5 things to know: 13 June 2016
5 things to know: 13 June 2016
13 JUNE 2016 9:12 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • 6 flights from US to Cuba approved
  • HNA denies rumors of AccorHotels partnership
  • 10 legal concerns about hotel industry consolidation
  • Dalata CEO warns Irish wage hike could hit investment
  • Park Hyatt hotel adopts one-eyed pug concierge

Six flights from US to Cuba approved: The Obama administration approved six U.S. airlines for direct flights to Cuba on Friday, according to The New York Times.

Direct flights are expected to begin as early as fall. Nine Cuban cities will receive the flights, including Cayo, Largo, Cienfuegos, Mantanzas and Santiago de Cuba. Flights to Cuba’s capital of Havana are anticipated to be announced by the Transportation Department this summer, The New York Times reports.

HNA denies rumors of AccorHotels partnership: Officials with HNA International Hotels & Resorts Management have issued a statement denying a rumored partnership with AccorHotels. Reuters reported on 5 June that the two companies were talking about potentially working together to keep Jin Jiang from increasing its stake in AccorHotels. According to that report, Jin Jiang currently holds 15.6% of Accor’s listed shares.

In a statement from HNA, the group said, “as of now, HNA Hospitality Group neither has discussed with French AccorHotels Group on the equity acquisition, nor plans to have such discussion. Relating reports are false.”

Ten legal concerns about hotel industry consolidation: Legal experts believe hoteliers should be hyperaware of potential problems with things like premerger collusion and areas of protection when it comes to merger activity in the industry, HNN’S Sean McCracken reports.

During the “Legal issues evolving out of the era of consolidation” panel at the 2016 NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, sources discussed the issues the industry faces with consolidation. While many are driven by Marriott International merging with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and AccorHotels merging with FRHI Hotels & Resorts, other forms of industry consolidation are also playing a roll.

“What we’re seeing from our vantage point is an array of different types of (mergers) and acquisitions happening,” said Larry Kwon, managing director of investment bank Moelis & Company.

Legal experts also discussed security concerns, international regulatory issues and brand standards.

Dalata CEO warns Irish wage hike could hit investment: Dalata Hotel Group CEO Pat McCann said Ireland’s proposed minimum wage hike to €11.50 ($12.95) per hour could affect future investment decisions, The Irish Independent reports.

McCann told the newspaper that the increase would affect Dalata’s wage structure and could affect the hotel group’s overall investment strategy when coupled with high rates and other costs.

“Everyone would love to pay more, but that becomes very difficult when you consider that it would come on top of all the other costs,” McCann said, according to the Irish Independent’s report.

The low pay commission has not yet determined what its final recommendation to the government will be when it delivers its report in July, The Irish Independent reports.

Park Hyatt hotel adopts one-eyed pug concierge: The Park Hyatt hotel in Chicago has adopted a one-eyed pug concierge named Parker, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

Parker was adopted from PAWS Chicago, and now lives at the hotel where she greets and escorts guests to their rooms. She even follows employees to staff meetings, the newspaper reports.

Park Hyatt General Manager Walter Brindell, who is a PAWS development board member, said he took in Parker to live at the hotel because he “wanted to provide a home for a dog who might have trouble getting adopted,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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