Stock markets around the world are recovering today with Asian stocks closing slightly down, and European and New York markets opening higher. This was after a day in which stocks plummeted in China due to bad manufacturing news and worries about the Chinese currency, which led to a European stock sell-off and turned into a stock rout in the U.S. As far as new years go, the Dow drop of 276.09, or 1.58 percent, was the ninth worst first day in Wall Street history. Hotel stocks on the whole remained down, following a trend that started at the end of last year. Beyond China concerns, investors increasingly have concerns that the growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran could lead to higher oil prices. To read more, click here.
Last month, the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade as the unemployment rate continues to decline. While the move demonstrated a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy, Americans are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, says Politico Magazine. With global economic risks ranging from China’s slowing growth to terrorism threats in the Middle East and beyond, some of the country’s leading economic thinkers share their predictions as to whether the economy could tank in 2016. One of the greatest challenges facing the U.S. is a lower trend economic growth rate, one expert says. To find out what else to expect in the U.S. and global markets this year, click here.
Following a closer look at immigration policies after the mass shooting in San Bernadino, Calif., it has come to light that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has only a rough estimate of how many foreign travelers have overstayed their travel visas. Officials claim that the insufficient data stems from a lack of advanced data collection technology, resistance from airline and tourism industries, and questions regarding how useful tracking people exiting the country is as an anti-terrorism measure. For more information, click here.
A recent patent application suggests Uber might try to delve into the online travel booking business. CNBC reports that a mobile app that would link real-time airplane landings and the availability of Uber cars could be in development, according to a recent online application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The app, Uber Travel, would include information similar to the company’s current app, but would also provide recommended flights and a way to book lodging. Uber has not commented. To read more, click here.
Hotel performance across the country wasn’t as merry as last year, according to STR. New York City in particular experienced a notable drop in occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR over the Christmas holiday. During the week of Dec. 20 to 26, occupancy declined by 4 percent, ADR by 1.7 percent, and RevPAR by 5.6 percent year-over-year. Everything from the strong dollar to short-term online rental sites like Airbnb contributed to the slump, though the crazy weather also didn’t help matters. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Paris experienced a 30 percent drop in hotel bookings over New Year’s weekend due to lingering concerns over terrorist attacks. At this point 2016 can only get better. Read more here.
According to new data, 23 percent of U.S. travelers this year (up from 21 percent last year) stayed in a vacation rental as an alternative to the traditional hotel resort during the past two years. It is now a $25.8 billion industry in the U.S. and a $100 billion industry globally. Growth in the segment is evidenced by VRMA’s rising membership, now with 769 members.
The conference also revealed that more than 50 destinations and 25 states are reviewing or introducing regulations to address the vacation rental landscape. A major initiative for the VRMA is to created an advocacy system to fight anti-vacation rental legislation as the segment continues to grow.