Article Summary:

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Carey Watermark 1 and Carey Watermark 2 announce merger
  • Hotels close amid protests in Haiti
  • How hotels find good employees
  • Premier Inn falters as Brexit saga continues
  • Overtourism dampens spontaneous travel

Primary Category: 5 Things to Know

Secondary Categories: News

Carey Watermark 1 and Carey Watermark 2 announce merger: Carey Watermark Investors 1 and Carey Watermark Investors 2 announced the two companies have plans to merge through a 100% stock-for-stock merger and management internalization to form real estate investment trust Watermark Lodging Trust, according to a news release.

The new non-traded REIT is valued at $4.6 billion “with increased scale and operating efficiencies, positioning it for long-term value creation and liquidity, including public listing or IPO.”

The board of directors for both companies unanimously approved the deal.

Hotels close amid protests in Haiti: A Best Western Premier in Haiti is closing permanently while other hotels are temporarily closing and laying off staff amid protests in Haiti, The Miami Herald reports.

The Best Western property is the first U.S.-branded hotel to return to Haiti in 15 years, but the owners decided they will close it permanently at the end of October as a result of “more than a year of recurring fuel shortages, violent protests and currency devaluation,” according to the news outlet.

Other hotels have closed because “Haiti is facing a looming constitutional crisis, four unsuccessful attempts to confirm a new government, a deteriorating security environment and a sixth week of protests over demands that President Jovenel Moïse step down.”

How hotels find good employees: The search for good employees in the hotel industry has been difficult with a tough labor market, which is why hoteliers are looking for new sources for employees, HNN contributor Laura Koss-Feder writes.

Some methods of hiring include employee referral programs with cash incentives, college campuses and holding hiring events.

“Hotels’ main resource are job posts on sites like Indeed and even Craigslist,” said Scott Samuels, CEO of Horizon Hospitality, a hotel industry executive search firm. “What is not being done as much is employee referrals programs, where they give compensation to employees who recommend people to them; hotels need to be more creative and more generous in these programs.”

Premier Inn falters as Brexit saga continues: It is all about Brexit, said Alison Brittain, CEO of Whitbread PLC, the owner of Premier Inn, about the British firm’s half-year 2019 results. While a weaker pound, in part caused by the United Kingdom’s long-running saga to attempt to leave the European Union, has incentivized international travelers take advantage of cheaper visits, the increased tourism mostly has been realized in London, not the other areas of the U.K. where approximately 80% of the firm’s hotels exist. Adjusted profit before taxes declined by 4.1% to £236 million ($304.2 million) for the period compared with the same period in 2018.

Brittain also said the firm is being hurt by British travelers not booking as many hotel stays, a state of affairs also blamed on Brexit uncertainties. “Shorter-term trading conditions in the U.K. regional market have been difficult, particularly in the business segment where we have a higher proportion of our revenue,” she said, before adding “against this challenging backdrop, we have a number of activities underway which continue to build our brand strength as the U.K.’s favourite hotel chain.” Enhanced room formats and expansion in Germany, she said, were among those activities.

Overtourism dampens spontaneous travel: More and more people are traveling and planning trips ahead, which has “killed spontaneous travel” due to overtourism, CNN Travel reports.

“With global tourism hitting record highs—1.4 billion tourist arrivals in 2018, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, up 6% on 2017—and popular destinations being besieged by overtourism, world-famous sites are battening down the hatches,” the news outlet reports.

Overtourism is changing things for locals and travelers, Elizabeth Becker, author of “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism” told the news outlet.

“Tourists will have to plan their trips better, and research to figure out where reservations are required,” she said.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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Headline: 5 things to know: 23 October 2019

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Article Time: 9:52:00 AM