5 things to know: 18 March 2019
5 things to know: 18 March 2019
18 MARCH 2019 9:39 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Bazin: Jin Jiang board seat at Accor ‘complicated’
  • Marriott looks to add almost 300,000 rooms in next three years
  • UK budget hotelier seeks parents to ease labor woe
  • TQP’s Prins, Hostmark’s Cataldo talk new alliance
  • Greece, Spain raise minimum wage

Bazin: Jin Jiang board seat at Accor “complicated”: Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin told French-language newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that if Chinese hotel-firm shareholder Shanghai Jin Jiang Hotels requested a seat on the Accor board, that request would seem to him to be “complicated,” according to Reuters.

Bazin said no request has been made, but if it were to happen, “that would bring a direct competitor in many countries and brands to the board.” Jin Jiang owns approximately 12% of Accor and has voting rights of almost 18%, according to the report.

Marriott looks to add almost 300,000 rooms in next three years: Executives from Marriott International will announce today at a meeting with investors and security analysts at its New York Marriott Marquis hotel that it intends to add almost 300,000 new rooms across 1,700 properties in the next three years, according to a news release. Its total pipeline, including those rooms if all come to fruition, will be approximately 480,000.*

U.K. budget hotelier seeks parents to ease labor woe: The BBC reports that Travelodge (United Kingdom), one of the U.K.’s largest hotel companies by hotel count, is looking at an often-overlooked labor pool to ease concerns about staffing caused by Brexit: parents who want to return to work.

Brexit, the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, continues to face a deadline of 29 March, though Parliament remains at a standstill over a potential deal.

Travelodge said it intends to open 100 hotels in the U.K. by 2023, creating approximately 3,000 jobs.

In its full-year 2018 results released on 18 March, Travelodge said year-over-year revenue increased 8.8% to £693.3 million ($917.4 million) and revenue per available room increased 3.2% to £41.69 ($55.17). Over the last five full years, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization has “more than trebled to £122 million ($161 million),” according to CEO Peter Gowers.

TQP’s Prins, Hostmark’s Cataldo talk new alliance: Third-party management company Hostmark Hospitality Group and real estate private equity firm TQP Capital Partners have announced an alliance, with Hostmark to become the operator for new TQP acquisitions and Thomas Prins, principal of TQP, joining Hostmark as a minority partner, HNN’s Dana Miller reports.

Jerry Cataldo, president and CEO of Hostmark, said through the alliance they will be looking at existing properties that could be repositioned, adaptive reuse and also new-builds, but only in strategic markets.

Greece, Spain raise minimum wage: Two of the European nations most affected by the financial crash that started in 2008 and still with high unemployment rates, Greece and Spain have raised their minimum wages, although some worry that businesses carrying this extra cost onto consumers will not all remain sustainable, The Wall Street Journal reports. For Greece, it is the first raise in a decade. Both nations have national elections this year.

The minimum wage in Greece, according to The Journal, will rise 11% from €586 ($664) per month to €650 ($737), while in Spain it will rise 22% from €736 ($835) per month to €900 ($1,020). Unemployment has been falling in both countries, but Panos Tsakloglou, professor of economics and business at Athens University, told the newspaper that “an abrupt increase in the minimum wage could put a halt to, or even reverse, the current downward trend in unemployment.”

Compiled by Terence Baker.

*Redaction, 5 April 2019: A second paragraph was redacted from an earlier published version of this news item because its contents did not adhere to Hotel News Now editorial policy. The accompanying news release was taken off the site.

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