Article Summary:

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hilton tempers full-year RevPAR expectations
  • Wrong number printed on Baltimore hotels’ trafficking signs
  • Californians evacuate as wildfire spreads in Sonoma County
  • US hotel results for week ending 19 October
  • Japanese hotel removes in-room robots over hacking concerns

Primary Category: 5 Things to Know

Secondary Categories: News

Hilton tempers full-year RevPAR expectations: Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said during an earnings call the company’s revenue-per-available-room growth came in at 40 basis points, which was weaker than expected during the third quarter, writes HNN’s Danielle Hess. The company expects full-year RevPAR growth to range between remaining flat and growing by 1%, a downward revision from its previous forecast of growing 1% to 2%.

“As we look to next year, uncertainties in the macro environment make it difficult to forecast,” Nassetta said. “Most indicators suggest continued economic growth for all major global regions, but at a slower pace.”

Wrong number printed on Baltimore hotels’ trafficking signs: The city of Baltimore has required every hotel in the city to post signs with a phone number and text line for human trafficking victims, but the number provided in the legislation is wrong, The Baltimore Sun reports. Baltimore hoteliers reportedly have spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to comply with the legislation.

Hoteliers are looking to find alternative solutions that do not require replacing all of the signs, the newspaper reports. They are asking the city to purchase the phone number included in the legislation and printed on the signs to use that as the hotline as well as printing stickers with the correct number that can be placed on the signs.

Californians evacuate as wildfire spreads in Sonoma County: A wildfire is covering thousands of acres in northern California, causing about 1,700 people to evacuate in Sonoma County, CNN reports. The Kincade Fire started Wednesday night and, thanks to strong wind gusts, high temperatures and low humidity, spread to thousands of acres in just hours.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company continues to implement its series of intentional power outages in northern and central California in an effort to prevent another wildfire. State investigators found the utility’s power lines were responsible for the 2018 Camp Fire that killed 85 people.

U.S. hotel results for week ending 19 October: The U.S. hotel industry reported mostly negative year-over-year results for the week ending 19 October, according to data from STR, parent company of HNN. Occupancy fell by 0.9% to 72.4% while average daily rate grew by 0.2% to $135.99, resulting in RevPAR dropping 0.7% to $98.51.

Among the top 25 U.S. markets, Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia reported the largest increase in RevPAR, growing 18.5% to $168.38 thanks to an ADR jump of 16.6% to $206.45. Denver reported the highest increase in occupancy, growing 7.4% to 83.7%, which led to RevPAR growth of 14.5% to $125.68.

Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota-Wisconsin reported the largest drop in RevPAR, falling 15.4% to $87.63, a result of the steepest decline in occupancy (-10.9% to 69.9%).

Japanese hotel removes in-room robots over hacking concerns: The Henn na Hotel in Tokyo, known for its robot staff, has removed its in-room robots after a security researcher found and tweeted about a vulnerability in the robots’ coding that would allow unauthorized access to the robots’ cameras and microphones, Newsweek reports. By gaining access to the cameras and microphones, hackers could then spy on guests in their hotel rooms.

HIS Group, the Japanese hotel chain that owns the Henn na Hotel, apologized for ignoring a previous warning about a security vulnerability and is performing maintenance on the robots, the article states. The hotel removed half of its robot staff in January after they created more work for the human staff than helped reduce it.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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Headline: 5 things to know: 24 October 2019

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Article Time: 10:04:00 AM