5 things to know: 31 August 2017
 
5 things to know: 31 August 2017
31 AUGUST 2017 9:28 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Trump calls for action on tax cuts
  • Harvey continues to cause havoc
  • Major hotel investors affected by Chinese capital rules
  • US sees strong KPI growth for week ending 26 August
  • Puerto Rico looks for renaissance with Chinese tourism

Trump calls for action on tax cuts: Corporate tax cuts have been a top point of discussion since before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and Trump renewed the call for them Wednesday while speaking in Springfield, Missouri, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Without providing a detailed plan, Trump called for lowering business taxes to 15% and simplifying the process of repatriating foreign profits. Ultimately, he said, these moves would benefit the middle class.

“If we want to renew our prosperity and to restore opportunity then we must reduce the tax burden on our companies and our workers,” Trump said.


Harvey continues to cause havoc: As Hurricane Harvey lurches through the southern U.S., the New York Times reports the storm continues to cause damage and drop massive amounts of rain. The Times also reports the Federal Emergency Management Agency is now sending out “heavy-lift military helicopters carrying tons of food and drinking water, delivering it to people who could not evacuate.”

Among the many troubling updates in relation to the storm is the fact that a chemical plan in Crosby, Texas (about 30 miles from Houston), suffered multiple explosions due to flood damage.

Hotel News Now continues to collect reaction from hotel companies related to the storm and its fallout.


Major hotel investors affected by Chinese capital rules: As the Chinese government sets stricter rules about businesses getting money out of the country, some large players in the hotel industry are among those affected, reports Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

Baker notes among the companies most affected by the restrictions are Anbang Insurance Group, Dalian Wanda Group and HNA Tourism Group, each of which have been major international investors in hotels.

But sources told Baker they still believe Chinese capital will be important among international investors.

“I would absolutely think that we’d see new players from China going abroad,” said Jesper Palmqvist, area director for the Asia/Pacific at Hotel News Now's parent company STR.


U.S. sees strong KPI growth for week ending 26 August: U.S. hoteliers enjoyed growth in each of the three key performance indicators for the week ending 26 August, according to data from STR. For the week, occupancy was up 3% year over year to 69.5%, average daily rate increased 3.2% to $125.57, and revenue per available room jumped 6.3% to $87.28.

Nashville, Tennessee, led the way among the top 25 markets, with ADR increasing 21.7% to $155.04, occupancy up 14.6% to 81.6%, and RevPAR up 39.4% to $126.48. It’s worth noting that Nashville was the largest city in the path of totality for the recent eclipse.


Puerto Rico looks for renaissance with Chinese tourism: Financial woes seem to be a recurring theme for Puerto Rico as of late, with the U.S. territory amassing more than $70 billion in debt. But Puerto Rican officials are hopeful a possible wave of tourists from China could help buoy their economic future, Bloomberg reports.

To help make this happen, the Caribbean island is hoping to get private investors to “build a $200 million China-themed center in Arecibo, on a former sugar-cane field about an hour outside San Juan.”

Funding for the plan could be an issue, Bloomberg notes, as it’s expected to come from a “Chinese law and development firm,” which must figure out how to circumvent that country’s newfound capital restrictions. The Puerto Rican government might not have a good alternative, though.

“Puerto Rico really cannot at this point go to the market and issue bonds and borrow money for public investment," Manuel Laboy, the island’s secretary of economic development and commerce, told Bloomberg. “It has to be based on private investment.”


Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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