Hotel companies are being forced to cut staff and change working practices in order to stay afloat as the recession starts to bite.
It emerged last week that Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) is planning more than 1,000 job losses as part of a $250m (£175m) cost-cutting programme being put in place by its private equity owner, Blackstone.
HHC has already announced plans to close its corporate headquarters in Beverly Hills, California, and the 500 UK staff at its international centre in Watford are now expecting big job cuts, with sources predicting up to half could go. A spokeswoman for Hilton confirmed that the company was undergoing a "corporate transformation" but could not confirm numbers.
InterContinental Hotels Group this week revealed it aims to cut central operations costs by $30m (£21m) this year and added that it has already cut 120 managerial positions, trimmed travel and entertainment expenses, and is implementing a salary freeze.
Meanwhile, the Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf in London has confirmed it has started the consultation process with a view to making a number of redundancies.
Michael Purtill, general manager of the hotel, said: "We've transferred some of our staff to Florence, Miami, Hong Kong and Chicago, but we are in the process of restructuring and are trying to do it in a sensitive way. Unfortunately, we are in consultation with a view to losing 12 members of staff."
Colin Clark, general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, said the hotel was exploring ways of creating new revenue streams as well as being cleverer with expenses. Although the hotel has not made any redundancies, Clark said every member of staff had volunteered to work two days per month without pay in order to help the hotel through tough times.
By Gemma Sharkey and Daniel Thomas
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