From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Singapore hotels see boost from Hong Kong turmoil
- Hurricane Dorian slams Bahamas, moves to US
- UK faces Brexit crunch vote, possible election
- Labor crunch also affects management retention
- Man pleads guilty to Travelodge digger rampage
Singapore hotels see boost from Hong Kong turmoil: In data released on 2 and 3 September, the Singapore Tourism Board posted occupancy in the nation state has risen to 93.8% year over year for the month of July. Officials attributed the rise to travelers avoiding the region’s other mega hub, Hong Kong, where pro-democracy demonstrations have been taking part for most of 2019.
In year-to-date numbers for July, international arrivals have increased 1.76% year over year, with a noticeable spike in Chinese travelers. According to July 2019 data for the Asia/Pacific region from STR, the parent company of Hotel News Now, this is the first time occupancy has topped 90% in Singapore. Average daily rate in Singapore has increased in year-over-year terms by 0.5% to 268.90 Singapore dollars ($193.08) and revenue per available room has gone in the same direction to SG$246.80 ($177.21), an increase of 2.4%.
Hurricane Dorian slams Bahamas, moves to U.S.: Already measured as the third-strongest hurricane since records began, Hurricane Dorian has caused havoc in The Bahamas, where it became the strongest ever such weather pattern, according to Bahamian newspaper the Nassau Guardian, with officials stating surge of up to 23 feet and winds of 185 miles per hour have been recorded.
The hurricane was worst-felt on the islands of Abaco, where five people were reported to have died, and Grand Bahama. At least one resort, Abaco Beach Resort, had to be evacuated, according to the newspaper, which also reported that tourism numbers are likely to see a drop due to the disaster. The hurricane is expected to hit the U.S. on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, but winds have slowed to around 130 miles per hour, according to the Miami Herald.
U.K. faces Brexit crunch vote, possible election: Today might be the most far-reaching and dramatic day in the three-year road to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union as new Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempts to stop a parliamentary bill that proposes to avoid—yet again—a No Deal Brexit and to request—yet again—another extension of the date for the U.K.’s exit, according to the BBC.
Johnson—who has a majority of one in the House of Commons—has this week threatened to de-select any of his own Conservative Party Members of Parliament who vote against the government’s wishes. This would mean that they would be not allowed to stand for re-election in the next General Election, which Johnson also has threatened might take place as a snap election on 14 October if he loses the vote. Commentators suggest the vote might be held at around 10 p.m. GMT. If Brexit is delayed, a 31 January, 2020, date for leaving has been mentioned. The markets reacted swiftly to all the news, with the pound sterling having fallen to below $1.20 against the U.S. dollar for the first time in more than three years.
Labor crunch also affects management retention: The current pressures on securing and retaining employees affects every rung of the hotel industry ladder and not just of that of new and junior employees, according to panelists at the Southern Lodging Summit in Memphis, Tennessee, writes Hotel News Now editorial director Stephanie Ricca.
Companies need to have meaningful mentoring in place and a diversity of employees that reflects the community and consumer environment to retain talent. Leadership development also is important due to there having been not so long ago an entire generation lost to many industries, including the hotel industry.
“When I look back at the 1990s and the economy, there was so much froth in the public market. There was so much cost-cutting that we eliminated an entire generation, and now there’s a big gap in skill sets,” said Jane Cooper, president and COO of Herschend Family Entertainment.
Man pleads guilty to Travelodge digger rampage: A man has pleaded guilty to destroying a Travelodge hotel in Liverpool, United Kingdom, on 21 January due to a dispute over unpaid wages, according to newspaper the Liverpool Echo. The damage occurred on the day the property was due to be handed over to its owners.
John Manley, a contractor assigned to help build the hotel, admitted to causing criminal damage by driving a mechanical digger through the front door, an act caught on video. Complaining that he was owed wages and also asked to work for free, Manley has since the incident been treated for mental-health issues. He has been in custody since June.
Compiled by Terence Baker.