5 things to know: 12 April 2019
5 things to know: 12 April 2019
12 APRIL 2019 9:37 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Raising minimum wage could result in job losses
  • RLHC CEO on company’s focus
  • Preliminary data for US hotels
  • Portugal launches ‘Brelcome’ campaign
  • Hotels prepare for Coachella guests

Raising minimum wage could result in job losses: In a Wall Street Journal survey, economists said raising minimum wage could lead to job losses, the news outlet reports.

A third of those surveyed said “an hourly minimum wage above the current level of $7.25 an hour but below $10 would cause job losses. Some 26% said employers would start to cut payrolls in the $10.01 to $13.00 range.”

Economists who want to see an increase in minimum wage said the appropriate level is $10.83 an hour, which is “significantly higher than the level today.”

The current Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and hasn’t increased since 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal.

RLHC CEO on company’s focus: RLH Corporation has seen success in the growth of its economy brands, and President and CEO Greg Mount said RLHC is now focused on midscale and upper-midscale growth, HNN’s Jeff Higley writes.

Mount told Higley during a break at the Hunter Hotel Conference that the company is looking to “forge ahead as quickly as possible to add significantly more hotels to its portfolio,” Higley writes.

“We’ll do that both through our organic growth, which this last year (when) we hit 167 new executed franchise agreements,” Mount said. “And, it’s an exciting time for us and then we’re going to continue to leverage our public platform and look to acquire midscale and upscale opportunities that we see out there.”

Preliminary data for U.S. hotels: U.S. March 2019 preliminary data for U.S. hotels shows occupancy for the total U.S. hotel industry is expected to fall between -2% to 0%, according to data from HNN’s parent company STR. The average daily rate percent change will be 0% to 2%, and the revenue per available room is projected to remain roughly flat, with a percent change between -1% and 1%.

The luxury segment is expected to see the worst results with an occupancy percent change of -5% to -3% for the month; an ADR percent change of -2% to 0%; and RevPAR percent change of -6% to -4%.

Occupancy percent change in the economy segment is expected to come between flat and 2%. ADR percent change for the chain scale is expected to be -1% to 1% and RevPAR percent change is also expected to be -1% to 1%.

Portugal launches “Brelcome” campaign: A government agency in Portugal has launched a “Brelcome” campaign to attract British visitors going on holiday around fears Brexit could affect tourism, Reuters reports.

The campaign slogan gives tourists the idea that “Portugal will never leave you," as “holiday seekers from Britain are Portugal’s largest tourism market, representing 20% of the industry, but last year they already stayed fewer nights, dropping 7.3% compared with 2017, according to official data,” Reuters reports.

At a recent press conference on the state of the Spanish hotel industry, Spanish hoteliers said they were worried the number of guests coming from its biggest source market, the United Kingdom, would see a large drop if “London and Brussels fail to agree on a negotiated exit for the United Kingdom from the European Union,” HNN contributor Benjamin Jones writes. 

Hotels prepare for Coachella guests: Hotels around the valley in Indio, California, are preparing to host visitors in town for the Coachella Festival from 12-21 April, KESQ reports.

"I could probably comfortably say this is going to be one of the bigger Coachella parties that Palm Springs is going to see," Nina Quincy, managing director at Arrive Hotel, told the news outlet.

The hotel is hosting Desert Jam on 13 April in conjunction with Coachella.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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