5 things to know: 20 December 2017
5 things to know: 20 December 2017
20 DECEMBER 2017 10:24 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Tax cut hits roadblock but expected to pass today
  • Experts parse hotel impacts of tax reform
  • Puerto Rican hotels poised for rebound
  • US hotels report 3.9% RevPAR growth for November
  • Are pod hotels moving from cities to resorts?

Tax cut hits roadblock but expected to pass today: The Congressional push for a Republican tax-reform plan hit a snag late Tuesday when the Senate parliamentarian forced a few changes to the legislation, but the plan is expected to be advanced to the White House today, Bloomberg reports. The tax plan was initially approved by the House of Representatives before being slightly changed and passed by the Senate. The House is expected to revote on the tax plan today before advancing it to the desk of President Donald Trump.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that investors to real estate investment trusts should be especially happy with the new tax rules, as it significantly drops the tax rate on dividends paid by REITs.

Experts parse hotel impacts of tax reform: Tourism Economics’ Aran Ryan and STR’s Jan Freitag took a look at the pending tax cuts and how they might affect the hotel industry, deeming “a stronger economic context in the near term bodes well for demand, as the pace of business travel is anticipated to strengthen as a result.”

“An analysis Oxford conducted for American Hotel and Lodging Association, the lodging trade association, earlier this year showed tax policy changes would drive increased demand at U.S. hotels, and corresponding gains in guest spending and tax revenue for local economies,” Ryan and Freitag write. “These gains are expected to exceed those for the broader economy as both leisure and corporate travel more directly benefit from increased consumer and corporate spending.”

Puerto Rican hotels poised for rebound: Puerto Rican hoteliers want the world to know that hotels on the island, especially those in cities like San Juan, are in better shape than media reports might lead you to believe, but HNN contributor Stephanie Wharton reports there is still significant work to be done both in getting that message out and preparing for a spike in demand.

In all, roughly 75% of the U.S. territory’s hotels are currently operating, but a significant portion of rooms are occupied by emergency workers. And Peter Hopgood, chairman of the Board of Meet Puerto Rico and VP of sales and marketing for International Hospitality Enterprises, said the tourism industry is serving as a major catalyst for the recovery of Puerto Rico.

U.S. hotels report 3.9% RevPAR growth for November: STR, parent company of HNN, has released November performance data for U.S. hotels, showing growth in each of the three key performance metrics.

Occupancy for the month was up 1.6% year over year to 61.5%, average daily rate increased 2.3% to $122.64 and revenue per available room increased 3.9% to $75.48.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Houston reported the strongest growth among the top 25 markets in November, with occupancy up 26.5% and RevPAR up 40.1%.

Are pod hotels moving from cities to resorts?: Business Insider recently reported that the pod hotel concept, which has been popularized as an inexpensive option for travelers looking for rooms in densely populated urban areas, could be making a move into the ski resort space.

The news site specifically looks at the Pangea Pod Hotel. That property is scheduled to open in spring 2018 in Whistler, British Columbia, which is the location of the high-end Blackcomb Ski resort.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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