5 things to know: 5 August 2019
 
5 things to know: 5 August 2019
05 AUGUST 2019 9:19 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Investors worry that China will weaponize its currency
  • Indian hotels invest in green energy
  • Pressures mount for hotels in 2019 despite growth
  • Hotel explosion near Nashville injures several
  • 2018 saw record 4.4 billion people travel by air

 Investors worry that China will weaponize its currency: Investors in Asia and Europe are worried that China is using the value of its currency as a new weapon in its trade war with the U.S., The New York Times reports. The country’s central bank allowed its currency to weaken past 7 Chinese yuan to the U.S. dollar, a “psychologically important point.”

There’s a concern this move could have a ripple effect, “forcing countries that compete with China to consider devaluing their own currencies,” the article states. “That could lead to a zero-sum spiral of devaluations that would damage global growth and lead to even more trade protectionism, threatening the world’s economic integration.”

Yi Gang, governor for the central bank, posted to the bank’s social media account that many currencies have depreciated against the dollar and that China’s should continue to be strong, according to the article.

 Indian hotels invest in green energy: Many hotels in India are turning to renewable sources of energy for power, The Times of India reports. One hotel chain receives its power from a 25-acre, 7.5-megawatt solar farm, and another set of hotels run completely on electricity generated by wind turbines.

“Hotels are increasingly switching to clean energy as they look to move away from thermal power and pare electricity costs,” the article states. “The green initiative is also helping hotels reduce their carbon emissions even as guests prefer to check into environmentally friendly rooms. Fuel is one of the highest expenses for a hotel, comprising 8% to 10% of its revenue.”

Pressures mount for hotels in 2019 despite growth: The hotel industry is facing a number of challenges in its current environment, many of them cost related, but hotel executives speaking at the 2019 ALIS Summer Update in Washington, D.C., are still finding growth opportunities, writes HNN’s Stephanie Ricca.

Arash Azarbarzin, president of SH Hotels & Resorts, said there’s still room for deals to be done.

“The biggest pleasant surprise has been the deal flow and number of deals we’ve signed so far this year,” he said. “We are actively working on 30 deals as we speak … and it’s a big deal for us to be negotiating 30 different deals all over the world. The economy has been stable, and our seven hotels are performing better than last year, so that’s great for us.”

 Hotel explosion near Nashville injures several: An explosion at the extended-stay Hometowne Studios near Nashville International Airport sent four people to the hospital, Fox17 reports. The explosion damaged the structural integrity of the hotel, so it will remain closed. The Red Cross is assisting those who evacuated from the hotel.

The news outlet reports a couple gallons of gasoline exploded in a room. Witnesses saw a man who was burned running down a hallway following the explosion. The fire marshal is currently investigating.

 2018 saw record 4.4 billion people travel by air: The International Air Transport Association reported a record 4.4 billion people traveled by air in 2018 as a result of the drop in the cost of flights, Business Traveller reports. That represents a 6.9% year-over-year increase.

The cost of air travel has dropped by more than half in the last 20 years thanks to the growth of low-cost carrier capacity, the article states. Air travel in the Asia/Pacific region now represents 37.1% of passengers around the world, beating both Europe and North America.

The organization also reported that 81.9% of all available airline seats were filled in 2018. The number of direct flights between city pairs doubled between 1998 and 2017.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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