5 things to know: 7 November 2018
5 things to know: 7 November 2018
07 NOVEMBER 2018 10:58 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Despite dip in Q3, Marriott foresees continued growth
  • Union says Five-Star Promise fails to highlight owners’ responsibility
  • China set to become No. 1 tourist destination by 2030
  • Miami Beach approved for convention center hotel
  • Tour operator Thomas Cook plans hotel hygiene inspections

Despite dip in Q3, Marriott foresees continued growth: Marriott International felt the impact of tough year-over-year comparisons and calendar shifts as revenue-per-available-room growth was weaker than expected during the third quarter, writes Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten. The company is taking more of a conservative approach to Q4, but officials don’t expect any difficult trends continuing into 2019.

“While we anticipated a negative comparison to last year’s hurricanes, a decline in U.S. transient demand in September was more significant than we anticipated,” said Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson, on the company’s third-quarter earnings call. “October looked better than September, with stronger transient demand and considerable group business on the books. We are nevertheless taking a slightly more conservative view as we enter the seasonally slow holiday periods, so we are forecasting North American RevPAR growth of 1% for the fourth quarter.”

For more Q3 coverage, click here.

Union says Five-Star Promise fails to highlight owners’ responsibility: In September, the American Hotel & Lodging Association launched the “Five-Star Promise” initiative to better improve employee and guest safety through enhanced training for sexual harassment and providing employee safety devices. However, according to a news release from labor union Unite Here, the promise “contained a set of voluntary, non-binding recommendations lacking specific scope or timeframe for adoption and assigned no role or responsibility for hotel (real estate investment trusts) or other owners...”

According to Unite Here’s report, real estate investment trust Host Hotels and Resorts opposed a shareholder proposal in 2018 to disclose “the impact on investors of hotel operators’ environmental, human rights and labor practices.” And Sunstone Hotel Investors declined to release information about the “cost of risks to the REIT from sexual harassment claims by hotel employees…”

China set to become No. 1 tourist destination by 2030: According to information from research group Euromonitor International, reported by NBC 7 San Diego, China is paving the way to pass up France as the world’s No. 1 tourist destination by 2030 as there’s a growing middle class in Asia seeking to spend disposable income on travel.

Euromonitor predicts a total of 1.4 billion trips to be made in 2018, a 5% year-over-year increase. Strong growth in several major economies means industry receipts will increase by about 11%. International arrivals are expected to rise by another billion by 2030, translating to $2.6 trillion in receipts. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to generate most of this travel boom, growing by 10% this year.

“Tourism is a key pillar of the Chinese economy, and much investment has been made to improve infrastructure and standards, in addition to tourism-friendly policies and initiatives,” said Wouter Geerts, senior travel analyst at Euromonitor.

Miami Beach approved for convention center hotel: After several attempts to secure a convention center hotel in Miami Beach were rejected due to concerns of size and traffic congestion, voters on Tuesday finally approved a plan to build one with 800 rooms, according to the Miami Herald.

City officials and tourism experts have argued in the past that Miami Beach needed this project in order to compete for market share with other popular convention destinations. The hotel, which will be built on a city-owned parking lot next to its newly renovated convention center, will cost $362 million to build and will be privately funded.

“The hotel will connect to the convention center via a pedestrian bridge and include a 53-foor podium containing parking, meeting spaces and ballrooms as well as two 185-foot-tall wings of hotel rooms,” the news outlet reports.

Tour operator Thomas Cook plans hotel hygiene inspections: Following the deaths of two British tourists in August in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in Egypt, travel company Thomas Cook announced it would conduct independent hygiene assessments at any property where “some customers fell sick last summer,” Reuters reports.

The inspections will look at food safety and hygiene issues as well as focus on plans for preventing contagious infections, the news agency reports. At the Steigenberger Aqua Magic, where the couple was found dead, it was later reported that a high level of e-coli and staphylococcus bacteria was found in the hotel.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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