5 things to know: 17 November 2017
5 things to know: 17 November 2017
17 NOVEMBER 2017 10:27 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • IHG to retire Holidex by early 2019
  • US House passes tax bill
  • Wyndham hotel CEO on deals, growth plans
  • Japanese government raids Airbnb
  • Can politics be the motivator for hotel development?

IHG to retire Holidex by early 2019: Keith Barr, CEO, InterContinental Hotels Group said the hotel company now has its new guest reservation service, which it developed with Amadeus, live in more than 100 of its hotels worldwide as it continues the test phase of what Barr says is the industry’s first cloud-based reservation system. Speaking this morning with Hotel News Now’s executive editor Jeff Higley, Barr, who was responsible for GRS when it was launched, said it is particularly gratifying to see the system gaining momentum.

IHG’s current Holidex system will be phased out in just a little more than a year. Barr told HNN “we’re in China; we’re in Europe; we’re in the U.S. up and running brilliantly. We’ll go to full-phased roll out in 2018 and finish in early 2019.”

Barr said IHG has changed out equipment over the last three years “to allow us to have an incredible, agile technology stack. We’re going to have the ability to do things going forward that we just couldn’t dream of two, three years ago. (It has) service-based architecture to allow us to work with different companies around the world to allow us to deliver different benefits. We’re going to be able to deliver revenue to our hotels in a much more intuitive, easy to use way.”

Watch for HNN’s exclusive video interview with IHG’s Barr soon.

U.S. House passes tax bill: A day after doubts started to emerge about the Senate’s tax legislation, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a tax-reform bill that The Wall Street Journal described as “the most far-reaching overhaul of the U.S. tax system in 31 years.”

“We are in a generational defining moment for our country,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “It is finally time that we get the general interest of this country to prevail over the special interests in Washington.”

Wyndham hotel CEO on deals, growth plans: Wyndham Hotel Group President and CEO Geoff Ballotti knows that growth is vital for his company as the hotel industry continues to change. During a video interview with HNN’s Stephanie Ricca, Ballotti discussed the importance of the company’s recent deals.

“This industry is going to continue to consolidate,” Ballotti said during the interview at the recent Lodging Conference. “Size has never mattered more when it comes to what a larger system can provide to its franchisees in terms of distribution, of … lowering distribution costs, in terms of technology, in terms of driving more revenue and at the same time driving down costs.”

Japanese government raids Airbnb: Airbnb faces pressure from the Japanese government, which accused the company of violating antitrust laws and recently raided the company’s offices in the country, according to Reuters.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission would not comment to the news service, which claims the JFTC “seized documents from Airbnb in Tokyo on suspicion that it broke antitrust rules by asking users not to list properties on rival sites.”

An Airbnb spokesperson said the company “will work with the JFTC to address any questions they may have.”

Can politics be the motivator for hotel development?: The Eaton Workshop, a hotel slated to open in Washington, D.C., in late 2018, aims to be “an anti-Trump hotel for liberals,” according to a report from Bloomberg. Now it might be fair to ask, could this approach deepen the political divide?

Bloomberg claims “Eaton is planting a clear flag as a haven for Democrats. It’s the world’s first politically-motivated hotel, the flagship for a global brand that’s built around social activism and community engagement.”

The property is being created by Katherine Lo, the daughter of Lo Ka Shui, who is the executive chairman of Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group.

Compiled by Sean McCracken and Terence Baker.

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