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A new study from the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) has discovered that when hotel guests post a review of their stay accompanied by a numerical rating, the comments and ratings do not always complement each another, with the negative comments having more of a significant influence on the guests’ ratings than the more satisfied and positive reviews. The authors believe that hoteliers could benefit from text analytics who can gather more specific and reliable information to improve guest experience. Read more here.

While the financial markets suggest that the U.S. is heading for a recession, every other economic indicator shows that this isn’t the case. So while oil hits a 12½-year low and the Dow is down 14.5 percent from its all-time high last May, healthy job growth in January means that employers are having trouble filling vacancies. And consumer spending is picking upHere’s a look at why central banks are having such a difficult time addressing recession fears around the world. Bottom line: Markets aren’t always the best predictor of recessions and sometimes can even help bring them about. Read more here.

An independent report alleges that Airbnb purged more than 1,000 listings from its site in November in an attempt to rig a survey of its New York City hosts. The data Airbnb released in December showed that 95 percent of its “entire home” hosts in New York City share only one listing. Months after the alleged purge, listings of multiple homes by hosts on the site have already begun to proliferate again, the report states. According to The New York Times, Airbnb has a history of removing listings in bulk in New York. In 2014, the site got rid of more than 2,000 listings in response to an affidavit filed by the state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, which asserted that nearly two-thirds of apartments listed in the city were illegal sublets. Read more here.

Earlier this week, research firm STR released data claiming that Airbnb has no real impact on hotel room demand in Manhattan. Now, hospitality industry advocates are speaking out, claiming that this conclusion cannot be true, as New York room rates have recently declined, even though visitor numbers continue to increase. The American Hotel & Lodging Association, among those questioning the report, says that the study did not explore whole rental units available full time, or multi-units operated by landlords. Regardless of how much Airbnb is impacting New York, however, a new study from Travelex says that only 4 percent of the 2,000 American leisure travelers surveyed planned to use Airbnb for their next vacation, and that 23 percent plan to stay in a branded property instead. The low number of Airbnb users bodes well for the hotel sector. See below for more news on Airbnb, and for more on this story, click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today applauded Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) for their leadership and partnership with the hotel industry introducing bipartisan legislation to ensure 911 direct dial capabilities. The hotel industry and AH&LA, the sole national association representing all segments of the nearly 2 million-employee lodging industry, have been working closely with lawmakers to ensure hotel guests and employees can dial 9-1-1 and directly reach emergency personnel on any phone. Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) have introduced a companion bill in the House.

“The safety and security of our guests and employees is of utmost importance to the hotel industry, which is why AH&LA has worked aggressively to ensure that systems are in place for guests to directly dial 911 from guestrooms,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). “We applaud Senators Klobuchar’s and Fischer’s leadership for introducing this critical legislation that provides a commonsense solution that does not burden small business and property owners, but accomplishes the goal of streamlining communication to emergency personnel. AH&LA has worked closely with our membership to implement 911 direct dial access and we will continue this work to ensure that hotel rooms around the country have this access. We look forward to working with Senators Klobuchar and Fischer to advance this important legislation.”

Speaking before Congress yesterday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled the central bank’s careful approach to future interest-rate increases, pointing to the accumulating risks to the global economy. Yellen acknowledged that the potential for a sustained slowdown in China and other emerging economies, falling stock prices and other financial-market turbulence, and the glut of cheap oil, all could dampen U.S. growth. She also sounded a cautious note on the growing strength of the dollar and rising interest rates for risky borrowers. Still, she said that a slowdown in U.S. growth was more likely than an outright recession. To read more, click here.

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