5 things to know: 16 January 2019
5 things to know: 16 January 2019
16 JANUARY 2019 10:23 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Brexit deal fails; May faces vote of no confidence
  • Marriott reveals Bonvoy to replace loyalty programs
  • DC hoteliers hope for swift end to government shutdown
  • 14 dead in attack on hotel in Nairobi
  • Avalanche causes 60 guests to evacuate Austrian hotel

Brexit deal fails; May faces vote of no confidence: Ministers of Parliament voted 432 to 202 against United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the BBC reports, creating an uncertain path forward for the U.K.’s relationship with the European Union.

Representatives of the EU expressed their disappointment with the failed vote and stated the U.K. government needs to pass a deal before the upcoming deadline to avoid a “hard Brexit” or consider staying with the EU.

Given the failure of the deal to pass, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for May to resign and is seeking a vote of no confidence scheduled for later today.

Marriott reveals Bonvoy to replace loyalty programs: Marriott International announced the creation of Marriott Bonvoy, its new loyalty program brand to replace its existing Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs, according to a news release. The new brand will launch 13 February with a new logo and branding across consumer touchpoints, such as at hotels, marketing and sales channels, digital, mobile and co-brand credit cards.

“Represented by a simple, bold and modern logo, Marriott Bonvoy is welcoming and optimistic,” Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer at Marriott International, said in the news release. “Our 120 million members have access to the world's leading hotel portfolio at the best room rates and member benefits, as well our collection of Moments experiences that bring exploration and discovery of the world to the forefront.”

D.C. hoteliers hope for swift end to government shutdown: Although the government shutdown has closed off some demand drivers in the Washington, D.C., area, hoteliers there hope the shutdown will end soon so they don’t lose out on upcoming group travel business, writes HNN’s Dana Miller. This time of year is typically slower in the D.C. area, so it’s difficult to assess the full effect of the shutdown right now, but business would normally pick up in the coming weeks and months.

Joseph Bojanowski, president of PM Hotel Group, said student tour season starts in the spring along with other big group activities, but a longer shutdown could change that, Miller writes.

And if they cancel, “we’ve lost the whole season,” Bojanowski said.

14 dead in attack on hotel in Nairobi: An 18-hour siege of a hotel-and-office complex in Nairobi resulted in the deaths of 14 civilians as well as five gunmen and one additional attacker responsible for the attack, The Wall Street Journal reports. The gunmen held more than 100 employees and hotel guests hostage during the attack.

The gunmen initially stormed a bank branch within the complex and then detonated a suicide bomb in the foyer of the Dusit D2 hotel, according to the article. Somalia-based al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Avalanche causes 60 guests to evacuate Austrian hotel: An avalanche in Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria, hit a hotel and an apartment-style tourist accommodation property, the BBC reports, and 60 guests were able to escape injury. The avalanche burst through windows at the hotel, filling guestrooms, and knocked vehicles from their path.

Heavy snowfall in Europe has disrupted travel and led to the deaths of two dozen people over recent weeks, according to the article. The risk of an avalanche resulted in more than 40,000 people being trapped in one of the country’s largest ski resorts. Many of the resorts have closed off their slopes.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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