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The head of the United Kingdom’s largest business association, the Confederation of British Industry, Tony Danker, told its annual conference in Birmingham on Nov. 21 that if the country wants to solve its labor shortage, it needs to relax immigration policy. He also suggested such a move would aid economic growth. Worries over immigration was one of the central talking points during the Brexit referendum.
“Our labor shortages are vast. First, we have lost hundreds of thousands of people to economic inactivity post-COVID. And anyone who thinks they’ll be back any day now … is kidding themselves. Secondly, we don’t have enough Brits to go round for the vacancies that exist, and there’s a skills mismatch in any case. And third, believing automation can step in to do the job in most cases is unrealistic,” the director-general said.
Danker also added that even though corporation tax rates are due to increase 6% in April, CBI research has shown that the “permanent full allowances regime alongside that jump would unlock an extra 50 billion pounds sterling ($59 billion) in capital investment per year by the end of the decade.”
In a dramatic turnaround, the board of directors of the Walt Disney Co. said its former CEO Robert A. Iger is set to return to the post immediately for a term of at least two years, according to a news release. “Iger succeeds Bob Chapek, who has stepped down from the position,” the release states.
Chapek was in the role for fewer than 12 months. Susan Arnold will remain board chairwoman.
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts signed a deal with IHG Hotels & Resorts to place approximately 70 hotels and 24,300 keys of its portfolio onto IHG’s loyalty platform, which according to IHG now means it has 18 brands. Nether entity is changing its ownership structure, but it does mark another move by one of the world’s largest hotel firms to have more presence in the all-inclusive market, writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.
Under the agreement, with an initial term of 30 years and the option to renew for additional terms of 20 years upon mutual agreement, Iberostar’s hotels and rooms will be marketed as Iberostar Beachfront Resorts. The loyalty platform addition increases IHG’s global system size by 2.8%, according to a news release, which added IHG’s annual fees revenue from the deal is expected to be more than $40 million by 2027.
Individual luxury hotels must transcend their brands if they are to be all that the discerning guest requires of them, and excellent service cannot falter for a second if this sector wishes to continue its stellar run, writes Baker, reporting from the Alvarez & Marsal’s European Hospitality Investment Conference.
Roeland Vos, president and CEO of Belmond, said “for guests, it is about the hotel first. … They search for this, and they pay for this. It is the property first, then the brand. Even if they’ll want to travel with the brand, each hotel is on a journey of its own brand positioning.”
Sarmad Zok, CEO of Kingdom Hotel Investments, said in larger firms there can be conflicts of interest in this equation: “Trying to pursue an element of growth, there are limitations in individuality. We have positions in hotels, brand and management companies.”
Mumbai-based hotel firm Suba Group of Hotels, whose budget- and economy-hotel interests include being the master franchiser in India for Choice Hotels, has opened its 100th property, the 35-room Comfort Inn Udaipur, Rajasthan, according to Hotelier India.
Suba manages 63 Choice-branded hotels and in-house brands such as 1589 Hotels, Suba Hotels and Click Hotels. All of its properties are in India.
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