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IHG Is Planning to Create a New Luxury Brand

skift.com - Hotels - 20 October 2017
InterContinental Hotels Group wants to develop a soft brand as well as a new offering in the luxury space as part of an attempt to grab a larger slice of the hotel market. The plans follow the unveiling of the company’s new midscale brand Avid Hotels in September. In its third-quarter earnings update, IHG said the new offering had already received more than 50 applications in the first four weeks of franchise sales.
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Hyatt Suffers Second Data Breach in Two Years

skift.com - Hotels - 17 October 2017
For the second time in two years, Hyatt has had a credit card data breach at its hotels. Hyatt revealed last week it suffered a breach of its payment systems, exposing customer credit card data from 41 hotels in 11 countries worldwide. It took Hyatt nearly three months to inform customers about the breach, which was discovered in July. The breach impacts customers who used credit cards at affected hotels from March 18 to July 2 of this year.
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Business of Loyalty: World of Hyatt Adds Another Tours and Activities Partner

skift.com - Hotels - 17 October 2017
The World of Hyatt added the ability for members to earn and redeem points on apartment rentals via a service called Oasis several days ago, and now it is expanding once more to partner with IfOnly, which specializes in booking “experiences.” Founded in 2012, IfOnly, which has parallels to Airbnb Experiences, offers tours such as wine tastings or sailing trips that are posted online. It effectively connects travelers and tourists directly with operators. So far, the startup has raised over $25 million from high- profile investors like former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, the Winkelvoss twins of Facebook fame, and Sotheby’s.
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How Artist, Designer and Co-Founder of Flat Vernacular Finds Beauty in the Everyday

skift.com - Hotels - 16 October 2017
The Unbound Collection by Hyatt and SkiftX present The Freedom to be Extraordinary content series, which explores how breaking free from convention can lead to extraordinary success. These conversations will reveal how leading innovators and entrepreneurs approach creativity and how they’re embracing the freedom to be extraordinary.
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Opinion: Smart Hotels Don't Pander to Millennial Desires

skift.com - Hotels - 12 October 2017
Looking at the global travel landscape, Skift has coined the term Permanxiety, which we describe as “a near-constant state of anxiety that exists around the world.” As Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali wrote: “Travelers endure a barrage of worries about terrorism, security, neo-isolationism, racial tension, Trumpism, technology and its adverse role, the widening economic gap, culture wars, climate change, and other geopolitical and local issues.”

Aman Hotels Will Enter the New York City Market in Targeted Urban Push

skift.com - Hotels - 10 October 2017
Aman Hotels is expected to officially announce this week that it is opening a hotel in Manhattan. However, the New York real estate scene has been buzzing about the possibility of Aman’s first urban venture in the United States (Aman has resort properties in Utah and Wyoming) for some time. Vladislav Doronin, the Russian mogul who owns Aman, purchased the upper floors of the Crown Building, located at 5th Avenue and 57th Street, two years ago. OKO Group, Doronin’s international real estate development firm, is awaiting the okay from New York City officials to begin work on what will be an intimate hotel with a score of ultra-luxury condominiums.

The New Luxury Vacation Is Crunchier and Quieter

skift.com - Hotels - 10 October 2017
Luxury no longer only means opulence as a new generation of travelers — and older travelers with shifting priorities — seek out a different means to satiate their desire for peace and calm. Two new lodges opened outside of New York City typify the type of popular alternative that luxury clients are choosing these days in addition to or in place of an all-inclusive resort or even five-star staycation.

Trump Resorts in Scotland See Losses More Than Double

skift.com - Hotels - 9 October 2017
David Milne loves the view of the North Sea from his home high above the roiling surf, but he finds his eye often falling onto the golf course next door and, when it does, on the tiny figures below. He counts the people coming off the buses in the parking lot and the people swinging at the 1st tee and the 10th tee and he counts the people walking the fairways and after all this counting he’s convinced of something that must be satisfying given his tussles with the owner, Donald Trump.

AccorHotels Bids $930 Million for Australia's Mantra Group

skift.com - Hotels - 9 October 2017
Accor SA, Europe’s biggest hotel operator, offered to buy Australia’s Mantra Group Ltd. in a deal valuing the hotel and resort company at A$1.2 billion ($930 million). The French company offered A$3.96 per share in cash for Mantra and was given access to its books, the target said in a statement Monday. The indicative offer was 23 percent more than Friday’s closing price. Mantra shares jumped by a record 18 percent to A$3.81 in Sydney.
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Hotels Try to Soothe Guest Concerns in an Age of Permanxiety

skift.com - Hotels - 9 October 2017
To combat travelers’ general anxieties, today’s hotels are hosting meditation retreats, coaxing smartphone-addicted travelers to “unplug” in their device-free settings, and urging them to indulge in all things wellness-related. While those efforts are all well and good for our collective mental health, they don’t amount to much more than escapes in a bubble — temporary fixes for living in an increasingly stressful world.
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Standard Hotels CEO Talks Up Same-Day Booking Apps But Thinks HotelTonight Has Lost Its Value

skift.com - Hotels - 9 October 2017
It’s been just a little more than a year since Standard International debuted its One Night same-day booking app for independent hotels and CEO and managing partner Amar Lalvani is more convinced than ever that the same-day booking model is one with staying power. This, despite the fact that same-day booking pioneer HotelTonight recently announced its pivot to becoming more like a “Hotel Whenever,” as it opened its booking window to 100 days. “I think the premise for hotel companies is less valuable for HotelTonight now,” Lalvani told Skift.
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Red Lion Is Going Asset Light to Buy Up More Hotel Companies You Haven't Heard Of

skift.com - Hotels - 9 October 2017
As the hospitality industry gets more consolidated than ever, Red Lion Hotels Corp. is pursuing a crucial strategy to enable it to get bigger. The Denver-based chain’s board of directors said October 5 it approved the sale of 11 of the company’s remaining 18 owned-hotel properties. The decision to sell those properties marks yet one more step in the company’s pursuit of an asset-light strategy, which RLH began about four years ago, said Red Lion chief financial officer Doug Ludwig.

Redefining the Guest Experience with Better Hotel Technology

skift.com - Hotels - 5 October 2017
Hotels today have a lot to lose when it comes to an unhappy customer, and guest standards are getting more sophisticated as consumers increasingly expect seamless, personalized products and services. Beyond higher expectations, guests are increasingly moving from basic hotel stays toward experiential hotel stays. Guests no longer simply experience one part of a hotel when staying at a property. Some hotels have become destinations in their own right, while others have broadened the scope of their ancillary revenues. Offering multiple leisure, entertainment and food and beverage options have become a given at many properties, while at others, five-star food and beverage operations are the main attraction. Immersive local experiences offered by the hotel are becoming common as well, as guests look for more authentic offerings.
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Wyndham Rewards Loyalty Program Provides the Most Payback on Guest Spending

skift.com - Hotels - 5 October 2017
For the second consecutive year, Wyndham Rewards topped the annual Hotel Reward Payback Survey conducted by travel consulting firm IdeaWorks Company. In its survey, IdeaWorks concluded that Wyndham Rewards returned, on average, 16.7 percent reward value for every dollar spent on a hotel, up from last year’s 13.6 percent reward value. This means that for every $100 spent on a hotel room rate, a Wyndham Rewards member gets an average “reward payback” of $16.70.

Skift Research Survey Preview: Travelers Value Activities More Than a Luxe Room

skift.com - Hotels - 5 October 2017
The concept of “experiential travel” has become nearly ubiquitous, yet many in the travel industry continue to grapple with what exactly this term means, and how they can maintain their appeal to this customer base. It gets especially tricky as this group’s desires, and the world in which they travel, continue changing rapidly.
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AccorHotels Buys Into Orient Express to Launch New Luxury Brand

skift.com - Hotels - 4 October 2017
AccorHotels’ appetite for dealmaking has continued with the purchase of 50 percent of the company behind the iconic Orient Express brand. The hotel group is partnering with existing shareholder, French rail operator SNCF, to develop a range of hotels under Orient Express brand name. Details of the amount involved in the investment were not given.

U.S. Hotel Fees Forecast to Reach $2.7 Billion in 2017 as Stricter Cancellation Policies Take Hold

skift.com - Hotels - 4 October 2017
For the ninth year in a row since 2009, U.S. hotels are expected to collect from guests a record amount of total fees and surcharges. This year, according to a report compiled by Bjorn Hanson, clinical professor at the NYU Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, hotels are expected to collect a $2.7 billion in fees and surcharges. Hanson’s report is based on interviews with hotel and corporate travel executives, analysis of financial data, press releases, and information from hotel and brand websites.

Wynn Las Vegas Increases Security Following Mass Shooting

skift.com - Hotels - 3 October 2017
At entrances to the Wynn resort in Las Vegas on Monday afternoon, guards scanned visitors with metal-detector wands and inspected their bags, creating a 10-minute wait to get inside. The new security protocol, put in place after Sunday’s mass shooting nearby, is likely to become the norm on the Strip and possibly beyond.

Global Hotel Security Issues Highlighted in Las Vegas Attack

skift.com - Hotels - 3 October 2017
Across the globe, risks of terrorism and other violence have made tight security at hotels and resorts routine, even in countries where strict gun control laws may help prevent the kind of shooting attack that occurred Sunday night in Las Vegas. Security varies widely from place to place: in many cities luxury hotels have entrances that open straight into shopping malls. Hotel lobbies often serve as a refuge from noisy, chaotic city streets, and are generally easily accessible.
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8 Questions About Hotel Safety and Security Raised by the Las Vegas Shooting

skift.com - Hotels - 3 October 2017
The mass shooting that took place on October 1 in Las Vegas has raised a number of questions for the travel and hotel industry in regards to safety and security. On Sunday evening, a gunman opened fire onto a crowd of 22,000 people gathered at the Route 91 Harvest Festival from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing more than 58 people and injuring more than 500. It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.
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IHG CEO Sees Better Tech as Making Things Smoother Behind the Scenes

skift.com - Hotels - 3 October 2017
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Chief Executive Officer Keith Barr is three months into his new role at the company and is thinking about the milestones IHG will have reached by the time his one-year anniversary as CEO rolls around next July.

Hotel Design of the Future Emphasizes Sustainability

skift.com - Hotels - 2 October 2017
When it comes to dreaming up concepts for the hotel of the future, it’s clear that today’s architects and designers are focused on a shared theme: sustainability, as it applies not only to the environment, but to culture, as well. For the past 10 years, the John Hardy Group, a global hospitality development consultancy, has hosted the Radical Innovation contest, asking designers and architects around the world to submit their ideas for the hotel of the future.
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Aman Hotels Can Deliver the Experiences and Adventure Millennials Crave

skift.com - Hotels - 29 September 2017
Conventional wisdom may suggest Aman Hotels — an ultra-luxury global chain where rooms often cost more than $1,000 per night — sells mostly to older travelers. But customers between 18 and 35 years old increasingly fill many of its rooms, the company’s chief operating officer said Wednesday at the Skift Global Forum in New York City.
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The Hotelier Behind the LINE and NoMad Hotels Is Suing His Billionaire Business Partner

skift.com - Hotels - 28 September 2017
Billionaire Ron Burkle is accused in a lawsuit of trying to stage a coup to oust his partner from the chief executive post of a boutique hotel-development venture so he can use the company for his own benefit. Burkle and real estate developer Andrew Zobler teamed up more than a decade ago to develop, promote and operate boutique hotels. Their Sydell Group manages properties including the NoMad in New York, the LINE Hotel in Los Angeles and the Freehand hotels in Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.
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Marriott CEO Addresses Anti-Muslim Hate Group Meeting Controversy

skift.com - Hotels - 27 September 2017
Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson isn’t afraid to make statements about social and political issues, but he was also careful to distinguish between what his company’s responsibility is in determining which guests and groups are welcome to stay or meet at its hotels. Speaking at the Skift Global Forum in New York City on September 27, Sorenson addressed the current controversy surrounding the Marriott Crystal Gateway hotel’s upcoming hosting of an Act for America conference in Arlington, Virginia. Act for America has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group. It was the first time the company has spoken publicly about the controversy.

Hilton CEO Outlines Plans For 'Hostel on Steroids'

skift.com - Hotels - 26 September 2017
Hilton is planning to create several new hotel brands in the coming years to fill space in its current portfolio. Christopher Nassetta, chief executive of Hilton Worldwide, said the company would gradually look to build on its current collection of 14 brands. The most eye-catching announcement was the plan for an urban micro-brand, which the company will look to formally introduce sometime next year.

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