5 things to know: 28 September 2020
5 things to know: 28 September 2020
28 SEPTEMBER 2020 9:27 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hotelier Trump avoided taxes via business losses
  • UK borrowing hits multiple records
  • Schrager says ‘relentless’ hoteliers to pave return
  • China’s Golden Week to be test of COVID nervousness
  • Tourist arrested over ‘bad review’ of Thai hotel

Hotelier Trump avoided taxes via business losses: Hotelier and the President of the United States Donald Trump “paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency” and another $750 the first year of his presidency, according to The New York Times, which added “(Trump) had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years—largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

An extensive article in the newspaper, which after a long battle obtained the President’s personal and business tax returns for a period spanning more than two decades, does not include data on his personal returns for 2018 or 2019. The President replied by saying the news was “fake news” and that he had paid taxes, notably to New York State.

U.K. borrowing hits multiple records: In August, the United Kingdom government borrowed £35.9 billion ($45.2 billion) in its efforts to maintain the economy and jobs in the face of the pandemic, according to its official statistics reporting agency, the Office for National Statistics.

The figure is £30.5 billion ($39.2 billion) more than it borrowed in August 2019 and is the highest amount borrowed in any August since records began in 1993. The ONS said that borrowing between April and August totalled £173.7 billion ($223.6 billion), which also is a record. The U.K.’s entire debt stack now is more than £2 trillion ($2.6 trillion), which is also record setting.

Schrager says “relentless” hoteliers to pave return: Long-time hotelier Ian Schrager said at the 2020 Boutique Lifestyle Digital Summit that it is not true that the hotel industry will find a “new normal.” While the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything the industry has ever seen, he believes the industry will eventually return to how it was, with certain adjustments, writes Hotel News Now’s Danielle Hess.

He told online attendees that those in the lifestyle-hotel business always have thought outside of the box and that hoteliers should be “relentless.” He added, “Don’t let anybody stand in the way. The only way you’re going to innovate is to break down the door and go right through it.”

China’s Golden Week to be test of COVID nervousness: China’s Golden Week, the country annual holiday, which this year runs from 1-7 October, is expected to be the first real test of how Chinese tourists view traveling amid the pandemic, according to the Financial Times.

The newspaper said it predicts approximately 600 million trips will be made, which is down roughly 20% compared to 2019 numbers, when tourism generated 65 billion Chinese yuan ($9.5 billion) in revenue. Even with a projected decrease in travel, it is still a very stern test of anti-COVID 19 measures and an indication of consumer demand and public wariness.

Tourist arrested over “bad review” of Thai hotel: An American tourist has been arrested following a review of a hotel in Thailand that its owner said would result in “damage to the reputation of the hotel,” according to Channel News Asia. The tourist has since been released on bail but potentially faces a fine of approximately 200,000 Thai baht (US$6,300) or two years in jail.

The media outlet reported that Thailand has very rigorous anti-defamation laws, which have “long drawn scrutiny from human rights and press freedom groups.” The lawsuit, again according to the report, said action was taken only because of multiple posts had been written in online forums from the same source, one of which accused the hotel of “modern slavery.”

Compiled by Terence Baker. 

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