5 things to know: 24 September 2018
5 things to know: 24 September 2018
24 SEPTEMBER 2018 9:39 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • US-China tariff war continues to escalate
  • South Carolina residents face flooding, urged to evacuate
  • A look at the history of hotel soft brands
  • Disneyland Resort approves contract to increase wages
  • Hawaii’s Big Island asking tourists to be more respectful

U.S.-China tariff war continues to escalate: In the latest development in a trade war between the United States and China, the Trump Administration imposed tariffs of 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods including furniture and appliances on Monday, and that rate is expected to increase to 25% by end of this year, CBS News reports.

“It is Washington’s third tranche of China-focused levies and part of a strategy to pressure Beijing into changing trade practices that (U.S. President Donald) Trump has claimed hurt American companies,” the news outlet reports.

China’s President Xi Jinping’s government responded by saying it would impose taxes on 5,207 U.S. imports valued at approximately $60 billion.

South Carolina residents face flooding: Georgetown, South Carolina, is expected to see severe flooding from two-rain gorged rivers, the Pee Dee and Waccamaw rivers, in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Reuters reports. Emergency management officials “strongly urged” as many as 8,000 people in and near the city to evacuate.

Water levels are expected to rise five to 10 feet. The county opened emergency shelters Monday morning and hotels away from the flood zone, in nearby Myrtle Beach, are offering discounts for evacuees, the news outlet reports.

In other storm-related news, Tropical Depression Kirk is rolling through the Tropical Atlantic, though according to the National Hurricane Center, it is not expected to pose a threat to land, CBS News reports.

And on Sunday, Subtropical Storm Leslie formed in the North Atlantic, which the NHC forecast will “merge with a larger non-tropical low by the middle of the week.”

A look at the history of hotel soft brands: Soft brands emerged 10 years ago when Choice Hotels International launched Ascend Hotel Collection, and soon after, other major brands launched their own, writes HNN’s Terence Baker.

Today, almost every global hotel company has one, two or even three soft brands in their stable, which allow a property to retain its independence and unique offerings while still benefiting from the brand or chain’s distribution, recognition, leverage scale and procurement.

For a complete timeline on the history of soft brands, click here.

Disneyland Resort approves agreement to increase wages: Over the weekend, after months of protests, hotel employees at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and members of the Unite Here Local 11 union approved a contract that will increase hourly salaries at minimum 40% over two years, the GazetteXtra reports.

Starting salary will be a minimum of $15 an hour, with bonuses amounting to $1,000. A housekeeper’s minimum hourly salary will increase from $11 to $15.80 an hour.

Members of the union voted 96% in favor of the new contract, the news outlet reports. The contract goes into effect Monday.

Hawaii’s Big Island asking tourists to be more respectful: A joint campaign between the Big Island visitors bureau and Hawaii County encourages tourists to be more “conscientious” and to treat the island and its natives with respect, The Associated Press reports.

The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau Executive Director Ross Birch said a change in tourism on the island prompted this campaign. “Ten years ago, there were 1.66 million visitors on the island. There were 1.72 million last year,” he said. “There hasn’t been a change in the number of visitors, but they’re a different kind of visitor.”

Birch said the rise in technology could be a factor in visitors being less aware of the environmental impact “their presence has on the island.”

Similar campaigns have taken place in Iceland and Palau.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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