5 things to know: 11 July 2018
5 things to know: 11 July 2018
11 JULY 2018 9:09 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • US unleashes tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods
  • Radisson’s De Neef talks HNA speculation, five-year plan
  • Marriott testing facial recognition check-in in China
  • Expanded hotel tax to be vetoed in Hawaii
  • Tourists at Czech hotels set new record in May

U.S. unleashes tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods: The trade war between the United States and China deepens as the Trump administration announced “it would assess 10% tariffs on a further $200 billion in Chinese goods,” The Wall Street Journal reports. 

This set of tariffs targeting products such as fish and luggage follows two other tariffs, and Beijing will likely respond with threats of retaliation, The Journal reports. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the newspaper “he was open to talks with China about a resolution of the dispute.”

“As in the past, the United States is willing to engage in efforts that could lead to a resolution of our concerns about China’s unfair trade practices and to China opening its market to U.S. goods and services,” he said in a statement.

Radisson’s De Neef talks HNA speculation, five-year plan: Radisson Hotel Group EVP and Global COO Eric De Neef said his company has a five-year plan to consolidate its positioning and offerings to guests and investors and talked a bit about principal owner HNA Group, HNN’s Terence Baker writes.

Radisson Hotel Group’s investment structure has been in the news lately with HNA under scrutiny by the Chinese government. De Neef said the company is in a good state even if HNA decides to sell, although he clarified there is no indication that will happen.

“We have the key money for our 2022 plans,” he said. “We do not necessarily need HNA, but we do need owners. Will HNA stay? This is the question that might be asked in the market. … All the interaction I have had with them, I do not see any flags that say they want to sell us.”

Marriott testing facial recognition check-in in China: Marriott International is partnering with Alibaba Group to test facial recognition at two hotels in China in July, with plans to roll out the technology globally, Reuters reports.

China has been using facial recognition for controlling live events and ordering fast food to growing a domestic surveillance system “that has raised fears among human rights activists of privacy being invaded,” the news outlet reports.

The check-in process usually takes about three minutes, but using facial recognition would cut the process down to less than a minute.

Expanded hotel tax to be vetoed in Hawaii: Hawaii Governor David Ige said he would reject a bill to expand hotel taxes in the state, the Star Tribune reports.

The bill would apply to the Transient Accommodations Tax on resort fees at hotels.

“Ige says vague language in the bill could lead to the tax being applied to restaurants, spas and other businesses inside hotels,” the newspaper reports.

Tourists at Czech hotels set new record in May: A report from the Czech Statistics Office shows that hotels in the Czech Republic hosted nearly 1.4 million tourists in May, Czech Radio reports.

This is a 4.2% year-over-year increase and a 15.6% increase over the previous month. Four-star hotels saw a 5.6% increase in guest numbers, the largest year-over-year rise. Hotels in this segment hosted approximately 867,000 guests in May.

The rate growth in tourism is expected to continue until the end of the year, which is aided by inexpensive airfare and reasonably priced accommodations compared to other Western European cities.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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