5 things to know: 8 November 2019
5 things to know: 8 November 2019
08 NOVEMBER 2019 10:40 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • RLH Corporation’s Mount resigns
  • Huazhu, Deutsche to grow more through deal
  • Economists uncertain about hiring outlook
  • US-China trade truce might not help some hotels
  • Hotels participate in international Barter Week

RLH Corporation’s Mount resigns: RLH Corporation announced President and CEO Greg Mount has resigned from his role, effective immediately, according to a news release. He will also step away from the company’s board of directors.

In the release, Bob Wolfe, chairman of the board, said, “The board recognizes the operational performance of the company has not progressed as anticipated. Action was necessary, starting with a search for a new CEO. The board is committed to creating shareholder value.”

RLHC’s board of directors will begin the search for a new CEO as soon as possible. A management committee of executives will oversee operations until a new CEO is appointed, the release states. Members of the committee include Gary Sims, EVP and COO; Julie Shiflett, EVP and CFO; and Thomas L. McKeirnan, EVP and general counsel.

Huazhu, Deutsche to grow more through deal: Huazhu Group’s pending acquisition of German company Deutsche Hospitality gives both companies opportunity to accelerate growth, executives told HNN’s Bryan Wroten.

Deutsche Hospitality CEO Thomas Willms said the deal will allow his company to fulfill a plan to reach 250 hotels by 2024 “by strengthening its competitive position in Europe, the Middle East and the African market and now also in Asia,” he said.

Deutsche Hospitality will retain its DNA after the deal closes, and the future of the combined companies “will represent the combined strength of European hospitality, German quality and Asian speed,” Huazhu Executive Vice-Chairlady Jenny Zhang told HNN.

Zhang has served as CEO since 2015 but received her new title with the reappointment of founder and executive vice chairman Ji Qi as CEO, according to a news release. The changes were made to “support the company’s accelerated growth strategy,” Wroten writes.

Economists uncertain about hiring outlook: Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal were “split over whether the recent hiring slowdown reflects primarily a shortage of workers or softening demand for labor, a sign of continuing uncertainty about the outlook,” the news outlet reports.

The survey showed that 45.3% of economists blamed the slowdown on the tight labor market while 37.7% said the issues was the “ebbing desire to expand payrolls.”

The first explanation would indicate that the expansion of the economy would continue if more workers can be brought into the labor force from the sidelines.

“The other explanation could indicate employers are becoming more cautious about hiring for a variety of reasons—perhaps because of slowing global growth or other uncertainties, or because they see weakening domestic demand for goods and services—which could portend a loss of U.S. economic momentum in the months ahead,” the news outlet writes.

U.S-China trade truce might not help some hotels: Some hoteliers in the U.S. have been dealing with turmoil involving China, which includes the protests in Hong Kong and uncertainty around a trade deal. While a trade deal between the U.S. and China might be near, “the cost may not be easy to make up for,” Bloomberg reports.

Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Hilton reported declines in revenue per available room in Hong Kong during the third quarter.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Brian Egger told the news outlet things could get easier for companies if a trade agreement happens and the crisis in Hong Kong ends.

“Generally speaking, more harmonious geopolitical conditions will lend itself to more favorable travel conditions,” Egger told the news outlet.

Hotels participate in international Barter Week: Hotels around the world are participating in the second international Barter Week from 18-24 November, which calls for hoteliers to “offer free stays to guests in exchange for sharing skills or goods,” The Guardian reports.

Hotels make a list of “wishes,” which include carpentry and decorating skills, social media knowledge and web expertise. Potential guests are then invited to make an offer.

“Properties range from an eco-retreat in Bulgaria that is looking for someone with woodworking skills to help build a reiki room in its garden to a Sri Lankan hotel-spa hoping to find an expert in search engine optimization and a Torquay guesthouse in need of a painter and decorator,” the news outlet writes.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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