5 things to know: 21 November 2018
 
5 things to know: 21 November 2018
21 NOVEMBER 2018 10:16 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • US labor market operating at, or past, ‘full potential’
  • Hilton targets Middle East midscale with Hampton debut
  • Global travel retail spending drops $15 billion
  • Caribbean hotels damaged by hurricanes making a comeback
  • Public Wi-Fi safer to use than in the past

U.S. labor market operating at, or past, ‘full potential:’ A study from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco shows that the “U.S. labor market doesn’t have much more room to tighten,” Bloomberg reports.

The news outlet reports that an economic letter from the regional Fed bank stated that, “Our estimates indicate that the aggregate labor force participation rate is at its trend as of 2018. Combined with the low unemployment rate, this argues that the U.S. labor market is operating at or beyond its full potential.”

The rate of labor force participation had stabilized around 62.8% since 2015. The study also predicts that the “long-run trend level of labor force participation” would decline 2.5 percentage points over the next decade.


Hilton targets Middle East midscale with Hampton debut: The Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport, which opened in September, gives prospective owners an idea of how a Hampton property would operate in the Middle East, writes HNN’s Robert McCune.

The airport hotel is the first Hampton to open in the region, and the largest hotel under the brand with 420 rooms. Shruti Buckley, SVP and global head of Hampton, said the hotel is an example of scalability, and has driven a lot of interest from potential owners who have seen the hotel.

“We’re really excited that now we’ve got a showcase property to be able to tell the Hampton story in a real way and how it’s coming to life in the Middle East,” she said. The brand currently has 17 hotels in the pipeline in the region.


Global travel retail spending drops $15 billion: Horizon Consumer Science’s 2018 Global Traveler Report shows that global travel retail spending has decreased by $15 billion, from $397 billion in 2016 to a projected $382 billion in 2018, despite a record number of air travelers, according to a news release.

The report states that the average traveling consumer spend is $170 less than it was in 2012 at $491 per trip.

“Bucking the trends in almost every category is China. Between 2016 and 2018 Chinese travelers increased in outward bound traffic by a staggering 50% and now account for 40% of the money spent on travel retail around the globe,” the release states.


Caribbean hotels damaged by hurricanes making a comeback: Hotels in the Caribbean that were severely damaged by several hurricanes in 2017, namely the $140 billion in damage from Irma and Maria, are almost fully recovered a year later, according to the New York Post.

Some hotels in the region had to undergo major renovations as a result of hurricane damage, and the news outlet highlighted a few favorite transformations. Hotels on the list include the Secret Bay in Dominica, a smaller island that saw $1.3 billion in damage; the Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands where Hurricane Irma hit as a Category 5 storm; and Hotel Le Toiny in St. Barts, which reopened last month “with eight new freestanding villa suites and a new beachfront pool in addition to updates to its 14 original villa suites, restaurant and open-air bar,” according the news outlet.


Public Wi-Fi safer to use than in the past: It is probably OK for travelers to use the Wi-Fi in airports and hotels this holiday season—not because the networks have become safer, but “the web itself has,” Wired reports.

The evolution of https has made it harder for hackers to access devices and steal information on public Wi-Fi networks, the magazine reports.

“A lot of the former risks, the reasons we used to warn people, those things are gone now,” Chet Wisniewski, principal researcher at security firm Sophos, told Wired. “It used to be because almost nothing on the internet was encrypted. You could sit there and sniff everything. Or someone could set up a rogue access point and pretend to be Hilton, and then you would connect to them instead of the hotel.”

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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