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UNWTO condemns Donald Trump's travel ban

Room prices plummet at Donald Trump’s hotels

1023 581 Daniel Fountain

It’s more bad news for Donald Trump and his presidency’s impact on his business empire, as it has emerged the average price of a room at Trump hotels across the world have dropped by as much as 64% in some locations.

Just over 300 days after becoming the 45th US President in January, the price of a luxury room at his hotels has dropped by an average of 20 per cent, FairFX reveals.

Out of 13 Trump hotels and resorts researched around the world, the cheapest room can be found at Trump Las Vegas, where prices have dropped to £232 for two nights. This is over £400 cheaper for the same room type than in January, a 64% reduction. The second least expensive room is at the Trump Panama, priced at £234, a 32% decrease since January.

The most expensive room is the Trump Townhouse at £37,907, however this will cost £10,000 less than during inauguration weekend. Two night stays at the Trump Vancouver, Canada, at Macleod House and Lodge in Scotland, at Trump Doonbeg in County Clare Ireland or at the Trump Doral in Florida will fall just short of £400.

The average cost for the best available room this weekend is down by £1,374 since January from £6,821 to £5,447, a 20% decrease since Trump’s inauguration.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, said: “When it comes to holidays timing is everything, and just 300 days after Trump’s inauguration, prices for a weekend in one of his hotels have for the most part decreased.

“Whilst the big events, like the inauguration in Washington, will usually cause prices to rise in that city for a particular weekend, the decreases in other places suggest that it doesn’t necessarily pay to be presidential.”

Queen's Speech - BHA opinion on Brexit

Brexit Opinion: BHA responds to Queen’s Speech

1000 593 Daniel Fountain

In a pared-back Queen’s Speech on 21 June, Theresa May’s Government set out its legislative agenda for the next two years.

The speech focused on Britain’s future outside the European Union with a focus on industries such as agriculture and fishing, along with the Great Repeal Bill and an Immigration Bill. A Travel Protection Bill will be introduced to protect holidaymakers by updating the UK’s financial protection scheme for holidays.

The speech opened with a promise to work with business to build consensus on Britain’s future outside the EU.

Ufi Ibrahim, the Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: “The hospitality and tourism industry, the fourth largest in the UK, looks forward to working with Ministers to build the widest consensus on Britain’s future outside the EU. The Government is already aware of the industry’s vital need to have continuing access, in the short term, to the EU labour market while we encourage more UK workers to take up a career in hospitality and tourism.

“We have also made clear that the National Living Wage should be decided by the Low Pay Commission after 2020.

“The trade bills announced to help British businesses export to markets around the world should also consider that tourism is the UK’s sixth largest export. With this in mind it is essential that the immigration system encourages, rather than deters tourism to the UK and allows visa-free access for Europeans.”

www.bha.org.uk

Brexit is impacting the hospitality industry

Brexit A Year On – Opinion: ‘Perfect storm’ on the way for UK hospitality industry

750 453 Daniel Fountain

Heidrick & Struggles , a premier provider of executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping worldwide, spoke to Chairmen and Chief Executives from some of the biggest organisations in the industry, representing businesses with revenues of over £40 billion and employing more than a million people across the UK. While views on their specific business or sector could vary, the overarching theme was one of significant concern.

The report by Heidrick & Struggles, in partnership with the British Hospitality Association, found a range of issues worrying industry leaders. Most notably, rising costs are high up the agenda, with the fall in the pound following Britain’s decision to leave the EU having a huge impact on the cost of key imports that is yet to be felt by consumers. One CEO complained about the cost of butter, with an increased cost to her business of 46%, while another was seeing meat costs rise by 29%. This will mean higher bills for diners and holidaymakers, but according the majority of CEOs, consumers are yet to react negatively to price rises because the majority of these costs are yet to hit them.

Businesses in the sector are anticipating a recruitment gap of over a million jobs by 2029, according to a report by the BHA and KPMG earlier this year, which would mean the industry would need to recruit 60,000 UK workers in addition to sustained recruitment of 200,000 more per annum to meet the demands of growth. Filling these openings would likely be impossible without hiring migrant workers. Firms are heavily reliant on European workers, with half of CEOs reporting their workforce as 25-50%European, with more than a third of those businesses hiring EU citizens to fill 50-75% of their workforce.

According to the report, post-Brexit the hospitality industry pay bill will increase by £1.4 billion in the first year, and could rise by just over £1 billion a year over three years, amounting to a total cost of £3.2 billion. Wider economic changes are also adding to the pressure for the hospitality and leisure sector as business rates rise, and the apprenticeship levy and pensions auto-enrolment begin.

Ben Twynam, Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, said: “We have seen real concern from the most senior people across the hospitality industry, not only about talent and other Brexit-related concerns, but due to a number of headwinds facing the industry. With the cost of imports continuing to rise, increasing prices for customers and an expectation of decreasing consumer confidence in 2018 and 2019, there are a number of challengers facing businesses across the sector. While industry leaders are relatively confident about the remainder of 2017, they are far more pessimistic about the two years thereafter, when the real impact of Brexit will come to fruition.”

Ufi Ibrahim, the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: “It is no exaggeration to say that hospitality and tourism face a perfect storm which is well articulated by our industry’s top executives in this report – a looming recruitment crisis caused by cuts to come in EU immigration, rising costs on both materials and labour, increased business rates and a tax regime that favours our European competitors. We have been urgently discussing these matters with the last government and will do so with the next. Our 10-year strategy to encourage more UK workers into the industry has been well received and we have confidence that with government support we can continue to grow what is the fourth largest industry in the UK.”

The hospitality and leisure industry is the fourth-largest employer in the UK, with 4.5 million people working in more than 180,000 businesses across the country.

UNWTO condemns Donald Trump's travel ban

UNWTO: Trump travel ban will impact US tourism

1023 581 Daniel Fountain

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialised Agency for Tourism, has expressed its deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America (USA) to nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen).

The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA.

“Global challenges demand global solutions and the security challenges that we face today should not prompt us to build new walls; on the contrary, isolationism and blind discriminatory actions will not lead to increased security but rather to growing tensions and threats”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

“Besides the direct impact, the image of a country which imposes travel bans in such a hostile way will surely be affected among visitors from all over the world and risk dumping travel demand to the USA” added Mr Rifai.