5 things to know: 28 June 2019
5 things to know: 28 June 2019
28 JUNE 2019 9:30 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Sector deal raises UK hotels to government’s top table
  • A look at US hotel performance in May
  • Taco Bell hotel completely booked in two minutes
  • Boeing 737 MAX still grounded
  • US consumer spending grew in May

Sector deal raises U.K. hotels to government’s top table: The U.K. government announced during the G20 conference in Osaka, Japan, on Friday that tourism and hospitality will be given a special focus, known as a sector deal, writes HNN’s Terence Baker. The goal is to attract another 9 million visitors per year by 2025.

The benefits of this include more apprenticeships; a “Tourism Data Hub;” a commitment to build 130,000 new hotel rooms, 75% of which will be outside of London; an investment in broad connectivity in U.K. conference centers; a new strategy for off-season travel; and five new “tourism zone” pilot programs.

In a news release, Simon Vincent, EVP and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton and co-chair of the U.K.’s Tourism Industry Council said “the (deal) is an important vote of confidence in the U.K. tourism industry, providing a long-term vision which reflects the skills and innovation in our sector and will help ensure we continue to thrive in a highly competitive global market.”

A look at U.S. hotel performance in May: U.S. hotels had better-than-expected results in May, writes STR SVP of Lodging Insights Jan Freitag. Occupancy came in stronger than expected, growing 0.9% year over year, and average daily rate grew by 1.6%, “a low increase but at least not zero-point-something as we had previously reported.” (STR is the parent company of HNN.)

However, when looking at performance year to date through May, “the ADR growth story continues to underwhelm,” Freitag writes. Year-to-date ADR grew by 1.6%, resulting in revenue per available room growth of 1.2%. However, by excluding ADR data from San Francisco shows ADR in the U.S. grew by only 1%.

Read more of the monthly analysis of the U.S. hotel industry in the latest edition of Freitag’s 5.

Taco Bell hotel completely booked in two minutes: Anyone hoping to book a room at The Bell, the Taco Bell-themed hotel in Palm Springs, California, is now out of luck, CNBC reports. The influx of hopeful guests crashed the hotel’s website shortly after it went live, and the hotel was completely booked out within two minutes.

The 70-room hotel had rates starting at $169 a night with no minimum required stay, according to the article. Part of the rush comes from the fact that, much like special items on a menu, The Bell exists for a limited time only, running from 8-12 August. After that, the hotel reverts back to its normal operations as the V Palm Springs Hotel.

Guests of the Bell will enjoy the restaurant chain’s take on the hotel restaurant’s menu, the article states. There will also be a gift shop with Taco Bell-themed apparel along with a salon with Taco Bell-inspired nail art and hair styling services. The lounge is inspired by Mountain Dew Baja Blast.

Boeing 737 MAX still grounded: Because of new safety concerns about a chip in the planes’ flight-control computer, Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet will likely remain grounded until late 2019, The Wall Street Journal reports. Though the company believes a software fix will solve the issue, the Federal Aviation Administration remains doubtful.

The fleet has been grounded for months after software problems caused two planes to crash, the newspaper reports. This latest setback will mean more disruptions to airline schedules in the U.S. and abroad this summer as well as financial trouble for Boeing.

U.S. consumer spending grew in May: The latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows U.S. consumer confidence grew in May as personal-consumption expenditures increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% compared to April, The Wall Street Journal reports. Pretax earnings from wages, salaries and investments increased by 0.5% in May from April.

The combination of low unemployment and growing wages are leading U.S. consumers to shop, visit restaurants and fix up their homes, the article states. However, economists are unsure how long this will continue as “a number of headwinds loom, including slowing global growth, fading effects from the 2017 tax cut and trade frictions.”

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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