2 Hospitality CEOs Who See Very Different But Sweet Opportunities in Soured Year of Travel

Coronavirus shutdowns can be a chance to recalibrate and accelerate new hospitality business strategies.

Travel restrictions and cratered demand shuttered hotels across the U.S. beginning in mid-March. But if operators can move beyond suspended operations and tanked revenue, the shutdowns can also present opportunities.

The chief executives of timeshare company Wyndham Destinations and extended stay brand AKA Hotel Residences, in separate interviews with Skift, both said they used the downturn in travel to plan for future growth coming out of what is expected to be the worst year on record for the global travel industry.

“Amid all the craziness going on, I think it’s going to be three giant steps forward for the AKA brand,” said Larry Korman, president of AKA Hotel Residences. “Our time has come.”

AKA’s upscale properties, in markets like New York City and London, are designed for travelers looking for a week to month-long stay.

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Crunch time for China’s robot startups as pandemic brings pain and opportunities

By David Kirton

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – With glowing blue eyes and trusting feline features, a new robot cat by Chinese startup Elephant Robotics seems happily oblivious to the worries of CEO Joey Song as he shows it off at the company’s lab in Shenzhen.

Elephant Robotics’ main business is the automation of factory assembly lines but revenue has plunged by a third this year due to the coronavirus, leading the company to cut staff by a fifth.

“It’s tough,” said Song. “Before, we had more than 30 people.”

Due to the downturn, the firm is putting more energy into the robot cat project funded on Kickstarter in December. Readying its first large batch of 1,000 cats for sale, it hopes that as more consumers work from home, interest in pet robots will grow.

“If the industrial robots can’t sell right now, we just focus on other robots to lower

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How The Non-Scripted Business Is Set To Resume Production, Focus On Big-Ticket Development

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The non-scripted business is gearing up for a return to full production, safely of course, over the next couple of months.

L.A. County has allowed the reopening of film and TV production, non-fiction trade group N-Pact, which includes members such as Endemol Shine North America and Wheelhouse Entertainment, released its own health and safety guidelines and Hollywood unions DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and the Teamsters released their detailed protocols.

More from Deadline

This has led many non-scripted buyers, producers and agents to be optimistic that filming on many shows, including a number of big-scale network series, will resume this July and August.

Below, Deadline looks at how shows such as NBC’s America’s Got Talent and CBSLove Island are proceeding, lays out the challenges of returning safely to production and reveals an optimism about development.

NBC has been working through plans for

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