5 things to know: 3 July 2018
5 things to know: 3 July 2018
03 JULY 2018 8:53 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • British business running out of Brexit patience
  • US manufacturing activity surges for second straight month
  • Emirate Ajman follows Dubai, Abu Dhabi tax-drop lead
  • Hotels globally address sustainability, recycling goals
  • Premier Inn owner might cut 250 jobs as it eyes spinoff

British business running out of Brexit patience: The British Chambers of Commerce has published a report and list of what it considers critical questions concerning Brexit. It has criticized the United Kingdom government on its handling of the proposed exit from the European Union, stating that “the government has managed to make limited progress on just two of the 24 issues where clarity is urgently needed so that firms can plan their trade following the U.K.’s departure from the EU.”

The BCC said last month’s summit on Brexit made little progress and that continued arguments and uncertainty are “causing a significant slowdown in business investment.”

U.S. manufacturing activity surges for second straight month: U.S. manufacturing activity, a key indicator of hotel use, has increased for the second straight month. Activity rose from an index of 58.7% in May to one of 60.2% in June, according to the Institute of Supply Management. Although the organization added its highest level since February 2018, that month’s index of 60.8% was the highest level since May 2004.

The Wall Street Journal reported that “several factors were at play, including positioning around tariffs.” The U.S. has imposed tariffs on several countries, including Canada, which on 1 July retaliated with equal tariffs on U.S. steel and metal products.

Emirate Ajman follows Dubai, Abu Dhabi tax-drop lead: The United Arab Emirates’ emirate of Ajman has followed the recent lead of one of its peer emirates, Dubai, by cutting its hotel tax from 10% to 7%. Dubai reduced its tax level in June, although another emirate, Abu Dhabi, on 12 June dropped its tax level from 6% to 3.5%.

The move, intended to boost competitiveness, went into operation in Ajman on 1 July and will remain in place to at least the end of 2018, following the law being signed by Ajman ruler and Supreme Council Member of the UAE, Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi.

Hotels globally address sustainability, recycling goals: Hotels around the world are upping their games in regards to sustainability, recycling and environmental consciousness, according to Hotel News Now reporter Danielle Hess. The new push to be more environmentally sensitive started with initiatives to abandon the use of single-use straws and plastic bottles, with hoteliers stating guests champion hotels’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprints.

Hans Pfister, co-founder and president of Cayuga Collection, said sustainability isn’t an area where hoteliers should be cheap, telling Hess that “it’s costing us money, but that’s quite OK. … It makes me quite upset that people only think that sustainable practices in hotels should only save money, but sometimes to do the right thing it costs a little bit more, and that’s quite OK.”

Premier Inn owner might cut 250 jobs as it eyes spinoff: Whitbread PLC, the owner of U.K. hotel chain Premier Inn, plans to cut at least 250 management roles, a move Reuters said might be linked to its proposed spinoff of its Costa Coffee division. The news agency said Whitbread executives and employees were told of the cuts on 2 July.

On 25 April, executives at the firm’s full-year 2017-2018 earnings conference call said it would start on a 24-month process to split its hotels and coffee divisions, although it said it was not doing so because of alleged pressure from activist shareholders. There has been no indication as to which of the two divisions would be subject to the cut roles.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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