5 things to know: 13 January 2020
5 things to know: 13 January 2020
13 JANUARY 2020 10:24 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Data, pricing to dominate 2025 hotel industry
  • World Bank warns of slow global growth
  • European hotels to see slower growth, too
  • US clarifies shared-liability rules
  • Third man jailed for Gleneagles robbery

Data, pricing to dominate 2025 hotel industry: In 2025, hoteliers will be welcoming guests in an entirely new economic cycle, one expected to be dominated by leveraging more and better data and sustaining pricing power in the face of strong demand, according to Hotel News Now’s Sean McCracken in the first installment in a series of stories from HNN looking at what the industry might expect from now until 2025.

Consolidation will continue, according to Carter Wilson, SVP of consulting and analytics for HNN’s parent company STR, who added “increased use of data analytics down to the property level will help operators identify very specific opportunities for revenue growth.”

World Bank warns of slow global growth: The World Bank has predicted the global economy will grow at only a marginal increase in 2020 compared with 2019, with the world’s major economies such as that of the U.S. (which is projected to grow 1.8%) set to see a slowdown from 2019 performance, according to a report published on its website.

Growth across the planet is expected to be +2.5% for 2020, with the bank stating that “while growth could be stronger if reduced trade tensions mitigate uncertainty, the balance of risks is to the downside.” It added that growth in emerging and developing markets is predicted to be +4.1%. Performance in the Eurozone (+1%) is predicted to be weaker than that of the U.S.

European hotels to see slower growth, too: European hotels will enjoy a continuation of a decade’s worth of revenue-per-available-room growth in 2020, but it, just as with the world’s economy, will slow across the year, according to a presentation co-hosted by STR and hotel consultancy Whitebridge Hospitality. (STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.)

Speaking at the 15th New Year Hotel Investment Summit, Alex Robinson, STR’s senior manager of industry partners, said mega events in 2020, such as the FIFA Euros soccer championships, will head performance, while Philip Camble, director of Whitebridge, said that transactions across the continent are likely to continue in 2020 even though the “transactions market in Europe has cooled considerably in 2019 compared with 2018.”

U.S. clarifies shared-liability rules: The U.S. Department of Labor has set new rules that will make it more difficult for employees to claim to have “two employers simultaneously in cases where they are challenging wages and overtime,” The Wall Street Journal reports. The newspaper notes the move is expected to ease regulatory burdens on large franchise companies and those that use staffing firms.

A news release from the agency notes the new rules go in to effect on 16 March. The new rules on joint employer status create “a four-factor balancing test to determine when a person is acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to the employee.” 

The rules also specifically create a higher level of separation between franchisor/branding companies and employees, with The WSJ stating that “in the case of a national restaurant brand and its local franchise owner, responsibility for complying with overtime pay and other labor rules would likely only fall to the local owner and not the national brand. This could have the effect of limiting the liability of national brands and restraining their exposure to labor lawsuits.”

Third man jailed for Gleneagles robbery: A man has been sentenced to 11 years and four months in jail for his part in the June 2017 armed robbery at the luxury Gleneagles Hotel 40 miles north of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, according to Police Scotland.

Two other men were jailed in 2018 for their participation, but the last person involved, Dean Jones, fled to Brazil, where he was arrested. The robbery was estimated to have involved £500,000 ($649,570), said the BBC, of high-end watches from the hotel in an attack the police force said resulted in “causing great distress to those who were working and staying there.”

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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