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Quarterly ForecastsJun 29, 2020 | 00:02 GMT
2020 Third-Quarter Forecast
While many of the trends identified in our annual forecast remain slowed down by COVID-19, their pace is picking up as countries carefully emerge from lockdown.
On GeopoliticsMay 10, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A mother takes photos with her baby under cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo, Japan, on March 29, 2015.
The Geopolitics of Postmodern Parenting
During the two months I recently spent away from work to fulfill my demographic duty, I found that most of my conversations with visitors followed the same pattern. The talk quickly turned from the standard cooing over my baby girl to an intensive debate over parental leave: how much time and flexibility to grant new parents in the workforce, how to reconcile career ambitions with the responsibilities of human procreation, how to compensate for the crazy cost of child care and how to boost birthrates. As a white-collar, taxpaying working mother in the United States, I had become one of the statistics I used to pore over as an analyst pondering the implications of aging and shrinking populations. But you don't have to be a parent -- or an analyst, for that matter -- to care about this stuff. In fact, a lot of the global angst today over stagnant economic
SnapshotsApr 15, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
COVID-19 Forces Israel’s Religious Factions in Line
As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold in Israel, the state’s often squabbling political factions have agreed that they must take strident measures to impose specific restrictions on the country’s ultra-Orthodox Haredi community, which has been at the heart of multiple COVID-19 hotspots across Israel. This is in part because some members have resisted the government’s mandated social distancing requirements by continuing to congregate for holidays, prayers and other religious activities they deem vital to their values. But in doing so, they appear to have spread the virus within their community, prompting the Israeli government to place increasingly severe lockdown efforts on Haredi factions and religious rites in a bid to slow the spread.
GuidanceApr 9, 2020 | 18:41 GMT
Houthi forces patrol the streets of Sanaa, Yemen, ahead of the arrival of U.N. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths at the city's airport on Jan. 31, 2019.
Saudi Arabia Attempts Another Cease-fire in Yemen
The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen announced that a two-week cease-fire in the anti-Houthi Yemen conflict would begin on April 9. The worsening COVID-19 pandemic in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen is driving both countries to want to preserve their military resources. For Saudi Arabia, de-escalating operations in the war-torn country would also allow it to focus on other burning fires at home, including its shaky Vision 2030 economic trajectory and the recent breakdown of OPEC+ cooperation. A sustained cease-fire, however, will ultimately rely on the buy-in of Houthi rebels, who have continued to display their military might in the face of a gradually reduced coalition effort in Yemen. Indeed, Houthis launched ballistic missiles at residential neighborhoods in the coalition-held city of Marib mere hours before Saudi Arabia announced the agreement. 
AssessmentsMar 24, 2020 | 14:59 GMT
Workers operate a production line of a new material company in Lianyungang, China, on March 23, 2020.
China's Economy Braces for a COVID-19 Double Hit
In China, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak will drag on 2020 GDP growth as the country endures the twin hits of both the early-year domestic slowdown and the as-yet-unknown drop in overseas demand in key markets. But the country’s high debt levels -- partly fueled by its massive stimulus during the 2008 financial crisis, in addition to the structural slowdown already underway before the outbreak -- means Beijing will hesitate to mirror the large-scale spending being implemented in other virus-ravaged economies, such as the United States, Japan and South Korea. China will now have to choose whether to help buoy its employment and annual growth targets through spending that could jeopardize long-term economic stability.
AssessmentsMar 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Officials in hazmat suits disinfect the outside a tram as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak in Jerusalem, Israel on March 16, 2020.
Israel's Rival Factions Unite Against COVID-19 -- for Now
As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold in Israel, its political factions are being forced to consider once unthinkable compromises to put the country on the right footing against the mounting existential threat. On March 16, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin officially tasked Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz with forming a government in the next 28 days. Gantz has since pledged to create a national unity government, which, compared with the country's current caretaker government, would have more political strength and legal authority to quickly and sufficiently mitigate the anticipated economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.  Indeed, Israel's current quarantine efforts -- most of which have only been used during wartime -- are already estimated to cost the country 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2020. But even with this new pandemic-induced sense of unity, a makeshift government will unlikely be strong enough to prevent additional coronavirus-induced unrest
AssessmentsMar 13, 2020 | 14:39 GMT
A man wearing a face mask walks in Pretoria square in Palermo, Italy, on March 11, 2020.
Europe's Tourism Industry Confronts an Unwelcome Visitor in COVID-19
Tourism is one of the sectors of the European economy that will be most affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the Continent. The importance of tourism for Europe cannot be overstated: It represents around 4 percent of the European Union's GDP and accounts for more than 5 percent of the total workforce. Tourism is particularly important in Southern Europe because it represents around 21 percent of GDP in Greece, 16 percent in Spain, 13 percent in Italy and almost 10 percent in France. It is also a significant source of employment. The vast majority of companies in Europe's tourism sector are small and medium-sized businesses, which are particularly vulnerable to economic crises. This means that Europe in general, and Southern Europe in particular, stands to lose a lot if the ongoing coronavirus outbreak extends into the spring when tourism activity starts to pick up. A contraction in the tourism sector
AssessmentsMar 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows a rows of seats on a passenger aircraft.
As Coronavirus Takes Flight, the Airline Industry Takes Cover
The coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the airline industry, with the most highly impacted countries of China, South Korea, Italy and Iran accounting for over a quarter of global passenger revenue alone. As panicked consumers continue to cancel or suspend their travel plans for fear of getting sick, and as more governments pursue containment measures and travel bans, an increasing number of airlines will be forced to either consolidate or go out of business. In China, this will likely lead to a market that's even more dominated by the state-backed carriers. Bigger airlines in Europe, meanwhile, will merge as revenue losses deal the final blow to their smaller competitors. But while so much is still unknown about how the outbreak will unfold in the weeks ahead, what remains certain is that the airline industry is headed for even more unexpected turbulence.
GuidanceFeb 28, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
The OPEC headquarters in Vienna.
The Coronavirus Crisis Will Prompt Only Modest Cuts From OPEC+
OPEC+ is likely to agree on a modest cut in oil production at the regularly scheduled meeting of OPEC ministers on March 5-6 in Vienna. The ministers most likely will simply agree to adopt the recommendation of the cartel's technical committee earlier this month for an evenly distributed trim of 600,000 barrels per day. At that time, Russia turned down a Saudi suggestion that an emergency ministerial meeting be scheduled, preferring instead to monitor the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak to get a better gauge of its expected impact on demand.
AssessmentsFeb 25, 2020 | 20:10 GMT
Kuwaiti Health Minister Sheikh Basel al-Sabah, right, speaks with the media on Feb. 22, 2020, as officials at the Kuwait City airport prepare to take Kuwaitis returning from Iran to a hospital to be tested for the COVID-19 virus.
Iran Is in the Eye of the Coronavirus Storm
With cases in a half-dozen Middle Eastern countries that originated from travel within its borders, Iran has emerged as a regional epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak that causes the respiratory illness the World Health Organization calls COVID-19 just as global fears of a pandemic are amplifying. Not only are there clear negative impacts for Iran politically and economically as well as potential negative economic and health impacts for the surrounding region, depending on how Iran manages the internal and external information flow, the outbreak could also harm and/or help Tehran's already fragile foreign friendships, should it compel Tehran to reach out to the broader world for more help.
AssessmentsFeb 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows workers at Dongfeng Motor's joint venture with Honda in Wuhan, China.
China's Virus Outbreak Has Dented Its Automakers' Bottom Lines
China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has left few of its economic sectors unscathed, but the effects of shutdowns on its auto manufacturing operations have been -- and will continue to remain -- especially acute. Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, has asked companies not to restart shuttered operations until at least Feb. 21. Production for a number of auto companies outside of Hubei had already been delayed past the Lunar New Year holiday until Feb. 10, and in some cases, production still remains offline. Nevertheless, even once the outbreak subsides, Chinese consumer demand for automobiles will take a substantial hit this year, with estimates showing that demand could fall by at least 5 percent because of the economic slowdown associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
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