Skift Take

It's still very early to tell exactly how the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union will impact the overall tourism industry but when it comes to hotels, the biggest concerns relate to its impact on immigration and the migrant workers who make up a large portion of the country's hospitality workforce.

Hotel shares fell after U.K. voters decided in a referendum to leave the European Union, raising concern about future employment costs in the British lodging industry, which relies on workers from outside the country.

“It is too early to know what the potential impact the decision will ultimately have on our business,” Marriott International Inc. said in a statement Friday. “As the implications are more clearly defined over the coming months, we will work to adapt to any changes that may result.”

Marriott, which is poised to become the world’s largest hotel operator when its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is completed next quarter, fell 5.3 percent to $65.32 at 1:17 p.m. in New York. It was the biggest intraday decline since April 1. Starwood declined 3.9 percent to $72.96. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. was down 5.4 percent to $22.17, and the Bloomberg Hotel Real Estate Investment Trust Index dropped 4.4 percent.

Lodging companies such as InterContinental Hotels Group Plc and retailers including J Sainsbury Plc are heavily dependent on European employees, with almost three-quarters of workers in London’s hospitality sector being foreign-born. While the Brexit could ultimately lead to higher labor costs, InterContinental — which has about 5 percent of its business is in the U.K., and about 10 percent in Europe — may also benefit from an increase in U.K. tourism if the pound continues to decline against the euro.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hui-yong Yu in Seattle at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Taub at [email protected], Christine Maurus

©2016 Bloomberg L.P. This article was written by Hui-yong Yu from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Tags: brexit, europe, hyatt, intercontinental, marriott, starwood

Photo credit: The InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel in London, United Kingdom. InterContinental's company headquarters are based in the UK, although the UK only represents 5% of its global business, a company representative told Skift. InterContinental Hotels Group / InterContinental Hotels Group

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