5 things to know: 7 January 2020
5 things to know: 7 January 2020
07 JANUARY 2020 10:40 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hong Kong hotels focus marketing on staycations
  • Another earthquake hits Puerto Rico’s southern coast
  • Hotel CEOs lay out their companies’ plans for the future
  • US trade deficit narrows again
  • Company targeting corporate short-term rentals raises $25m

Hong Kong hotels focus marketing on staycations: To increase occupancy rates amidst a seven-month-long downturn and protests, hoteliers in Hong Kong are promoting the concept of staycations to local families, the South China Morning Post reports. Tourist arrivals to Hong Kong have fallen 56% year over year as of November.

Developer and operator Sun Hung Kai Properties has offered packages aimed at attracting local guests, providing discounts and activities targeted at couples and families in hopes of keeping them from vacationing overseas, according to the article.

While staycation packages have worked for some resort companies, tourism legislator Yiu Si-wing told the newspaper it’s not necessarily a sustainable practice.

“The effect is better in summer (and not on) regular weekdays,” Yiu said. “For resort or luxury hotels … if the hotel is very cheap, some people might be interested. Some people may stay a night (just) for the bargain and relaxing. But the market is mainly counting on tourists.”

Another earthquake hits Puerto Rico’s southern coast: A 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook Puerto Rico’s southern coast Tuesday morning, just a day after a 5.8-magnitude quake hit the island, CNN reports. The latest earthquake reportedly killed one person, injured several others and caused some property damage.

The country’s electric power authority reported widespread outages across the island following the latest earthquake, according to the article. The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center does not expect the earthquake to start a tsunami.

Puerto Rico has experienced several earthquakes since 28 December, ranging from 4.7 to 5.8 on the Richter scale, the article states.

Hotel CEOs lay out their companies’ plans for the future: In a roundup of interviews HNN conducted with hotel company CEOs over the past six months, HNN’s Danielle Hess lays out what leaders of companies such as Remington Hotels, CorePoint Lodging, Marriott International and InterContinental Hotels Group have planned for 2020 and beyond.

U.S. trade deficit narrows again: New data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows the U.S. trade deficit on exports and imports narrowed by 8.2% in November for the third-consecutive month, The Wall Street Journal reports. The deficit fell to a seasonally adjusted $43 billion, the lowest goods and services gap since reaching $42 billion in October 2016.

Exports overall grew by 0.7% in November compared to October due to increases in exports of consumer goods, capital goods, motor vehicles, automotive parts and engines, the newspaper reports. Imports fell by 1%, particularly for items such as cell phones and toys.

Company targeting corporate short-term rentals raises $25m: Austin, Texas-based real estate startup The Guild has raised $25 million in Series B funding to expand its business model, converting apartments and office properties into short-term rental units for corporate travelers, Tech Crunch reports. The company has 565 operating units with another 235 in final stages of development spread across Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Miami and Nashville.

The company generated $10.4 million in revenue in 2018 and then $25 million in 2019, The Real Deal reports. With its new funding, which after the latest round totals $32 million, the company intends to expand its geographic footprint and further invest in tech such as key-dispensing kiosks and virtual check-ins.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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