From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Delays in construction slow Marriott’s unit growth
- Some hotels housing ICE detainees despite brands’ promises
- Hilton hits military hiring goal of 30,000
- US imports of consumer goods fell in September
- US job openings continue to outnumber unemployed
Delays in construction slow Marriott’s unit growth: Marriott International expects to see its room count grow by 5% to 5.2% net for full-year 2019, but executives on the company’s third-quarter earnings call expressed disappointment that its development pace will remain flat in 2020, reports HNN’s Bryan Wroten.
Permitting issues, construction costs and owners being more deliberate with the speed of their projects is holding back the pace somewhat, Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said. However, the company continues to sign a high number of deals each year, and the number of abandoned projects hasn’t grown, he said.
Some hotels housing ICE detainees despite brands’ promises: Several major hotel brands pledged to not house immigrant detainees at their properties, but some franchisees under those brands have continued to do so, CNN reports.
Marianne Jennings, professor emeritus of legal and ethical studies in business at Arizona State University, told CNN that hotel brand companies didn’t necessarily have the power to enforce these pledges. Many of the individual properties are independently owned and operated under franchise agreements.
Hilton hits military hiring goal of 30,000: Hilton has reached its goal of hiring 30,000 veterans, military spouses and caregivers over the last six years, and has pledged to hire an additional 25,000, the company announced in a news release.
“Throughout our first century of hospitality, we have been proud to support our Hilton team members and their families who are part of the military community—including welcoming 30,000 veterans, spouses and caregivers over the last six years alone,” Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said in the release. “These team members have had a huge impact in our business, and we’re thrilled to grow our commitment to this community with our new hiring goal.”
U.S. imports of consumer goods fell in September: In a sign that a global economic slowdown could be taking root domestically, the import of goods to the U.S. dropped 1.7% from August to September, The Wall Street Journal reports. That included a 4.4% drop in consumer goods, such as cellphones, toys and apparel, as well as a 3.4% decline in imports of vehicles and auto parts.
“It could be a sign that the U.S. consumer is possibly curtailing spending,” Pooja Sriram, a U.S. economist at Barclays, told the newspaper. “We haven’t seen that category fall by this magnitude in a considerable time.”
Another potential factor behind the drop is the 15% tariff imposed on $111 billion worth of imported tools, apparel, footwear and electronics from China that started 1 September, the article states.
U.S. job openings continue to outnumber unemployed: The U.S. Department of Labor reported the number of unfilled jobs fell to a seasonally adjusted 7 million by the end of September, a number that exceeds the number of unemployed Americans by more than 1.2 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.
While the number of job openings has declined during the year, hiring has remained steady in recent months, the article states. Unemployment fell to 3.5% in September, but it edged up to 3.6% in October.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.