5 things to know: 20 August 2019
5 things to know: 20 August 2019
20 AUGUST 2019 9:27 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • How execs create, monetize the guest experience
  • Singapore’s RedDoorz raises funds to target budget travelers
  • China warns US not to link trade negotiations with Hong Kong
  • Hotel arrangements mark first test for 2020 DNC organizers
  • A $295 roomservice menu just for mukbangs

How execs create, monetize the guest experience: Executives from Hilton, Choice Hotels International and Chesapeake Hospitality spoked at the 2019 Hotel Data Conference about what goes into creating the best guest experience and ways to encourage on-property spend, reports HNN’s Danielle Hess.

Chris Wilroy, SVP and commercial director, Americas at Hilton, said his company is investing a lot of dollars into the “dreaming” stage, which “is that shopping and research phase down to booking, pre-arrival and post-stay,” he said.

For example, this includes putting dollars toward improving the search function on its website, he said.

Singapore’s RedDoorz raises funds to target budget travelers: RedDoorz, a hotel booking and management platform in Singapore, has raised $70 million so far in an ongoing funding round to target the region’s growing number of domestic travelers looking for budget hotel accommodations, Reuters reports.

This round was led by Singaporean private-equity firm Asia Partners along with Japan’s Rakuten Capital, a joint venture between South Korea’s Mirae Financial Group and Naver Corporation, and existing investors.

The news outlet reports that RedDoorz, which was founded in 2015, will use the funds to “launch in new markets, boost hotel staff training programs and build a technology hub in Vietnam, its second after India.”

China warns U.S. not to link trade negotiations with Hong Kong: Chinese state media has told the U.S. not to link the ongoing trade negotiations between the two countries to the protests in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reports. Chinese diplomatic observers state that Beijing is considering the “worsening situation in Hong Kong a sovereignty issue and would be highly unlikely to cave to Washington’s pressure.”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in an address on Monday at the Detroit Economic Club that the Trump administration would continue to urge Beijing to peacefully resolve differences with the protestors and warned that it would be harder for Washington to “make a trade deal with Beijing if there was violence,” the news outlet writes.

Hong Kong will be gearing up this week for more protests after more than 1 million anti-government demonstrators peacefully marched on Sunday.

Hotel arrangements mark first test for 2020 DNC organizers: State delegations attending the July 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee will learn where their hotel accommodations are this week. While two-thirds of delegates will be in hotels with a 45-minute driving distance from the Fiserv Forum, which will house the DNC, some will be as far away as near O’Hare International Airport, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The hotels in Rosemont, Illinois, near O’Hare, are under consideration because of their size and ability to hold large group events. The Hilton Milwaukee will be the headquarters hotel for the convention. Tom Perez, party chair of the DNC members, said local organizers secured 17,000 hotel rooms for the event.

“Housing arrangements for delegates mark the first big test for organizers of the event,” the newspaper writes.

A $295 roomservice menu just for mukbangs: A trend gaining popularity on YouTube is making mukbangs, videos of one or more people eating massive amounts of food on camera, and now hotels are catching on, the Washington Post writes.

The trend started in South Korea about 10 years ago but has recently gained mainstream popularity across the world. As of this week, the W Hotel in Washington, D.C., is offering guests their own “mukbang-making experience” through roomservice for $295, complete with a phone stand and microphone if guests want to record.

As part of the package, “guests can binge on foods like iron-skillet-served cherry pie, burgers piled with cheese, surf and turf, martini glasses full of dips, charcuterie boards, carrot cake towers, and XL crispy french fries, among other foods. The menu was designed to hit a lot of mukbang musts, featuring foods with textures yielding ASMR-friendly chomping noises (pickles) or dramatic bite imagery (melty cheese),” the newspaper writes.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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