5 things to know: 26 August 2019
5 things to know: 26 August 2019
26 AUGUST 2019 9:17 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • US-China working to ease trade tensions
  • Hotels feeling pressure from minimum wage increase
  • Strand Hospitality marks 50 years, looks to more growth
  • Labor Day travel likely won’t help Gulf Coast hotels
  • British Airways passengers struggle with cancellations

U.S.-China working to ease trade tensions: The United States and China are seeking to ease trade tensions and could be coming to a deal soon “after markets fell in response to new tariffs from both countries,” Reuters reports.

President Donald Trump said at the G7 Summit that Chinese officials “had contacted U.S. trade counterparts overnight and offered to return to the negotiating table,” according to the news outlet.

Vice Premier Liu He said China is willing to resolve trade tensions through “calm” negotiations.

Hotels feeling pressure from minimum wage increase: With labor costs rising across the U.S., hotel owners and owners of other commercial real estate are starting to “rethink their business models,” Bisnow reports.

Joseph Rael, senior director at STR, parent company of HNN, told the news outlet that increased wages have affected every hotel chain scale.

"The big impact is going to be when revenues start going the other way," Rael said. "When we start to see revenue declines, that's when those wage pressures really affect the hotels."

Strand Hospitality marks 50 years, looks to more growth: Strand Hospitality Services is celebrating 50 years and has plans in place to continue to grow its portfolio, writes HNN’s Bryan Wroten.

The company has been going strong thanks to its core values, according to Strand President John Pharr, and one of those values is innovation.

“We seek out people we feel have honesty and integrity,” he said. “We operate our business in that manner. If it doesn’t match up, we move on. We’re not afraid to walk away from a deal that doesn’t work. We have the financial capability to do as much or as little as we need to do.”

Labor Day travel likely won’t help Gulf Coast hotels: Hotels on the Gulf Coast have experienced a bad summer season, mostly due to the algal bloom and fresh water intrusion, and Labor Day travel isn’t expected to help the area’s hotel industry, WLOX reports.

The Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association reported that revenue dropped by 18% in August.

The Edgewater Inn’s Bernie Weiter told the news outlet that “everything died with these beach closings.”

“I mean, we would have people who would come over, who had reservations, and they’d come in and they’d ask, ‘Is the beach closed?’ And you’d have to tell them, ‘Yeah.’ And it’s like, ‘Oh, well, we’d like to cancel our reservations and just keep heading east to Florida,’” he said.

British Airways passengers struggle with cancellations: British Airways pilots are set to strike on 9, 10 and 27 September, and the airline wrongly told customers with flights booked for other days that their flights were canceled, the BBC reports.

The airline stated it would provide refunds to the passengers who were incorrectly told their flights were canceled and booked other flights. The airline also is dealing with a backlog of 40,000 calls from customers, according to the news outlet.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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