5 things to know: 15 July 2020
5 things to know: 15 July 2020
15 JULY 2020 9:22 AM

From the desks of the HNN editorial staff:

  • Singapore’s Sentosa to make ‘significant’ job cuts
  • Chinese hotel that collapsed in March illegally built
  • UK VAT cut comes into force
  • Hoteliers bullish on Hong Kong’s future
  • Global population expected to shrink by 2100

Singapore’s Sentosa to make ‘significant’ job cuts: Singapore’s principal hotel and tourism offering, Resorts World Sentosa, one of the city-state’s largest private employers, is to conduct “significant” numbers of layoffs, according to Singapore newspaper The Straits Times.

Genting Singapore, the owners of the resort, which contains six hotels with approximately 1,600 rooms, said that “over the past few months, we have reviewed all costs, eliminated non-essential spending … (but) in this latest round of review, we have made the difficult decision to implement a one-off workforce rationalization,” according to the newspaper. The company did not state how many redundancies there would be.

Chinese hotel that collapsed in March illegally built: Chinese authorities found the Xinjia Express Hotel that collapsed 7 March in Quanzhou was illegally constructed with violations to renovation and reinforcement rules, China Daily reports. At the time of the collapse, the hotel was being used as a COVID-19 quarantine facility.

“Twenty-three suspects have been brought under police control and 49 officials have been punished for the accident deemed as one cause by human factors,” the newspaper reports.

Early coverage on the incident reported 10 died in the collapse, but that number climbed to 29 with a further 42 injured.

U.K. VAT cut comes into force: The United Kingdom value-added/sales tax cut on some goods and services, including hotels and restaurants, announced last week came into force Wednesday, a move that not every firm is passing on to customers and guests, according to the BBC.

The cut from 20% to 5% has resulted in some companies feeling the savings are best used to shore up their own businesses damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than encouraging more sales from consumers, who have also felt economic pain. The government’s Treasury said the cut, which remains until 12 January, would save consumers on average £160 ($201.68).

Hoteliers bullish on Hong Kong’s future: Despite 2019’s political protests, the recent passing of a controversial Chinese security law and COVID-19, hoteliers in Hong Kong are confident of its long-term future because the region remains a unique and vibrant tourism and business market, writes HNN’s Terence Baker.

Even though business recovery is being hampered by a travel ban for all but Hong Kong residents through 18 September, “the business community is very optimistic on the future … whilst there are political issues in the short term, the long-term prospects … remain firm and confident,” said Simon Manning, chief sales and development office at Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group.

Global population expected to shrink by 2100: The world’s population is expected to peak with approximately 9.73 billion people in 2064 but then decline through 2100 to 8.79 billion, CNN reports of a new study published in The Lancet.

Among the findings in the scientific paper, 23 nations are likely to see their populations decline by 50% by that year while the population in sub-Saharan African nations might triple. The number crunching has forecasted that in 2100 there will be only “one birth for every person turning 80 years old.”

“A sustained (total fertility rate) lower than the replacement level in many countries, including China and India, would have economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical consequences,” the study states.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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