5 things to know: 20 November 2019
5 things to know: 20 November 2019
20 NOVEMBER 2019 10:38 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • UK hotels lobby for labor, business in election
  • Global tourism to garner $893b by 2026
  • Cost of EB-5 visas to nearly double this year
  • Brazilian tribe wins fight over land for new-build hotel
  • Japanese hotel offers stay for $1 per night, but there’s a catch

U.K. hotels lobby for labor, business rates in election: Over the next 23 days, the United Kingdom hotel industry is preparing for a general election “obsessed with Brexit, with UKHospitality officials arguing that sound policies on labor and business rates are needed for British public companies to retain their global standing,” reports Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker. UKHospitality’s three focus policies are unlocking economic growth, boosting skills and opportunities for the workforce and bringing communities together.

Speaking at the organization’s 2019 general election manifesto launch, UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said the body is working with the major political parties and is focusing on “longer-term documents, over the next Parliament, if we ever get past Brexit.”

Global tourism to garner $893b by 2026: In a new report from Allied Market Research on the global outlook of the travel accommodation market, research shows the industry is expected to reach $893 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% over the next several years, according to a news release. In 2018, the global travel accommodation market earned $632.8 billion. The report also names the main drivers, restraints and opportunities in the industry.

“Rise in global tourism, developments in corporate travel industry and surge in the inclination among consumers to shift from product to experience drive the growth of the global travel accommodation market. On the other hand, increase in incidence of forgery and fluctuating fortunes for destinations restrain the growth to some extent. However, innovation through artificial intelligence and eco-friendly accommodations for solo travelers are expected to create lucrative opportunities in the near future,” the report states.

According to the report, the leading market players will include Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Radisson Hotel Group, Wyndham Destinations, Hilton, RLH Corporation, Accor, Oyo Hotels & Homes, Marriott International, Airbnb, A&O Hotels and Hostels GmbH.

Cost of EB-5 visas to nearly double this year: A new federal rule set to take effect on 21 November will nearly double the minimum amount—from $500,000 to $900,000—a foreign investor must pay toward an EB-5 visa, according to NBC News. EB-5 is “an immigration program that provides a method of obtaining a U.S. visa by investing in the U.S. and creating new jobs within specified regional centers defined by the government.”

“With roughly 10,000 visas awarded annually, the EB-5 program has allowed investors to receive a green card if they pump between $500,000 and $1 million into projects in the United States that create at least 10 jobs.,” the article states.

“The Trump administration rule will raise that outer limit from $1 million to $1.8 million—the first increase since the program began in 1990—and it will bump up the amount for a targeted employment area from $500,000 to $900,000. Targeted employment areas are defined as rural areas or places where the unemployment rate is 150% above the national average,” the news outlet reports.

Brazilian tribe wins fight over land for new-build hotel: Brazilian indigenous group Tupinambá de Olivença, comprising 4,631 people, has been fighting for 15 years to preserve land they use to gather food. On Monday, they won victory “when public pressure made Portuguese hotel group Vila Gale cancel plans to build a 500-room luxury resort on the Bahia coast,” Reuters reports. The tribe had been fighting to designate the land as a reserve since 2003.

“Vila Gale said a local businessman offered them the land in 2018. Regional and state government representatives approved of the project, as did Embratur, Brazil’s tourism agency. The company put the project on its website, with a note saying it was due to open in 2021,” the news outlet reports.

Jorge Rebelo de Almeida, board chairman of Vila Gale, denied there were any signs of indigenous people on that specific territory.

Japanese hotel offers stay for $1 per night, but there’s a catch: The owner of Fukuoka, Japan-based Asahi Ryokan hotel wondered how he could improve business after taking over the hotel from his grandmother last year. The answer? He’s charging $1 a night to stay in room No. 8, so long as guests agree to livestream their entire stay on his YouTube channel, One Dollar Hotel, CNN Travel reports.

Guests’ entire stay isn’t livestreamed, as the feed is video only, providing privacy for in-room conversations and phone calls, and guests can turn off the lights, the article states. The bathroom area is out of the camera’s range as well.

While charging only 100 Japanese yen, which equates to roughly $1, means a loss, the room was the hotel’s least popular, so the low rate might attract more guests, the article states. The YouTube channel has reached 1,000 subscribers, and after it accumulates more than 4,000 view hours, the owner can monetize the channel by adding advertisements.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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