and organizations to peacefully express their views, independent of the degree to which the perspectives of those hosting meetings and events at our hotels align with ours.”

The Hyatt spokesperson said the chain is responsible for creating an inclusive environment for all guests.

People initially took to Twitter over the weekend to call out the American hotel chain for hosting the conservative event, which is featuring speeches from Republican lawmakers, former White House officials, and former President Donald Trump. Many people took issue with the design of the event’s stage, which was reminiscent of symbol used by the Nazi party.

This year’s event is also shadowed by the January 6 iinsurrection at the US Capitol by Trump supporters. The mob had been fueled by baseless claims of election fraud propagated by Trump and other far-right conservatives, including his long-time ally Roger Stone, who was on stage at the Florida event on Saturday. 

 

Some prominent Republicans took to Twitter to defend the hotel chain.

The event officially ends on Sunday, February 28. On Friday, CPAC hosts were booed and heckled when they asked crowd to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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A Hyatt-owned resort hotel in Austin is letting people ‘test drive’ life in Texas for $18,500 a month – see inside Miraval Austin

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin.

  • Miraval Austin created an extended stay program that lets people “test drive” what it’s like living in Austin, Texas.
  • The program starts at $18,504 for a month-long single occupancy stay.
  • Tech companies like Oracle and Tesla recently announced plans to relocate from California to Austin.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Miraval Austin created an extended stay program that lets people “test drive” what it’s like living in Austin, Texas as tech companies continue to flock to the “next Silicon Valley.”

The new migration boom to Austin is no secret. Companies like Oracle and Tesla recently announced their plans to relocate from the Bay Area to Austin, Texas, a city that offers benefits like more advantageous tax laws and cheaper living costs.

Tech giants are the only ones eyeing a move to Texas. According to data from U-Haul, Texas saw the arrival of more one-way U-Haul trucks than any other state from 2016 to 2018.

The Lone Star State may have fallen from first place in 2019 and 2020, but it still hung on in second place after Florida and Tennessee, respectively.

Read more: Elon Musk and other tech powerhouses are flocking to Texas, pushing an already bonkers real-estate market to new heights. Take a look inside Austin, which is quickly becoming the next Silicon Valley.

“Austin offers people the cachet of a cool cultural center and a burgeoning tech hub paying high wages, while still remaining much more affordable than coastal markets like San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle,” Jeff Tucker, a senior economist at Zillow, told Insider’s Natasha Solo-Lyons in December.

Now, Miraval – a Hyatt-owned chain with three locations – is taking advantage of this new spotlight on Austin by offering guests a chance to see all the city has to offer

Are you a travel industry employee or have a travel industry story to share? Contact this reporter at bchang@insider.com.

Miraval Austin has 117 guest rooms on 220-acres of land to create a “one-of-a-kind restorative haven.”

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin.

Its latest extended stay offer was designed to allow people considering a move to Austin a chance to “test drive the area” before officially committing to a move.

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin.

The package starts at $18,504 for a month-long single occupancy stay.

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin.

Guests who book the deal will also get four additional nights for free.

Miraval Austin
A room at the Miraval Austin.

The offer also includes a free aromatherapy Swedish massage …

Miraval Austin
A facial at Miraval Austin.

… and $175 nightly credits to use on the resort grounds.

Miraval Austin
The kitchen at Miraval Austin.

“There has been significant interest in the last week alone, with many phone inquiries and online chat inquiries about extended stays,” Anthony Duggan, area vice president and general manager of Miraval Austin, told Insider in an email statement.

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin.

The resort, located by Lake Travis, is about a 30 minute drive to Austin.

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin.

This means anyone staying at the hotel under its new package will be able to easily explore the nearby city.

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin.

Miraval also offers Austin-focused features that can be seen throughout its decor and meals, according to the hotel.

Miraval Austin
Two queen beds in a room at Miraval Austin.

However, living at the Miraval resort for a month would probably be much more luxurious than living in a typical Austin apartment.

Miraval Austin
A room balcony at Miraval Austin.

For starters, most apartment buildings in Austin probably don’t offer unlimited smoothies, coffee, or teas like Miraval does.

Miraval Austin
A treatment room at Miraval Austin.

The hotel also has a catalog of “restorative outdoor activities” for its guests.

Miraval Austin
The pool at Miraval Austin.

This includes a “challenge course,” hikes, yoga, and horseback riding.

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin’s challenge course.

And Miraval’s list of on-site activities doesn’t just stop at outdoor adventures.

Miraval Austin
The serenity pool at Miraval Austin.

Unlike most hotels near a major city, Miraval was designed to be a “spa destination” with different wellness programs.

Miraval Austin
The spa lobby at Miraval Austin.

This emphasis on wellness can be seen throughout its lineup of other resort experiences.

Miraval Austin
The exterior of the spa at Miraval Austin.

This includes Miraval’s list of culinary, “creative expression,” and “spirit and soul” offerings …

Miraval Austin
Cooking at Miraval Austin.

… as well as a variety of spa-related activities, including “body renewal rituals.”

Miraval Austin
The spa at Miraval Austin.

Want to learn how to play with shadows for your Instagram photos? Miraval has an experience for that.

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin’s farm.

Looking for someone to help you through difficult times? Hit up the hotel’s wellness counselor or spirit guide.

Miraval Austin
Miraval Austin.

Bee enthusiasts can also learn how to become a beekeeper on the hotel’s property.

Miraval Austin
Baking at Miraval Austin.

If all of this sounds enticing to you, Miraval’s extended stay offer also includes a shuttle to bring guests to and from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Miraval Austin
The spa at Miraval Austin.

Read the original article on Business Insider