5 things to know: 14 July 2017
5 things to know: 14 July 2017
14 JULY 2017 9:41 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Choice announces CEO succession plan
  • Federal court rules grandparents exempt from travel ban
  • Hoteliers embrace culture during comic-cons
  • Hotel construction pipeline surges in global markets
  • Americans’ summer vacation spending projected to top $100b

Choice announces CEO succession plan: Choice Hotels International President and COO Patrick Pacious will succeed Stephen Joyce as president and CEO, effective 1 January 2018, the company announced in a news release.

Joyce, who has held the top position at Choice since 2008, will continue as president and CEO through the end of the year, at which point he will assume the role of vice chairman of the Board of Directors, according to the news release. Pacious, who joined the company in 2005, is expected to join the board of directors in September.

“Under Steve’s tenure as CEO, Choice Hotels has grown stronger. We are grateful for Steve’s leadership, passion for talent development, and his legacy of innovation and growth over the better part of a decade,” Chairman of the Board of Directors Stewart Bainum, Jr., stated in the news release. “When Steve joined Choice as CEO, he was immediately impressed with Pat’s strengths and talents, and by enhancing Pat’s roles over the years, Steve ensured that Pat is the clear choice to succeed him. Pat demonstrates exceptional vision, and has spearheaded innovations that cement our position as a hospitality and technology leader and pioneer, while further strengthening our strategic differentiation and our core values.”

Federal court rules grandparents exempt from travel ban: A federal judge in Hawaii has challenged the Trump administration’s definition of “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship” as a U.S. Supreme Court-imposed exception to a ban on travel to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority countries, reports The Washington Post.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled Thursday night the exceptions to the travel ban, which went into partial effect on 29 June, “should be expanded to include grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts and other relatives” of a person or entity in the United States, reports The Post.

The Trump administration previously granted exceptions to “spouses, parents, parents-in-law, children, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, fiances and siblings of those already in the country,” but not grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, according to The Post story.

Meanwhile, Politico is reporting that a U.S. State Department cable sent to consulates has called for tighter standards for granting visas, to be implemented over a 50-day period. The cable stated that countries that do not comply with the new requirements—which include biometric images on passports and additional biographical information about travelers, including criminal records—could face bans on travel to the U.S. for “designated categories” of travelers, according to the Politico report.

Hoteliers embrace culture during comic-cons: Hoteliers in U.S. markets that are host to comic-con events, from New York to San Diego, are gearing up to host guests who might come dressed in capes and costumes, reports HNN’s Bryan Wroten.

The staffs at hotels in those cities, sources said, get into the spirit of the pop culture craze to make the hotel stay a super experience for those guests.

“We encourage (staff) to wear their favorite superhero shirt,” said Patrick McTigue, director of sales and marketing at the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, which is in the vicinity of San Diego Comic-Con. “We want fans to have that unique experience to know our team is here to complement that experience. We make sure they have that tremendous experience they’re looking to have by being authentic and celebrating our own pop-culture heroes throughout the week.”

Hotel construction pipeline surges in global markets: STR’s pipeline reports for June show significant year-over-year increases in hotel rooms under contract in the U.S., Europe, and the Asia Pacific and Caribbean/Mexico regions, while Central/South America saw a double-digit decline. (STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.)

The pipeline growth was greatest in the Caribbean/Mexico region, which reported a 43.8% increase in rooms under contract (41,101 rooms in 236 hotel projects) compared with June 2016.

Also reporting double-digit year-over-year growth in rooms under contract were Europe (+17.5%, with 169,046 rooms in 1,100 hotel projects) and the U.S. (+11.6%, with 583,028 rooms in 4,836 projects). The Asia/Pacific region reported 6.2% growth in rooms under contract (612,210 rooms in 2,767 projects) for the month.

Central/South America reported a decrease of 11.2% with 58,925 rooms in 378 projects under contract.

Americans’ summer vacation spending projected to top $100b: A study by Allianz Travel Insurance projects Americans will spend more than $100 billion on vacations this summer, marking the first time summer vacation spending has crossed that threshold in the eight years of the company’s Vacation Confidence Index, according to a news release.

The vacation spending projection of $101.1 billion represents a 12.5% increase over last year, when Americans spent $89.9 billion, according to the news release.

“Americans are feeling better about the economy and have loosened their purse strings for summer 2017,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA, in the news release.

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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