Vol. 7 No. 245 About   |   Contact   |   Advertise September 19, 2018
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Hotels continue to shelter Hurricane Florence evacuees
Utility and emergency workers seek rooms to aid in recovery
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U.S. Air Force Security Forces Airmen with the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing, assist the Florence County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Department with evacuation efforts in Florence on Monday as the nearby Black Creek river flooded its banks. Approximately 3,400 soldiers and airmen have been mobilized to participate in recovery efforts after Hurricane Florence. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Jorge Intriago)
HURRICANE FLORENCE IS gone, but she left behind floods that have cut off a North Carolina coastal city from the mainland and a death toll of at least 30.

For Pratik Bhakta, owner of four hotels in the Asheville, North Carolina, area, the good news is his properties were mostly undamaged.

His business, on the other hand, did suffer.

“We saw a ton of cancelations, people who ordinarily would have booked,” Bhakta said. “They just wanted to avoid the area.”
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INSIDERS
Insiders Vijay Singh is the new managing director of resort operations for the Sea Island Co. in Sea Island, Georgia. Previously he was vice president of operations for Salamander Hotels, a hotel management and ownership company that he helped create.
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Brand News
Brand News


Homewood Suites by Hilton Edina Minneapolis opened on Sept. 18 in Endina, Minnesota. The development of the 146-suite upscale extended-stay hotel is a joint venture between Noble Investment Group of Atlanta, Georgia, and Simon Property Group, a commercial real estate developer that specializes in mixed-use projects.
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NUMBERS
Numbers
3 percent 

The percentage that the U.S. travel market grew in July over the same time last year, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s most recent Travel Trends Index.
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NLRB proposes new rule on joint-employer status
Companies with no direct influence on employment terms no longer included
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The National Labor Relations Board has proposed a new rule stating a company can be named a joint employer “only if it possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and has done so in a manner that is not limited and routine.”
AFTER MORE THAN a year and a half of deliberation, the National Labor Relations Board is prepared to consider a new rule regarding joint-employer status. AAHOA already has welcomed the proposed new rule, saying it will protect the franchise industry.

The new rule, announced last week, would state that an employer may be found to be a joint employer of another entity’s employees “only if it possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and has done so in a manner that is not limited and routine.” Companies with indirect influence and contractual reservations of authority would not be included under the definition.

With the rule, which is subject to revision in response to public comments, the NLRB seeks to avoid forcing companies with no active role in deciding wages, benefits or terms of employment into “collective-bargaining” relationships for another employer’s employees. Read More...
Revised federal numbers show 2017 surge in international visits to U.S.
A programming error led to misclassification of 4.5 million customs records
News-1
New numbers from the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office show there were 77 million international visitors to the U.S., a 0.7 percent increase over 2016.
REVISED NUMBERS FROM the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office show 2017 was actually a record-breaking year for international travel to the U.S. Last year, there were 77 million international visitors to the U.S., a 0.7 percent increase over 2016.

The foreign visitors injected $251 billion into the national economy, a 2 percent increase in spending over 2016. Travel and tourism exports in 2017 helped support more than 1.2 million American jobs, according to the NTTO.

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Website design positions hotels for business now and in the future
Two different companies, Websrefresh and Myriann, serve diverse groups of stakeholders
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Nimesh Dinubhai, left, and Jayson Patel, founder and CEO of Xotels Hotel Group, at the 2017 AAHOA conference and trade show in Maryland. AAHOA named Patel’s Hotel Bella in Houston as the IAHA Independent Hotel of the Year. Patel holds the trophy. Dinubhai, owner of Websrefresh, a website designer, created the website for Hotel Bella, which relies on digital marketing and third-party distributors to attract customers.
IN TODAY’S HOTEL industry, website design has gone beyond pretty pictures on a page to savvy and sophisticated strategies that attract and retain customers as well as private investors and franchisers of premium brands. 

For companies like Websrefresh, started by Nimesh Dinubhai of Phoenix, Arizona, and Myriann, founded by Anand Patel of Atlanta, Georgia, the key is building online sites that are visually appealing to a variety of stakeholders.

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GRAPHIC OF DAY
Expert: Economic drivers indicate growth stutter for hotel industry in Q1 2020
Graphic
THE ECONOMY IS booming and with it the hotel industry, both nationally and locally. That was the overall message at the Atlanta Lodging Outlook 2019 conference on Sept. 4.

Enter Mark Woodworth, senior managing director for CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research, with a cautionary note. In two years, things may look very different.
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