5 things to know: 17 October 2017
 
5 things to know: 17 October 2017
17 OCTOBER 2017 8:50 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • HNA touts plan for $7.6-billion investment in tourism
  • Resorts World awards $400m of contracts on Vegas asset
  • For UK hotel market, good signs are abundant
  • Storm Ophelia causes widespread damage in Ireland
  • Hotel demand surges ahead of Thailand king’s funeral

HNA touts plan for $7.6-billion investment in tourism: Despite Chinese government restrictions on outbound capital, China’s HNA Group announced Tuesday it plans to invest 50 billion Chinese yuan ($7.6 billion) in tourism, Reuters reports, adding that company executives did not rule out “merging other companies.” 

Eric Tong, chairman of HNA Technology Group, was speaking at an event in Beijing to launch a mobile app connecting its hospitality, aviation and financial businesses. HNA owns stakes in many hotel companies, including Carlson Hotel Group, and about 8,000 hotel properties in China and around the world.

Resorts World awards $400m of contracts on Vegas asset: Resorts World Las Vegas has selected W.A. Richardson Builders as the construction manager for its $4 billion Las Vegas Strip project it is building on the 87-acre site previously occupied by Boyd Gaming’s Echelon and Stardust assets, according to a news release.

The firm also announced it has awarded more than $400 million worth of contracts for the upcoming property, due to open in 2020. Edward Farrell, RWLV’s president, said he is particularly proud to commence on the project so soon after the mass shooting that occurred in the city early this month.


For U.K. hotel market, good signs are abundant: Hotel operators in the United Kingdom, speaking at the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester, England, said the state of the industry in the U.K. is bright, though the usual concerns remain, reports Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

“Let’s stop moaning about Brexit as the ‘long goodbye and get on with it,” said Nicholas Northam, managing director of Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

Meanwhile, a new report suggests that London will continue to outpace its European competitors and “likely … remain Europe’s (financial technology) hub in the medium term,” despite business and financial worry about the city losing its premier status in Europe in the wake of the Brexit referendum, according to news agency CNBC.

Global ratings company Early Metrics based its conclusion on an analysis of 1,500 financial technology firms across Europe and added “the U.K. is currently facing its most serious challenge so far as the fintech hub of Europe. … Although it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions on what impact Brexit will have, companies are already assessing the implications of fundraising, talent acquisition and talent retention.”


Storm Ophelia causes widespread damage in Ireland: Despite being downgraded from a hurricane, Storm Ophelia was responsible for three deaths in Ireland, the cancellation of all transportation systems and the loss of power to about 300,000 businesses and properties, The Irish Times reports.

The newspaper said the storm was the worst to hit Ireland in 50 years, and it came 30 years to the day after a hugely damaging storm rampaged across southern England in 1987. The Irish authorities said the total number of properties to lose power could rise to 450,000.


Hotel demand surges ahead of Thailand king’s funeral: With about 250,000 people are expected to descend on Bangkok for five days of funeral proceedings for Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol, most hotels in the area already are fully booked, Reuters reports.

“Many Thais wishing to attend the cremation feel it would be more convenient having a place to stay nearby, so most hotels have been booked out already,” Supawan Tanomkieatipume, president of the Thai Hotels Association, told Reuters.

One hotel in Bangkok reported that about 80% of its bookings were by Thais, with the other 20% being foreign tourists.

King Bhumibol died 13 October after seven decades on the throne.


Compiled by Terence Baker and Robert McCune.

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