5 things to know: 3 May 2019
5 things to know: 3 May 2019
03 MAY 2019 9:22 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Marriott’s Sorenson diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
  • IHG reports Q1 earnings
  • Ras al Khaimah CEO says emirate needs more rooms
  • Traditional parties lose ground in UK elections
  • Econo Lodge turns 50

Marriott’s Sorenson diagnosed with pancreatic cancer: Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson has been diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer, according to a news release from the company.

The 60-year-old executive received the diagnosis from Baltimore’s John Hopkins Hospital and will undergo treatment immediately. Doctors anticipate surgery by the end of this year, and Sorenson will continue in his role during this period. The Marriott statement on behalf of Sorenson said “the cancer was discovered early. It does not appear to have spread and the medical team—and I—are confident that we can realistically aim for a complete cure.”

IHG reports Q1 earnings: InterContinental Hotels Group saw its first-quarter 2019 revenue-per-available-room numbers fall to between 0% and 3%, a weak period that mirrors that of its competitors amid continued economic uncertainties for guests. Latin American and Caribbean posted the only double-digit RevPAR performance, up 10%.

During a conference call with analysts, Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson, IHG’s CFO, said the U.K. firm was confident for full-year results and continued systems growth that saw 24,000 rooms added for a total pipeline of approximately 279,000.

Ras al Khaimah CEO says emirate needs more rooms: Despite oversupply often being mentioned as cause for concern in the United Arab Emirates and the entire Middle East region, the UAE emirate of Ras al Khaimah could very well do with some additional signings, according to the CEO of the Ras al Khaimah Development Authority Haitham Mattar.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Mattar said “We need more rooms. It is a good problem to have sometimes because the growth of supply is at 3%. So we have 10% demand and 3% supply.” The emirate launched this year a campaign to attract 1.5 million tourists annually by 2021.

Traditional parties lose ground in U.K. elections: In local, not national elections, across the U.K. both the traditional, most-supported political parties, the ruling Conservatives and main opposition Labour parties saw losses, with the Conservatives particularly being penalized by voters over concerns the political class is not up to the task of sorting through the Brexit mess and is instead putting politics before people, according to the BBC.

The Liberal Democrats party, itself decimated in the 2015 general election that saw then-Prime Minister David Cameron secure a majority, did well. Often local elections are viewed as protest votes, as are European Union elections that the U.K. will now get to vote in, despite Brexit, because a divorce deal with the EU has not been secured.

Econo Lodge turns 50: The month of May 2019 is the 50th birthday of Choice Hotels International’s brand Econo Lodge, which is celebrating with a chain-wide five-year, seven-stage guestroom overhaul, according to a news release.

"The Econo Lodge brand has been a staple in the economy segment for five decades, and the room improvements have set up our franchisees for success today and well into the future," said Craig Mustard, head of domestic brand management, economy brands, Choice, in the news release. "This ambitious undertaking required the commitment and diligence of all of our Econo Lodge owners, and their passion for the brand is paying off. The Guestroom Improvement Program has invigorated the Econo Lodge brand, which has experienced improved LTR and RevPAR during the transformation."

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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