5 things to know: 2 October 2018
5 things to know: 2 October 2018
02 OCTOBER 2018 9:15 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Whitbread to eliminate role of operations manager
  • High demand, little new supply: The group balancing act
  • Alleghany takes majority interest in Concord
  • UK hotel group warns government over labor shortage
  • US stocks trading well against global stocks

Whitbread to eliminate role of operations manager: Whitbread PLC, the United Kingdom hotel firm that owns the Premier Inn brand, plans to eliminate or cluster the role of operations manager across its estate of approximately 800 hotels and reinvest saved money into new properties, according to Reuters.

Whitbread executives told Reuters the plan would create new assistant manager and hotel manager posts and “help it deliver (Whitbread’s) growth plans and create 1,700 new jobs across Britain by investing around £300 million ($391 million) in 42 new hotel and restaurant openings over the next year.” In August Whitbread announced the sale of its Costa Coffee division to Coca-Cola, thus making the firm a stand-alone hotel company.

High demand, little new supply: The group balancing act: Group-and-meeting demand continues to grow while little new construction of hotels focused on meetings is being done, which has made it hard for planners to fit groups in the number of meetings-focused hotels that currently exist, HNN contributor Brendan Manley writes.

The struggle for hoteliers is booking meetings when the hotel needs the business at rates approved by revenue managers.

Meeting planners are “needing to fit increasing amounts of groups in the same number of hotels, which in many cases may already be flooded with higher-rated transient demand,” Manley writes, which probably won’t change soon.

“Over the last five years, with the steady increase in demand for meetings and conventions, and the implementation of revenue management, the No. 1 challenge we face daily is availability of dates and obtaining bids for our client’s future events,” said meeting planner Connie Bergeron, president of Site Selection Solutions.

Alleghany takes majority interest in Concord: New York City-based Alleghany Capital Corporation has acquired a majority interest in Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company, according to a news release. The exact percentage of interest Alleghany has bought, and the price, has not been announced.

Concord, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, manages more than 100 properties and 15,000 rooms across North America for hotel chains such as Marriott International, Hilton, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Choice Hotels International and InterContinental Hotels Group.

U.K. hotel group warns government over labor shortage: UKHospitality, the U.K.’s principal hotel and hospitality industry lobby group, has responded to the government’s announcement that post-Brexit the country would prioritize high-skilled migrants. The ruling conservative party, meeting at its annual conference, also has said European Union migrants will not be prioritized over any other person wishing to seek legality and work in the country.

CEO Kate Nicholls said in a news release that “a system based solely on high skills and high wages will not work for hospitality where we have labor shortages. The sector employs over 3 million people, many of whom are migrant workers, but under the new policy 90% of these roles could not be filled under planned changes.”

The response from the EU has not been favorable either, The Guardian reports.

U.S. stocks trading well against global stocks: U.S. stocks are trading well against international shares and at the highest premiums in years, underlining analyst predictions that the U.S. economy will perform better than its global competitors, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reports that U.S. shares on the S&P500 index in the third quarter of 2018 have grown by 7.2%, its biggest year-over-year gain since 2013, but added U.S. shares have become increasingly costly and “could leave the market vulnerable to a snapback heading into the final months of the year.”

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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