5 things to know: 1 October 2018
5 things to know: 1 October 2018
01 OCTOBER 2018 9:27 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Indonesian tsunami sees death toll rise above 800
  • EU to decide on HNA sale of Radisson in November
  • Canada and US reach accord on trade deal
  • Strike ends at some Chicago hotels, continues at others
  • TUI’s CFO Horst Baier retires after 22 years

Indonesian tsunami sees death toll rise above 800: The tsunami caused by a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia now has resulted in 844 deaths, with the toll likely to grow, according to The Guardian. Focus in rescue efforts have centered on Palu City on the island of Sulawesi and the destroyed Roa Roa Hotel, beneath which were heard cries for help and up to 50 people are suspected to be trapped.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has declared the city, which has a population of approximately 336,000, and others parts of Indonesia a disaster area and has accept international aid and help.

EU to decide on HNA sale of Radisson in November: The European Commission has announced it will make its final decision on 6 November in regard to HNA Tourism Group’s sale of its 51.15% stake in Radisson Hospitality AB to peer Chinese firm Jin Jiang International, according to City A.M.

HNA’s sale, announced on 10 August, included 100% of Radisson Holdings, although no price was disclosed for that part of the deal. Radisson’s non-HNA stake is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

Canada and U.S. reach accord on trade deal: Canada and the United States have agreed to terms on a new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which was originally signed into law on 1 January 1989. The U.S. has already signed a new trade deal with Mexico, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The new deal, officially dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), governs more than $1 trillion in trade.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the biggest change in the deal “is expected to be on the region’s largest industry, autos, requiring a greater portion of vehicles to be made in North America and with high-wage labor in the U.S. and Canada.” The pact also sets new rules for financial services and “digital businesses.”

Strike ends at some Chicago hotels, continues at others: Employees at five hotels in Chicago, including four Hilton hotels, have ended their strikes by ratifying contracts over the weekend, ending a three-week standoff. But strikes continue at 10 other hotels in the market, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.

The citywide strike started on 7 September has now lead to agreements for “housekeepers, doormen, cooks and other workers” at 16 hotels, who went on strike for “year-round health insurance and other improvements to work conditions,” according to The Tribune.

Two Hyatt Hotels Corporation hotels are also included in the strike, and a Hyatt official noted they have an offer on the table that is similar to the ones accepted over the weekend. The newspaper notes Hyatt officials have “requested the intervention of a federal mediator” in negotiations.

TUI’s CFO Horst Baier retires after 22 years: TUI Group’s CFO Horst Baier, whose achievements include the introduction of TUI’s standalone hotel brand TUI Blue, retired on 30 September after more than two decades at the company most known for its wholesale vacation business.

Baier will hand over CFO responsibilities to Birgit Conix, who starts on 1 October and is already on parent company TUI AG’s executive board. Baier also was on the board for the last 11 years. A TUI news release stated “Baier ... drove TUI’s ongoing transformation as a tourism group with a focus on its own hotel and cruise brands further ahead. To that end, all other non-core businesses and companies were successfully sold.”

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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