5 things to know: 19 July 2019
5 things to know: 19 July 2019
19 JULY 2019 9:48 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • How US hoteliers extend the high-demand season
  • Atlas survey shows Los Angeles leads California hotel construction
  • Dominican Republic amps up F&B inspections
  • Hotels reinvent guest books
  • Jobless claims in US on the rise

How U.S. hoteliers extend the high-demand season: Hoteliers in the U.S. know that from August to early fall, the busy travel season seen throughout the summer starts to fade, but with strategies implemented early on in the year, they are able to extend the demand, writes Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller.

Destinie Collins, GM of the Hampton Inn & Suites in Destin, Florida, said her team starts preparing for the third and fourth quarters at the beginning of the year.

“At the beginning of each year, we review the chamber events calendar and go after any sports events that are coming to the area,” she said. “We also prospect any festivals or concerts that will be bringing in large amounts of people.”

Atlas survey shows Los Angles leads California hotel construction: Through the first half of 2019, California new hotel construction continued at a “record-breaking pace,” compared to the same period in 2018, according to Atlas Hospitality Group’s 2019 mid-year California Hotel Development Survey.

A total of 36 hotels opened in the first six months, while 26 opened in the same period in 2018. The number of hotels under construction increased 28%, while the number of new rooms under construction rose 25%. Los Angeles County led the state with 45 hotels, totaling 7,497 rooms, under construction. The largest among those hotels include an AC Hotel and Moxy Hotel, both with 410 rooms.

“Lenders and developers continue to be very bullish on new California hotels, as they see a very positive long-term outlook for the Golden State. They are also encouraged by the states (revenue per available room) increases, as compared to the rest of the country,” the survey states.

Dominican Republic amps up F&B inspections: Dominican Republic Minister of Tourism Javier Garcia announced Thursday that safety measures in the destination will be improved and programs are being implemented immediately to enhance consumer confidence, which includes food and drink inspections, USA Today reports.

This announcement comes after a rash of deaths of tourists occurred over the past few months in various hotels across the destination, some after having consumed alcohol from hotel minibars. There has been no clear link established between the deaths and the minibars, however.

“Hotels will be specifically required to provide inspectors with detailed food handling protocols as well as comprehensive information on all food-and-beverage suppliers,” the news outlet reports. The department will also “closely monitor” medical offices in hotels and its doctors, nurses and other staff.

Hotels reinvent guest books: Hotel guest books used to be a way for guests to leave their mark and write their identity or status, but with the digital age evolving and the rise of social media, hotels are reinventing the guest books in various ways, the New York Times writes.

At Moxy Hotels, visitors can “sign a digital guest book by posting on Instagram from a public account, either with the hashtag #attheMoxy, or simply by uploading the photo from anywhere on the property. The best photos are selectively pulled into a tiled layout that appears on the Moxy website, a dedicated guest book landing page, and lobby screens at all 44 hotels throughout North America, Europe and Asia,” the newspaper writes.

Jobless claims in U.S. on the rise: According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits increased in the week ending 13 July. However, it still remained near historically low levels, which points to a firm labor market.

Claims rose by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. This figure matches predictions of economist surveyed by WSJ.

“The report also showed continuing claims—those filed by workers unemployed for longer than a week—decreased by 42,000 to 1,686,000 in the week ended 6 July. That figure is reported with a one-week lag,” the newspaper writes.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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