5 things to know: 23 November 2016
5 things to know: 23 November 2016
23 NOVEMBER 2016 10:46 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Overtime rule stalled by Texas court ruling
  • UK chancellor predicts economic slowdown over Brexit
  • STR: Global hotel performance in October mostly negative
  • Japan’s Hoshino Hotels looks to expand globally
  • Survey indicates luxury hotels catering more to kids

Overtime rule stalled by Texas court ruling: An injunction by a Texas federal judge will delay implementation of a U.S. Department of Labor rule that would raise the salary threshold for mandatory overtime pay to $47,476, reports The Washington Post.

The rule was set to go into effect 1 December, but was challenged by a group of 21 states and a group of businesses led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which claimed the labor department did not have the authority to make the change.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association, which has been publicly critical of the new rule, applauded the court ruling.

“Our industry prides itself on providing employees an opportunity to rise through the ranks and establish life-long careers,” the AH&LA said in a statement. “However, this rule would have strained the ability of small business owners to do right by their team members and ultimately hurt those same employees.”

Hoteliers who spoke to Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten ahead of the court ruling were not taking any chances on delaying staffing changes to reflect the new rule.

U.K. chancellor predicts economic slowdown over Brexit: In his Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond predicted government finances would be “£122 billion ($151.2 billion) worse off than in the spring,” BBC News reports. Hammond’s report was from the Office for Budget Responsibility, which also predicted that borrowing would reach £68.2 billion ($84.5 billion) this year.

As a result of Brexit, the OBR said, “potential growth in the current Parliament would be 2.4% lower than forecast in March,” BBC News reports.

The Chancellor also announced that the National Living Wage would increase to £7.50 ($9.30) an hour, and £23 billion ($28.5 billion) would be put into a “national productivity investment fund.”

Global hotel performance in October mostly negative: Hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Central and South America reported declining revenue per available room in October 2016, according to data from STR, parent company of HNN. In STR’s monthly global results, only Africa saw a significant increase in RevPAR; and in the Asia/Pacific region, RevPAR stayed flat.

In Europe, RevPAR fell 2% to €85.47 ($90.08), while average daily rate dipped 1.6% to €113.51 ($119.63) and occupancy remained nearly flat, down 0.4% to 75.3%. The Middle East reported a 13% decline in RevPAR to $111.48, along with a 9% drop in ADR to $174.19 and a 4.4% drop in occupancy to 64%. RevPAR at hotels in Africa was pushed up (increasing 2.8% to $61.82) by an 8.2% rise in ADR (to $105.71), despite a 5.1% decrease in occupancy to 58.5%.  

In the Asia/Pacific, RevPAR (up 0.1% to $74.02) was in line with nearly flat occupancy (up 0.5% to 71.3%) and ADR (down 0.4% to $103.77). In the Central/South America region, RevPAR fell 5.8% to $50.75 and occupancy was down 6.6% to 56.5%, while ADR rose slightly (up 0.9% to $89.76).

Japan’s Hoshino Resorts looks to expand globally: With the Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa in French Polynesia last year, Hoshino Resorts opened its first property outside of its Japanese homeland since the company formed in 1914. Early 2017 will see the debut of its first foreign new build with a luxury Hoshinoya property in Bali, Indonesia. At the same time, the company is sticking to its Japanese traditions, with a focus on the famed “ryokan” hot-springs hospitality, writes HNN’s Terence Baker. 

“Everything about a ryokan—architecture, aesthetics, amenities, services and food—are unmistakably Japanese,” said Yoshiharu Hoshino, CEO of Hoshino Resorts, who represents the fourth generation of the family running the company. “Modernization has not been kind to the ryokan industry. Ryokans have practically vanished from the cities and, every year, are shrinking in number in more remote areas as well. Taking their place are Western-style business hotels, which (do) continue to evolve.”

Survey indicates luxury hotels catering more to kids: There’s a growing need for child-friendly amenities at luxury hotels as more affluent parents opt for upgraded accommodations for family trips, according to a survey by Top Flight Family, a website for “sophisticated parents who believe in exploring the world with their children in comfort and style.”

The survey of U.S. families earning more than $100,000 a year showed they spend an average of $1,500 per person on vacation, with 43% of respondents saying they have stayed at five-star hotels with their children.

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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