5 things to know: 7 March 2018
5 things to know: 7 March 2018
07 MARCH 2018 10:17 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Six months after Maria, Puerto Ricans still housed in hotels
  • Marriott CEO says nationalism a threat to hotel industry
  • Deutsche execs say new brand is conversion-friendly
  • Hotels outside CBDs perform better than those within
  • Study shows CFO optimism in US highest since 1996

Six months after Maria, Puerto Ricans still housed in hotels: Almost 10,000 Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria are still being housed in hotels across 37 states, with temporary housing assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a story by The Washington Post.

FEMA assistance, which has been renewed repeatedly and provided $113 million in accommodation assistance to 129,000 people, is scheduled to end 20 March, The Post reports. The government reportedly is considering a request by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to extend the assistance deadline to 14 May.

Marriott CEO says nationalism a threat to hotel industry: “A global wave of nationalism,” exhibited in the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote and U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, keeps Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson up at night, he told a BBC reporter in an on-stage interview at the International Hotel Investment Forum, according to a story by The Caterer.

“The risk for us in the travel business is that even though travel is different than immigration, if people aren’t careful about the way they talk about it, they seem to be the same issue,” Sorenson said after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the conference.

Deutsche execs say new brand is conversion-friendly: The fourth brand under the Deutsche Hospitality umbrella, Maxx by Steigenberger, “will be ideal for conversions and have a more flexible approach to brand standards,” CEO Thomas Willms told Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker in an interview during the second day of IHIF in Berlin.

The new upscale brand is also expected to open up opportunities for franchising.

“We’ve missed some great opportunities because some hotels simply could not fit into our existing three brands,” said Claus-Dieter Jandel, Deutsche Hospitality’s EVP and chief development officer.

Hotels outside CBDs perform better than those within: Data from HNN parent company STR shows that revenue-per-available-room growth for year-end 2017 was higher for hotels outside of central business districts in top 25 markets than for hotels in CBDs.

“For the period ending January 2018, CBD hotels recorded RevPAR growth of 1.5% (to $156.65) while non-CBD hotels achieved growth of 2.5% (to $93.46),” writes STR’s Kobe Akuffo Owoo.

A trend that shows CBD hotels outperformed non-CBD hotels for 13 out of 20 years has reversed since the end of the 2008 Great Recession, with non-CBD hotels attaining higher RevPAR growth in seven out of eight years, according to the STR research.

Study shows CFO optimism in U.S. highest since 1996: Recent enactment of federal tax cuts are a factor behind rising optimism among chief financial officers in the United States, according to a quarterly report from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and CFO Magazine, Bloomberg reports.

The report shows that a measure of CFOs’ sentiment about the U.S. economy grew by 2.6 points to 71.2 in the first quarter, which marks the highest level since the survey began in 1996.

“The extremely high level of business optimism is tied to the recently passed corporate tax reform,” John Graham, a finance professor at Duke, said in a statement accompanying the report. “Our analysis of past results shows the CFO Optimism Index is an accurate predictor of future economic growth and hiring, therefore 2018 looks to be a very promising year.”

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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