NEWS BRIEFS update as of Nov. 24, 2020

Destination Employment update

Congratulations to Destination Employment graduates from Ottawa, who recently completed the course online.

CHARLOTTETOWN — Destination Employment, a free six-week program that introduces newcomers to Canada to the hotel and hospitality industries, has now come to P.E.I. The first 10 participants on the island recently finished the program in Charlottetown.

The program started in Nova Scotia 2018, to help reduce labour shortages in the hotel sector and provide newcomers with their first Canadian workplace experience. With training and mentorship opportunities available at every step of the way, participants can gain relevant skills applicable to the hotel industry and tourism sector as a whole. The program also provides employers with candidates who have industry-specific training and courses. It has has since spread to 14 different locations across the country, in five key regions: Yukon, Banff/Calgary/Lake Louise, Alta., Saskatchewan, Southern Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Immigation, Citizenship and Refugees Canada funds Destination Employment, which is a joint program of The Hotel Association of Canada and Tourism HR Canada, with the assistance of provincial hospitality associations.

Alex Mackenzie, TIAPEI.

“Prior to the pandemic, there was a labour shortage in hotels in Canada so it was really designed to help address that,” said Alex MacKenzie, HR co-ordinator for the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island, in an interview with Nancy Russell of CBC. “Tourism HR Canada figured who better but newcomers to Canada, who want to build a career here in Canada.” 

MacKenzie said the training focuses on employability skills, such as resume and cover letter writing as well as practice interviews, plus training programs for working in hotels such as the responsible beverage service course, first aid and CPR. “They’re also learning about what tourism’s like here in Prince Edward Island and how much value that we put into tourism here on the Island,” MacKenzie said. “So it’s an excellent resource for them and we feel it’s very rewarding for the participants.” 

The group currently in the program includes five newcomers from China, two from Vietnam and one each from Egypt, Turkey and Nigeria.

Airbnb files an IPO; calls hospitality antiquated

SAN FRANCISCO — Airbnb has filed an IPO that talks about profitability challenges. In its prospectus to become a publicly traded company, the short-term rental platform noted risks from growing competition, the pandemic and turbulence in the tourism sector, according to Nov. 17 article in HotelNewsNow.

The San Francisco-based company filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission for its planned initial public offering. It said its business model, which pits the lower costs of individuals’ homes against hotels with fixed costs from the ownership of high-maintenance commercial buildings, is able to withstand any disruption dealt by the coronavirus, which has contributed to the firm’s falling revenue and losses as the tourism industry sputters.

Over the past two years, Airbnb has attempted to convince investors that the short-term travel market, in which users rent private property instead of hotels, will redefine the hospitality industry, which it called one of the world’s largest and most antiquated.

Positive vaccine trials boost hotel stocks

News of successful trials for a COVID-19 vaccine announced Nov. 9, boosted hotel firms’ stock prices and valuations, but hoteliers need to remain focused on cash reserves, advisors caution.

HotelNewsNow published the share price numbers for six major hotel chains of 10 a.m. GMT on Nov. 10. The numbers showed in U.S. dollars:

  • Accor on Euronext Paris stock exchange trading at €28.89 ($34.27), an increase of 23.57 per cent from the previous day’s low;
  • Hilton on the New York Stock Exchange trading at $104.19, an increase of 12.23 per cent;
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation on the New York Stock Exchange trading at $67.53, an increase of 19.82 per cent;
  • InterContinental Hotel Group on the New York Stock Exchange trading at $61.09, an increase of 10.71 per cent;
  • Marriott International on the NASDAQ stock exchange trading at $118.30, an increase of 13.87 per cent; and
  • Wyndham Hotels & Resorts on the NASDAQ stock exchange trading at $55.12, an increase of 6.68 per cent.

Predictions of a 2024 recovery.

At the Urban Land Institute gathering in the Pacific Northwest, and its annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate briefing, the consensus seemed to be that Canada would be facing a long recovery.

The presentation, by Andrew Warren of PwC, generally highlighted the importance of touchless systems in high-touch commercial building environments. The line that best accompanies this slide, is: “It may be 2024 before we see the hospitality industry get back to where it was.” Back in June, people were saying 2022…