President Donald Trump’s company said Friday it is exploring the sale of its landmark Washington hotel after nearly three years of ethics complaints and lawsuits accusing him of trying to profit off the presidency.
The Trump Organization says it will consider offers to buy out the 60-year lease on the Trump International Hotel, which since opening in late 2016 has become a magnet for lobbyists and diplomats looking to gain favor with the administration.
“People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel and therefore we may be willing to sell,” said Eric Trump, an executive vice president of the Trump Organization. “Since we opened our doors, we have received tremendous interest in this hotel and as real-estate developers, we are always willing to explore our options.”
Business travel demand is slowing down, and many companies are tightening corporate travel budgets. In 2020, travel pricing is set to slow globally, according to data released by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and travel management company CWT.
What’s driving the drop? “It all comes down to uncertainty, making consumers more cautious and businesses more likely to cancel travel,” according to Skift reporter Isaac Carey. However, even with tighter budgets, small and medium companies can’t ignore the value of in-person meetings. A face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email, per Harvard Business Review.
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the landscape presents a challenge. But with the right kind of corporate travel partner, SMEs can continue to travel as much or more without increasing costs and while maximizing the benefits of in-person meetings.
Travel Beyond Plastics is a groundbreaking new Skift series about the travel industry’s addiction to plastics and what happens when companies and travelers try to kick this unsustainable habit.
Marriott said in August that it would replace little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel with bigger bottles.
Intercontinental Hotel Group, whose brands include Intercontinental, Crown Plaza, and Holiday Inn, announced a similar step in July, affecting nearly 850,000 hotel rooms.
But at the Parkview Historic Hotel, next to Audubon Park in New Orleans, owner Liz Creel said reducing plastics isn’t so simple.
“It is a huge challenge for a small hotel operator,” Creel said. “The broader issue for me is finding the balance.”
You might think that customers of boutique hotels like the Parkview or patrons of small hotel groups would be the most interested in reducing plastics use. Indeed, IHG cited demand from hotel guests as a key reason why it’s eliminating individual bottles.
But many of her travelers are not pushing for change, Creel said.
“The tricky thing is that guests often don’t want to be responsible when they travel,” she said. “They do the right thing at home, but on vacation, they want to be on vacation.”
The Parkview Hotel in New Orleans. Photo: Parkview.
Yet hotel companies want to be seen as doing the right thing too.