5 things to know: 21 February 2019
5 things to know: 21 February 2019
21 FEBRUARY 2019 10:23 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Florida bill calls for trafficking training at hotels
  • 2,397 citations for 12 extended-stay hotels in Georgia
  • Accor to invest heavily in its loyalty program
  • US hotel results for week ending 16 February
  • Fed minutes show split over pace of interest rate increases

Florida bill calls for trafficking training at hotels: The Florida state legislature is considering a bill that would require “public lodging managers and employees” to be trained to recognize and report human trafficking to law enforcement, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The bill proposes a $1,000 fine for each day training requirements are not met.

The Senate bill received approval from the Senate Criminal Justice Committee this week, but still needs to go through two more committees before it can reach the full Senate for a floor vote. The Florida House is has a similar bill under consideration.

2,397 citations for 12 extended-stay hotels in Georgia: Twelve extended-stay hotels in DeKalb County, Georgia, were cited 2,397 times for fire, health and building code violations through 2018, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Some of those citations were issued in 2018 but were from cases that began in 2017.

The 12 hotels had to pay a combined $168,395 in fines, according to the article. Five of the 12 are now in compliance while a sixth is completing an action plan. Four have closed or are shutting down.

The hotel with the most offenses was in Decatur, with 447 citations totaling $60,345 in fines. Another hotel in Stone Mountain received 793 citations over a two-year period.

Accor to invest heavily in its loyalty program: AccorHotels, now going by Accor in all marketing, is focusing on strengthening its portfolio and loyalty programs and growing its partnerships, among other initiatives, writes HNN’s Terence Baker about the company’s full-year 2018 earnings call.

The company will invest an additional €225 million ($255.4 million) in its loyalty program (now called All), partnership and brand marketing as it looks to catch up with the other big brand companies, which are spending billions while Accor is spending hundreds of millions on loyalty programs.

“(Our loyalty) has to be fixed. We need to transform. … You have to put your brand out, or you will get punished. We are very bad in revenues and partnerships,” CEO Sébastien Bazin said.

U.S. hotel results for week ending 16 February: Data from STR, parent company of HNN, shows that the U.S. hotel industry reported positive year-over-year performance during the week ending 16 February.

Occupancy grew by 0.7% to 63.5% and average daily rate increased by 2.7% to $131.99, resulting in revenue-per-available-room growth of 3.4% to $83.88.

Among the top 25 markets, the San Francisco/San Mateo, California, market reported the largest RevPAR growth (+62.2% to $267.60) because of the largest lift in ADR (+51.7% to $312.71) and the second-highest increase in occupancy (+6.9% to 85.6%). The market continues to benefit from the reopening of the Moscone Center.

Fed minutes show split over pace of interest rate increases: There’s disagreement among members of the Federal Reserve over the timing of the next increase in interest rates, The Wall Street Journal reports. Some members believe the economy will be strong enough for at least one more increase while others are uncertain whether inflation will increase enough to justify a rate hike.

“The debate is not about whether the next move should be up or down—it should be up,” Roberto Perli, an analyst at Cornerstone Macro, told the newspaper. “The debate is about how high or low the threshold is for raising rates from here.”

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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