5 things to know: 26 June 2019
5 things to know: 26 June 2019
26 JUNE 2019 9:32 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Booking.com wants commission on hotel resort fees
  • Trump, China’s Xi to resume trade talks this week
  • The qualities execs look for in revenue managers
  • Airbnb enters luxury segment with new rental tier
  • Western Europe prepares for summer heatwave

Booking.com wants commission on hotel resort fees: Online travel agency Booking.com plans to charge a 15% commission on hotel resort fees in addition to the commission it already collects on room rates, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company hopes to make hoteliers reconsider charging guests resort fees through this extra charge of its own.

“At the end of the day, resort fees are a bad consumer experience across the board,” Leslie Cafferty, SVP and head of global communications for Booking Holdings, told the newspaper. “It’s definitely been their intent to raise additional revenue by charging additional fees.”

Vijay Dandapani, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City, told The Wall Street Journal the large hotel brand companies are negotiating with Booking.com and are “likely to minimize their exposure” to OTAs if they can’t reach a compromise.

Expedia Group told the newspaper it has no plans to charge a commission on resort fees at this time. However, it will give hotels without mandatory fees “higher visibility to travelers on our sites,” according to a company statement.

Trump, China’s Xi to resume trade talks this week: U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will resume talks this week ahead of the G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, The Wall Street Journal reports. The meeting is “widely viewed as a last-ditch effort to get negotiations on track” before the U.S. administration implements 25% tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports.

“This is going to come down to whether these two individuals can work with each other, manage the politics of this, so that the differences on substance can be bridged,” said Clete Willems, a former Trump White House economic official. “Having a rapport, where you understand each other, where you trust each other—that is critical.”

The qualities execs look for in revenue managers: Executives speaking during a roundtable discussion at the recent Revenue Optimization Conference said the best place to find and cultivate revenue-management talent is within the company, reports HNN’s Danielle Hess.

“Some of (the positions) are very administrative in nature, and others are a path to a revenue leader,” said Karen McWilliams, VP of revenue strategy at Concord Hospitality. “We’re able to work with them day in and day out. They do all of the training side-by-side the regular team; they go through the HSMAI (certification); and really just being able to test their skills and get them the knowledge base they need, we know we’re exposing them to great talents and great inner workings with the other hotel team members.”

Airbnb enters luxury segment with new rental tier: Airbnb has launched Airbnb Luxe, a service that pairs luxury homes with “trip designers” to set up experiences and services for guests, CNN reports. The average nightly rate ranges from $1,500 to $2,000.

Airbnb Luxe offers 2,000 newly listed properties from Luxury Retreats, a rental site the company bought in 2017, CNN reports. The site still operates independently with 5,000 luxury properties listed globally.

The tier below Airbnb Luxe is Airbnb Plus, in which the rental units undergo a 100-point inspection and have an average rate of $150 per night, according to the article. While with Plus, hosts could still be present and the rental unit might only be a spare room in a larger house, the Luxe offerings will not have hosts present and are typically “multi-story mansions or impressive urban pieds-à-terre.”

Western Europe prepares for summer heatwave: Western Europe will experience a heatwave this summer which is drawing comparisons to one 16 years ago that killed thousands in France, CBS News reports. The European Union’s Emergency Response Coordination Center warned temperatures are likely to peak the afternoon of 27 June, ranging from 96 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

The warm air masses are originating in Africa and will head over the Mediterranean, and Spain will be the first to experience the heat wave before it spreads across the continent as far east as the Czech Republic, according to the article. The heatwave is expected to last until early July.

Given its experience 16 years ago, Paris has put an extreme heat plan into place in which it will postpone school exams, leave pools open longer, set up temporary fountains and mist machines, distribute water and enact a care plan for vulnerable people.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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