5 things to know for March 31

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While consumer spending rose a somewhat disappointing 0.2% in February, according to Commerce Department data, a return to the trip faster than expected following the rise of the omicron variant, the number of buoys helped, reports the Wall Street Journal. Airlines said first-quarter revenue was at the upper end of their forecasts.

And travelers have not been deterred by the increase in airfares.

“They say, ‘I know it’s going to be expensive, but we haven’t been anywhere in two years, we really want to do this,'” Kim Cook, owner of Love to Travel, told the newspaper, adding that consumers have “I have money to burn.”

News that President Biden’s administration is set to release up to 1 million barrels of oil a day has lowers prices, reports the Wall Street Journal. Brent Crude fell 5.4% this morning to $105.46.

The newspaper notes that price declines due to the release of oil reserves have always been short-lived.

Accor, one of the major players in the hotel brand in South America, is entering a new stage of growth on the continent. South America CEO Thomas Dubaere said his company is looking to establish a larger footprint of luxury lifestyle propertiesreports HNN’s Sean McCracken.

Dubaere said one of his biggest levers to pull is combining resort properties with luxury branded residences, as these projects are guaranteed cash flow during the development cycle.

“For an investor, it’s almost an ideal scenario,” he said. “Because during [the investor’s] at the hotel, it has the residences, it has the brand and it has the service. Then when he sells the homes, it goes through SLS or Fairmont or whatever, and that’s an improvement for the investor.”

As various parts of China grapple with COVID-19 outbreaks and corresponding lockdowns, workers stuck at home are turning to luxury hotels that offer daytime babysittingreports CNN.

One such hotel is the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai, which offers to feed children and supervise their schooling online.

“After the Shanghai municipal government released its new policy that all students should stay home for online education from March 12 due to the recent omicron outbreak, we have witnessed the responses of our society and understood how difficult it was for parents who had to juggle work and their children,” Cecilia Yang, director of communications at Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai, told the outlet.

Although it’s not the same as taking care of children, a hotel in Kentucky presents itself as the world’s first plant-friendly hotel and offering things like guaranteed natural lighting for houseplants for travelers who decide to bring with them, NPR reports.

The Elwood Hotel & Suites in Lexington, Kentucky, promises a specific suite with the best lighting.

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