5 things to know: 2 May 2018
5 things to know: 2 May 2018
02 MAY 2018 9:45 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Rising oil prices boost spending, wages
  • Choice CEO says strong ’17 will lead to better ‘18
  • Wyndham CEO says spinoff is “progressing rapidly”
  • UK sees increase in staff attending work sick
  • US manufacturing slump follows that of UK

Rising oil prices boost spending, wages: A boom in oil prices are pushing an economic upswing in regions like West Texas, leading to higher employment, increased spending at hotels and raising costs of real estate, Reuters reports.

Since a two-year lull, the price of crude oil started to recover in 2016 and hit around $60 a barrel early this year, the news outlet reports.

“This parched patch of land, under which lies the largest oil-producing rock formations in the United States, is the epicenter of a growth binge that shows just how tight the link remains between low unemployment, rising wages and upward pricing pressure,” Reuters reports.

Choice CEO says strong ’17 will lead to better ‘18: Speaking at the 64th annual Choice Hotels International brand conference in Las Vegas, CEO and President Pat Pacious called 2017 a “truly transformative year” and predicted strong growth to continue through 2018, writes Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten.

He said the company expects to see continued success, even though other companies have launched several new brands in the midscale and upscale segments where Choice is most heavily focused. He said this success will be driven by working with owners and investing in their brands.

“We disregarded those who said it’s impossible to transform a brand as large as Comfort,” he said. “We knew there were no limits to what we could do. We worked with you, our owners, to invest $2.5 billion in Comfort’s renaissance. Together, we are transforming our flagship brand that has been around for nearly 40 years to make sure it’s around to lead the segment for another 40 years.”

Wyndham CEO says spinoff is “progressing rapidly”: During the company’s first-quarter call with investors and analysts, Wyndham Worldwide Chairman and CEO Stephen Holmes said the planned spinoff of the company’s hotel and vacation ownership divisions is “progressing rapidly,” writes HNN’s Robert McCune.

“License, cross-marketing and transition services agreements are in place. We’ve established separate company infrastructures, organizational designs and corporate identities,” Holmes said. “We’ve determined our go-forward capital structures in both companies are ready and looking forward to telling their stories to the street, a process we expect to begin in a couple of weeks, with our plan still being to complete the spinoff by the end of the quarter.”

Company officials also announced the $1.95-billion acquisition of La Quinta Holdings’ hotel and franchise management business is on track to close by the end of the second quarter, which ends this month.

In terms results from Q1 2018, Wyndham Hotel Group saw revenues increase 4% year over year to $302 million, according to a company release.

U.K. sees increase in sick staff attending work: United Kingdom employees coming into the office when sick has more than tripled since 2010, a trend known as “presenteeism,” according to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

Eighty-six percent of businesses questioned by the CIPD said they had seen presenteeism in the last 12 months, compared with 72% in 2016 and 26% in 2010. The CIPD added only 25% of businesses said they were trying to discourage the practice, which they added when unchecked can be “associated with increases in reported common mental health conditions as well as stress-related absence, which are among the top causes of long-term sickness absence,” the report states.

U.S. manufacturing slump follows that of U.K.: The U.S.’s Institute of Supply Management’s April 2018 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business reported that activity in the manufacturing sector, a key gauge of the entire economy and on discernible income, fell in April. Manufacturing activity was down 2% compared to what was seen in March, according to the ISM.

Reporting this news, the Wall Street Journal said the ISM noted the fall is due to “disruptions and uncertainty surrounding tariffs.” That drop marked the second conservative monthly decline, although the index “hit a nearly 14-year high in February.” The United Kingdom reported a similar fall on 30 April.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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