5 things to know: 11 February 2020
5 things to know: 11 February 2020
11 FEBRUARY 2020 10:30 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Coronavirus causing wider travel disruption
  • Marriott exec outlines growth plans
  • Hilton kicks off earnings season
  • Businesses adjusting to new normal in UK
  • Japanese developer launches digitally focused hotel brand

Coronavirus causing wider travel disruption: A new report from Reuters notes the spread of the new strain of coronavirus in China is having a chilling effect on travel not just in that country but across the entirety of Asia.

Thailand, for example, has seen a dramatic drop in visitors, as illustrated in the report by a “tuk tuk” driver’s inability to patrons, with daily income dropping from $41 a day to roughly a third of that.

In related news, The New York Times reports outbreak concerns were renewed in the Chinese city of Tianjin, southwest of Beijing, where a large cluster of confirmed cases were tied to a single department store.

For more coronavirus coverage from Hotel News Now, click here.

Marriott exec outlines growth plans: Growth and Marriott International are virtually synonymous at this point, but while speaking with HNN’s Bryan Wroten at the 2020 Americas Lodging Investment Summit, Tony Capuano, group president, global development, design and operations services, said his company doesn’t chase growth for growth’s sake.

“We’re a company whose model is driven on growth, but we want that to be thoughtful growth,” he said. “We’ll continue to use the framework of that impact evaluation process that we have and try to make the right decisions for both Marriott and shareholders as well as for our owners and franchisees across the country.”

Hilton kicks off earnings season: Hilton is the first of the major publicly traded hotel companies to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 earnings results, now reporting that full-year revenue per available room for the company was up 0.8% year over year and down 1% in the quarter, according to a news release.

The company also announced its expectations for 2020, projecting systemwide comparable RevPAR to grow in a range of 0% to 1%, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization between $2.42 billion and $2.47 billion.

Businesses adjusting to new normal in U.K.: Brexit is now the reality in the U.K, and a report from The Wall Street Journal notes companies, and the nation itself, still need to come to terms with exactly what that means.

One of the biggest looming questions is what type of long-term trade agreement U.K. officials will negotiate with the European Union, the deadline for which is 31 December 2020. The report notes investors are wise to trust Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promise that he won’t extend the current, interim trade pact.

“Companies’ exposure varies greatly, ranging from some in the financial sector that are largely Brexit-proof to car makers with extended supply chains,” The Journal reports. “The latter are very vulnerable, but at least they have faced the risk of a disorderly breakdown in trade twice before.”

Japanese developer launches digitally focused hotel brand: Japanese real estate developer Global Agents has announced the launch of a new hotel brand called /slash, which they promise will be “the next generation of digital hotels,” according to a news release. The first property is near Kawasaki Station in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Guests will have complete control of guestrooms for the brand through a “fully integrated application” developed specifically for the brand and accessible with an iPhone provided in room.

“The application has several useful functions, including an alarm system based on bed movement, lighting adjustment, and control of the 80-inch projector screen built into every room,” the release states. “Guests can connect their personal devices to watch any of their favorite shows in their own private theatre space.”

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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