5 things to know: 16 October 2017
5 things to know: 16 October 2017
16 OCTOBER 2017 8:38 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Lugar named to federal task force on apprenticeships
  • Prepared hoteliers best set to outride downturns
  • China orders Wanda to close two resort golf courses
  • Yellen predicts rate increases with strong economy
  • Pentahotels taps Staal as president

Lugar named to federal task force on apprenticeships: The U.S. Department of Labor announced that Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, has been named to a federal task force concerned with the expansion of apprenticeships.

“On behalf of the lodging industry and our 25,000 members, it is an honor to serve on this task force that will bolster our shared goal of promoting jobs and opportunities and creating a dynamic workforce. This is yet another important step in highlighting the significant work the hotel industry does to promote its workforce, partner with communities to develop strong talented individuals who can build lifelong careers in hotels,” Lugar said in a news release.

Prepared hoteliers best set to outride downturns: With more and more uncertainty due to geopolitical, economic and operational shifts, hoteliers should be nimble and prepared to survive a possible downturn, writes Hotel News Now’s Jeff Higley from a recent International Society of Hospitality Consultants’ roundtable.

Hoteliers also need to hire the right people to give guests the experiences they want, consultants told Higley.

“We’ve got to be focusing on memorable experiences so when the time comes to evaluate during the downturn, any decision you make (should go back to) ‘how will this affect the memorable experience my hotel is providing?’ And (if the answer) is ‘adversely,’ I think you go and look at another way to protect your cash flows because the long-term damage could be huge,” said Jeff Dover, principal, FSStrategy.

China orders Wanda to close two resort golf courses: The Chinese government has ordered Dalian Wanda Group to close two golf courses at its Changbaishan International Resort in Jilin Province, according to the Financial Times, in another crackdown imposed by central politicians against what they see as a drive against noncore industries and a rise in corruption.

The Chinese government has this year targeted several large Chinese companies such as HNA Tourism Group, Anbang Insurance Group and Fosun International regarding their overseas buys in the hotel and hospitality industry.

Yellen predicts rate increases with strong economy: Speaking over the weekend, Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen laid out a case for continued interest rate increases, according to The New York Times.

“We continue to expect that the ongoing strength of the economy will warrant gradual increases in that rate to sustain a healthy labor market and stabilized inflation around our 2% longer-run objective,” she said.

Pentahotels taps Staal as president: Pentahotels, a division of Rosewood Hotel Group, has named Eugène Staal as president. To be based in Frankfurt, Staal arrives from YawnWorld, an apartment rental company, but also has had stints at Hyatt Hotel Corporation and Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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