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  • HFTP Research Report: Pre-opening Expenditures in Hospitality

    A study of the pre-opening budget; the timeline for these expenditures; timeline for onboarding of staff; and the selection, installation and training of the technology component. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: At the End of the Year, We Reflect on the Best of the Year

    As we prepare to transition to the new HFTP Global board at the 2018 Annual Convention in October, I would like to take the time to reflect on my year serving as HFTP Global president.

  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

Applications Now Open for Positions on the HFTP Global Board and Executive Committee

HFTP ·22 January 2019
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is calling hospitality professionals who are innovative, strategic thinkers to join the association's top leadership. The application process to participate is open for director positions on the HFTP Global Board and the secretary on the HFTP Global Executive Committee. These two bodies represent the highest volunteer positions at the association, advising on the strategic direction of HFTP. The deadline to submit an application is April 1, 2019.The HFTP Board of Directors and Executive Committee meet several times a year in person or virtually to discuss the association's immediate and long-term endeavors. Directors and executive committee members provide valuable input drawing from their expertise as hospitality professionals, offering a perspective of current industry trends and concerns; as well as professional skills.Requirements for HFTP Global directors include any HFTP Principal, Agent, Allied or Education member in good standing is eligible for nomination to the Board of Directors. Any HFTP Principal, Agent, or Education member in good standing that holds one of the HFTP designations -- CHAE or CHTP -- shall be eligible for nomination to an officer position. Allied members are not eligible for nomination to an officer position.Directors serve on the board for three years, with new directors selected annually. Annually a secretary is selected for the HFTP Global Executive Committee.To apply for a director position, visit the HFTP website under the Get Involved tab. To apply for the secretary position, please contact Millicent Gustafson for more information. If you have any questions about the process, contact Millicent Gustafson, HFTP Executive Services Administrator at millicent.gustafson@hftp.org.

Meyer Jabara Hotels Selected to Manage Cambria Fort Lauderdale

Meyer Jabara ·22 January 2019
[Danbury, Conn.] -- Meyer Jabara Hotels (MJH) has been selected to manage a new construction Cambria hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., scheduled to open in 2020. Owned by Jai and Jessica Motwani, president and CEO of real-estate development group Hotel Motel Inc., the 97-room asset will be located at 2231 N. Ocean Blvd., across the street from the Auberge Beach Residences & Spa, considered to be Fort Lauderdale's most extraordinary beachfront property. The hotel will have views of the ocean and intercostal. Beachfront access is only feet away. Groundbreaking will begin once three existing motels are demolished."As a vacation destination that attracts more than 13 million people on average every year, we are eager to open this new Fort Lauderdale asset," said Justin Jabara, VP of Development and Acquisition for Meyer Jabara Hotels. "We are breaking the mold with this property. Designed as a simplistic, elegant retreat, this hotel will come to set the standard within the market. It will feature all the amenities that business and leisure guests have come to enjoy, such as an open concept lobby, unique restaurant and cocktail lounge, flexible meeting space, state-of-the-art fitness center, swimming pool and retail space. This truly is an amazing asset, and with Meyer Jabara's management in play, this hotel will emerge as a market leader."This management contract marks the sixth Cambria Hotels & Suites in our portfolio, and we are excited to re-enter the Fort Lauderdale market," he said. "Cambria is the ideal brand for the market with its industrial design, stylish rooms, business center conveniences, and highly-personalized service. We are delighted to continue our growing relationship with Choice Hotels International and look forward to seeing this stylish property come to life."Under the design focus of Jessica Motwani and Hospitality Furnishings & Design Inc., the Cambria Fort Lauderdale will evoke a coastal modern aesthetic. The raw, natural materials of stone and wood will be complemented with clean, soft, modern finishes that provide a therapeutic space for all guests. Sandy tans and cool greys mingle with deep cerulean bringing the relaxing beachfront into the space and enabling guests to feel the presence of the coast resulting in a relaxed and rejuvenating experience."The Cambria Fort Lauderdale will quickly become the place to stay for urban travelers visiting south Florida," Jabara said. "The hotel will be minutes away from some of the area's best attractions, including world-class dining and shopping at the Galleria Shops and Las Olas Boulevard, museums, and theaters. The Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades also are close by."For more information on Meyer Jabara Hotels, visit www.meyerjabarahotels.com. To follow the "Just Journey" Blog, click here. For media inquiries, call Barb Worcester of PRpro at (440) 930-5770 or email her at barbw@prproconsulting.com.About Meyer Jabara HotelsWith headquarters in Danbury, Conn., Meyer Jabara Hotels is an award-winning hospitality company owning, operating or leasing hotels and restaurants in 11 states throughout the eastern portion of the United States. The company was formed in 1977 as Motel Hotel Associates through the partnership of William Meyer, a specialist in real property law, and Richard Jabara, a second-generation hotelier. Their portfolio of hotels includes Marriott, Hilton, Choice, Hyatt, InterContinental, and Wyndham brands, as well as several independent hotels. The company culture, referred to as "The Journey," is considered by Meyer Jabara Hotels to be their strongest competitive advantage because it challenges and encourages each team to create special relationships, or heart connections, with the key stakeholders: business partners, associates and customers. For more information on Meyer Jabara Hotels, visit www.meyerjabarahotels.com. About Cambria HotelsCambria Hotels are designed for the modern traveler, offering guests a distinct experience with simple, guilt-free indulgences allowing them to treat themselves while on the road. Properties feature compelling design inspired by the location, spacious and comfortable rooms, flexible meeting space, and local freshly prepared food and craft beer. Cambria Hotels is rapidly expanding in major U.S. cities, with hotels open in Chicago, New York City, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Cambria now has 31 hotels open across the United States, and there are 100 hotels open or in the pipeline in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more, visit www.cambriahotelsandsuites.com.

Kennedy Wilson Sells the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe for $120 Million

Hotel Online·16 January 2019
Global real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson (NYSE:KW) announced today the sale of the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe for $120 million. In December, the company also sold a portfolio of hotels located across the U.K. for $54 million. A cash profit of $73 million to Kennedy Wilson was generated over the lifetime of the two investments.

BLLA Announces Speaker Line-Up at Annual Stay Boutique Conference Los Angeles

BLLA · 4 January 2019
Los Angeles -- In just 5 weeks, the Boutique & Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA) will congregate in downtown Los Angeles February 11-13 at the Magic Box @ The Reef to showcase some of the world's best brands and independents to discuss the future of the boutique sector globally.Some of the highlights of this event are the diversity of speakers brought to the stage. "Our boutique hotels and businesses are collaborative and pillars of local communities" stated Frances Kiradjian, CEO, BLLA. "Highlights include Avi Brosh, CEO of Paligroup / Zak Normandin, Founder & CEO of Dirty Lemon / Larry Korman, President of AKA Serviced Residences / Joey Gonzalez, CEO of Barry's Bootcamp / Sarah Simon & Tran Wills, Co-Founders of Base Coat / April Uchitel, CEO of VIOLET GRAY / Benjamin Edgar Gott, Founder of Boxed Water / Kim Malek, Founder & CEO of Salt and Straw / Nicole Centeno, Founder & CEO of Splendid Spoon / Melissa Briggs Bradley, Founder of Indagare / Wilhelm Oehl, CXO of Eight Inc. Hearing from leaders first-hand is one reason why people love the Stay Boutique Agenda and attend the BLLA events, besides the great networking, education and overall very upscale, boutique experience."Additionally, the distinctive events all happening at the same venue, run on consecutive days beginning February 11th with an afternoon Boutique Bootcamp and Opening Cocktail Reception. Next up is the full day Leadership Conference February 12th and an Awards Cocktail party & Dinner honoring Projects, Minds & Concepts as well as honoring the Los Angeles Fire Department and their heartfelt recent work during the Woolsey fires in LA. Fire trucks will be on hand for attendee photographs. The last day, February 13th is another full day dedicated to Female Empowerment (everyone invited to attend), built off a group of more than 10,400 women globally, ending with a final reception.The conference also announced this year's BLLA awards are still open for nomination for the categories below, through the end of next week as well as registration and sponsorship of the event. Note that on-site registration will be available but at an increased rate. Follow the links:AWARDS | SPONSOR A MEMBER OF THE LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT TO THE AWARDS DINNER | REGISTRATION | SPONSOR AND EXHIBITAwards CategoriesProjectsBoutique Collaboration ProjectBoutique Branding Execution ProjectMindsBoutique DesignerBoutique InstagrammerBoutique LeaderConceptsBoutique HotelLifestyle HotelBoutique Retail BrandBoutique RestaurantBoutique BarBoutique Fitness StudioBoutique Art GalleryBoutique CoffeeSpeakersSteve Schwartz, Founder - Art of Tea / Kristi White, VP Sales Engineering - The Rainmaker Group / Avi Brosch, CEO - Paligroup / Wilhelm Oehl, CXO - Eight Inc. / Zak Normandin, Founder & CEO - Dirty Lemon, The Drug Store (with Iris Nova) / Damon Lawrence & Marcus Carey, Founders - Homage Hospitality / Andrew Fay, President, The Gettys Group / Lynn Easton & Dean Porter Andrews, Founders - Easton Porter Group / Benjamin Edgar Gott, Founder - Boxed Water / Frances Kiradjian, CEO - BLLA & Stay Boutique / Ariela Kiradjian, COO BLLA & Co-Founder - BLLA & Stay Boutique / Aishwarya Iyer, Founder - Brightland / Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, Founders - G & B Coffee & Go Get Em Tiger / Larry Korman, President - AKA Serviced Residences / Joey Gonzales, CEO - Barry's Bootcamp / Natalie Kuhn, Executive Vice President & Founding Teacher - The Class by Taryn Toomey / Lisa Odenweller, Founder - Beaming & Jayde / April Uchitel, CEO - VIOLET GREY / Sarah Simon & Tran Wills, Co-Founders - Base Coat Nail Salon / Ariane Goldman, Founder - HATCH & HATCH MAMA / Sara Tan, Senior West Coast Fashion & Beauty Editor - Bustle / Kim Malek, Founder & CEO, Salt and Straw / Nicole Centeno, Founder & CEO - Splendid Spoon / Chelsea Nassib, Founder - Tappan Collective / Coly Den Haan, Founder - Vinovore / Melissa Biggs Bradley, Founder - IndagareSponsorsHeadline Sponsors: AKA Serviced Residences, Two Roads Hospitality, Greenberg Traurig, SuiteLife Insurance, Rainmaker, The Gettys Group, Luxe Collection, iVvy Venues, Tempur Sealy, Enseo. Conference Sponsors: ITM Mobile, Simple Human, BeyondTV, Eight Inc, LATHER, Black Bow Sweets, Art of Tea, Meier Lake, Allbridge, Westminster Teak, Mill & Thread, Easton Porter Group, MComs, Atomic Design, My Mo Mochi, La Colombe, Aurora Elixirs, Splendid Spoon, Hotpoint Media, The Bosco, Colors Collective, Box Union, HOTEC Design, Four Sigmatic, COOLA, Simply Gum, Good Day Chocolate, Smashmallow, Icelandic Glacial, Skinny Dipped, Supergoop!, HospitalityNet, HotelNewsNow, World Travel Market, LODGING Magazine, eHotelier, NEWH, Hotel Online, Hotel Executive, Hospitality Design, Hotel Business, Hotel Management.About the Boutique & Lifestyle Leaders Association ( BLLA )BLLA is the world's most innovative and progressive organization dedicated to the luxury independent boutique lodging and lifestyle industries. The association connects the world's most dynamic executives with cutting edge business and operational insight. BLLA's membership benefits allow access to the world's leading minds in the space through events, research and education. Association members are an integral part of the boutique family, something they love about BLLA. Our mission is to provide leadership and opportunities members as well as a trusted place for consumers to find real boutique hotels and businesses. All resulting in strategic interactions and access to information that helps people and organizations thrive. Join the movement that BLLA gave birth to in 2009 and become a part of something that is truly unique, exciting and inspirational. www.blla.org

MCR Sells the Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine-Vilano Beach

Hotel Online· 3 January 2019
MCR, the sixth-largest hotel owner-operator in the United States, has sold the 94-room Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine-Vilano Beach, located at 95 Vilano Road, St. Augustine, Florida. The firm purchased the hotel in 2012.

AETHOS Consulting Group Shares 2019 Insights for Human Capital in Hospitality: Challenges in Finding Labor and Artificial Intelligence Among Trends in the US

AETHOS Consulting Group · 3 January 2019
1. Challenges to Finding Labor for Hospitality ServicesLabor Skilled to Meet Current Travel Trends: AETHOS New York Managing Director Keith Kefgen weighs in that although lifestyle and wellness hotels have become all the rage, as every major chain is now involved, the real issue is the lack of experienced talent. "We have a plethora of mandates that demand previous 'lifestyle' and 'opening' experience. The fact is, there are not enough experienced people to fill all these roles. What happens? Companies take risks on under-qualified people, who get in over their heads.Look at the turnover rates at the well-known lifestyle companies: Schrager, Kimpton, Standard, Proper and the like - It is a veritable turnstile. More will have to be done to educate and train young managers in this arena.""And today, travelers are expecting hotels to be sensitive to wellness issues, (allergies, spas, yoga, healthy food, workouts) and so forth. Companies that can be at the forefront in the wellness arena will have a real competitive edge."Issues Restricting Labor: Due to immigration policies in North America, "finding labor will be a significant issue impacting hotels and restaurants, particularly in the United States," says Matt Peterson, Managing Director of AETHOS' office in Los Angeles. "Additionally, and with the rising costs of minimum wage and labor as a whole, now it is more important than ever to retain talent. The obvious response is to increase compensation, but it is just as important to train, mentor and provide career progression for employees."2. Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Hotel Hiring and Experience OfferingsDavid Mansbach, also Managing Director in New York, is also quick to discuss AI and its impact for human capital in hospitality." AI is the buzzword for 2019. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is still so new; we have not yet even entered into the first inning. But for the foreseeable future, the hospitality industry should continue to embrace human interaction with the customer.""As for 'Blockchain,' get familiar with this if you are at all involved in strategy decisions." Adds Mansbach, "Blockchain technology is evolving rapidly and will change many areas of the hospitality industry including human resources, cyber-security, healthcare and the securitization of customer information."3. Revenue Management SkillsMansbach also emphasizes revenue management as a key skill set for owners and operators in all facets of hospitality moving forward. "Revenue Management Strategies are critical. Hotel owners and operators should seek the top 1% of organizations that lead in revenue management strategy and philosophy. Owners truly recognize the significance of investing in human capital and technology to win."Andrew Hazelton, Managing Director of AETHOS's office in Philadelphia sees a blending of sales and revenue management skills necessary for the next generation of "Chief Commercial Officer." "Within the hotel industry the lines of sales, marketing and revenue management will continue to blur and hotel organizations will move to a model where such functions merge together under a single point of leadership - ultimately making their businesses more efficient and effective. This is truly helpful as organizations drive toward more personalized services to meet the wants and needs of customers."4.Experiences and TechnologyIn addition to the lodging sector, AETHOS observes momentum in the restaurant and food service disciplines as well as the cruise sector. Andrew Hazelton notes, "Competition at sea will continue to be tight as demand for cruising will increase much like it did this past year. But North American-based companies such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival are not only focusing each other's customers, they are also keen to pursue those of Marriott and Hilton. With a robust pipeline of new ships to come on line these next few years, the cruise industry will continue its mantra of 'going big' in 2019, while striving to focus on 'customer experience' across all segments/types."Hazelton continues, "As for the restaurant industry, specifically the quick service restaurant segment (QSR), this sector will continue to focus time, energy and money into technology, marketing and loyalty programs. Over the last few years, companies such as Starbucks have led the push for further leveraging mobile technology and developing a 'true' loyalty program. Others will have to continue to follow."About AETHOS Consulting GroupAETHOS Consulting Group is a global advisory firm serving the hospitality industry. The firm enhances value for its partner organizations via access, know-how and fresh thinking. Core competencies include executive search, compensation consulting, business strategy and psychometric assessments. The firm is designed as a single partnership operating from ten locations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. www.aethoscg.com.

Schwartz Family Company Acquires Queensland's Hilton Surfers Paradise for $70 Million From Ja Feng

Hotel Online· 2 January 2019
Australia’s largest private hotel investor, Dr Jerry Schwartz, has made his first foray into Queensland hotel property with the $70 million purchase of the five-star Hilton Surfers Paradise from the Chinese group, Ja Feng. The deal is expected to settle in May 2019.

Lingerfelt Commonwealth Sells Five Hotels in Orlando, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina

Hotel Online·18 December 2018
Lingerfelt Commonwealth Partners, LLC, a Richmond, Virginia-based commercial real estate investment firm, today announced a portfolio sale of five hotels in Orlando, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina, which closed on December 13, 2018. The hotels were sold by Lingerfelt Commonwealth to AD1 Global, a privately-held hospitality company located in Hollywood, Florida, for $92.5 million.

Canadian Hotel Occupancy Up 3.0 Percent to 61.2 Percent For Week Ending 8 December 2018

STR ·14 December 2018
The Canadian hotel industry recorded positive year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week of 2-8 December 2018, according to data from STR.In comparison with the week of 3-9 December 2017, the industry reported the following:* Occupancy: +3.0% to 61.2%* Average daily rate (ADR): +3.3% to CAD145.89* Revenue per available room (RevPAR): +6.4% to CAD89.24Among the provinces and territories, Quebec reported the largest increase in RevPAR (+22.4% to CAD114.22), driven by the only double-digit lift in ADR (+10.3% to CAD161.68) and the second-highest rise in occupancy (+11.0% to 70.6%).Manitoba experienced the largest increase in occupancy (+11.7% to 72.9%) and the only other double-digit jump in RevPAR (+17.3% to CAD92.45).Six of the 11 reporting provinces and territories saw RevPAR growth.The Northwest Territories posted the second-largest increase in ADR (+8.5% to CAD167.26), but saw the steepest decline in occupancy (-19.6% to 63.9%).Newfoundland and Labrador posted the largest decreases in ADR (-9.7% to CAD119.26) and RevPAR (-24.7% to CAD53.93).Prince Edward Island experienced the second-largest drop in occupancy (-19.2% to 36.8%), which resulted in the second-steepest decline in RevPAR (-19.8% to CAD39.98).STR provides clients from multiple market sectors with premium, global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 10 countries around the world with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England. For more information, please visit str.com.

U.S. Hotels - Who's Buying?

JLLH ·14 December 2018
As of YTD 2018, hotel transaction volume in the United States reached $29.7 billion, more than a 25 percent year-over-year increase, with private equity groups representing 37 percent of hotel acquisitions in the United States, or $11 billion.Hotel acquisitions have posted strong numbers and private equity has secured this year's lion's share. As of YTD 2018, hotel transaction volume in the United States reached $29.7 billion, more than a 25 percent year-over-year increase, with private equity groups representing 37 percent of hotel acquisitions in the United States, or $11 billion. This compares to 30 percent ($7.1 billion) for all of 2017.According to JLL Hotels & Hospitality, private equity groups have more pockets of capital than they've had in the past, allowing them to pursue a wider variety of investment strategies related to hospitality, ranging from core plus to opportunistic plays. Additionally, private equity hotel buyers are focusing on acquiring complex full service hotels and portfolios.While private equity may currently be the most dominant buyer, there are several other groups who are also demonstrating a strong appetite for hospitality product. Development companies have become more active in 2018, accounting for 13 percent ($4.0 billion) of YTD 2018 hotel acquisitions, compared to 10 percent for all of 2017. Additionally, offshore activity has observed a slight increase: YTD 2018 figures show offshore capital is equal to $4.0 billion of U.S. hotel acquisitions, compared to $3.6 billion over the same period in 2017.Factors contributing to the uptick in investment activity, particularly from private equity, include:A strong economy, including the lowest unemployment rate in half a century and third quarter annualized real GDP growth clocking in at 3.5 percent, above the economy's long-run potential of two percent growth.Continued leisure and corporate travel demand, with transient room night demand recording growth of nearly four percent as of August 2018 and group demand growing at 1.2 percent on a 12-month moving average basis.The hotel industry attracting more nontraditional and general real estate investors, in addition to traditional hotel investors.

Hoteles City Express Concludes its 2018 Development Pipeline Reaching 152 Hotels in Operation

Hoteles City Express ·14 December 2018
Hoteles City Express S.A.B. De C.V. ("Hoteles City Express" or "The Company") (BMV: HCITY) announces the opening of 8 hotels reaching 152 hotels in operation and more than 17,100 rooms installed over the next weeks.On December 17 2018, City Express Plus Merida will open its doors, meanwhile The City Express CDMX La Villa, City Express Plus Ensenada, City Express Ensenada and City Express Plus Tijuana hotels will start operations between December 22 and 31 of the present year. Additionally the City Express CDMX Tlalpan, City Express Plus Chihuahua and City Centro San Luis Potosi hotels will open their doors in the first weeks of the coming year.With these openings, The Company concludes its development pipeline of the year with 17 new units compared to the 135 hotels that operated at the end of 2017.The following is a summary of the 2018 Development Pipeline.

Asia Pacific's Construction Pipeline, Excluding China, Continues in a Topping Out Formation

Lodging Econometrics ·14 December 2018
According to a recent report from analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE), Asia Pacific's total construction pipeline, excluding China, remains near its high with 1,738 projects/367,886 rooms. Projects currently under construction stand at 943 projects/211,361 rooms and projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 389 projects/77,390 rooms. These two stages reached their peaks over the last four quarters. There are 406 projects/79,135 rooms in the early planning stage which peaked much earlier in 2015.The pipeline is expected to decline in 2019 as the present development cycle cools. Construction starts have been declining for six quarters while new projects announcements into the pipeline have been declining for five quarters. These two metrics are the most significant for forecasting the future direction of the pipeline. The Asia Pacific region had 274 new hotels/48,822 rooms open at the close of the third quarter, with another 71 new hotels/11,764 rooms expected to open in the 4th quarter, bringing the total forecast for new hotel openings to 345 by the end of 2018. The LE forecast anticipates that 388 projects/70,037 rooms are expected to open in 2019, and 406 projects/79,072 rooms in 2020, the highest levels since LE first began recording in 2007. Countries with the largest pipelines in Asia Pacific, excluding China, are dominated by Indonesia, with 400 projects/67,977 rooms which accounts for 23% of Asia Pacific's total pipeline. Next is India with 222 projects/33,785 rooms, then Japan with 203 projects/41,816 rooms. These countries are followed by Thailand with 143 projects/33,855 rooms and Malaysia with 132 projects/34,853 rooms. Asia Pacific cities with the largest construction pipelines are led by Jakarta, Indonesia with 99 projects/18,820 rooms. Next is Seoul, South Korea with 74 projects/13,730 rooms and Tokyo, Japan with 62 projects/15,572 rooms. Bangkok, Thailand follows with 50 projects/11,662 rooms and then Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with 49 projects/12,929 rooms.The top four franchise companies, accounting for 40% of guest rooms in the total construction pipeline, are AccorHotels with 248 projects/53,196 rooms, Marriott International with 198 projects/45,870 rooms, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which set a new record high for the company, with 148 projects/33,177 rooms. Hilton Worldwide follows with 85 projects/18,978 rooms. Top brands in Asia Pacific's construction pipeline, excluding China, include AccorHotels' Ibis brands with 62 projects/12,440 rooms and Novotel with 48 projects/10,807 rooms. Marriott International's Courtyard has 33 projects/6,697 rooms, and the full-service Marriott Hotel has 24 projects/6,533 rooms. IHG's Holiday Inn has 57 projects/13,715 rooms and Holiday Inn Express has 34 projects/6,838 rooms, while Hilton Worldwide's DoubleTree has 30 projects/6,368 rooms and the full-service Hilton Hotel & Resort brand has 27 projects/6,919 rooms. Both the full-service Marriott Hotel and the full-service Hilton Hotel and Resort brand are at record highs for their respective companies.

Emaar launches business development operations in China

Emaar Hospitality Group ·13 December 2018
Emaar, the developer of the iconic Burj Khalifa and the upcoming Dubai Creek Tower, has commenced business development operations in China. This follows the announcement in July of the company's expansion to the country, coinciding with the coinciding with the historic visit of President Xi Jinping of China to the UAE.Emaar has a team of dedicated business development professionals in the country, specially recruited from China, and has started the design and fit-out of two premium offices in CBD of Beijing and Shanghai. In addition to promoting the UAE and Dubai as a high-growth investment destination, the two Emaar showrooms will showcase the flagship and ongoing premium lifestyle, shopping and hospitality developments in Dubai, like The Dubai Mall and Address Hotels as well as touristic destinations such as Burj Khalifa and Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.The diverse international educational opportunities such as New York University and Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi - a keen requirement by Chinese investors in property - as well as the healthcare amenities that are available close to Emaar's communities are highlighted at the state-of-the-art showrooms.Emaar aims to work with the UAE embassy in China to promote the nation's appeal to Chinese investors, with guidance from HE Ali Obaid Al Daheri, UAE Ambassador to China, who has been actively promoting UAE-China ties, by fostering trade relations and tourism, as well as highlighting the UAE's appeal as an investment hub.Emaar is also expanding its premium luxury hotel and serviced residences brand, Address Hotels + Resorts, to China. Address branded hotels will open in key cities in the country, building on the familiarity that the brand enjoys among Chinese tourists. Today, Emaar's hotels are among the most-preferred by Chinese visitors, given their central location and access to lifestyle destinations such as The Dubai Mall.Emaar's expansion to China complements the 'Belt and Road Initiative' announced by President Xi Jinping, in which the UAE will have a significant part to play. Chinese visitors can enjoy visa-on-arrival and have effortless connectivity with the city with Emirates operating to the key cities in China.

ASFONA Reconfirms its Strategy as an Independent, Non-Brand Affiliated Hotel Owner/Operator Association

ASFONA ·13 December 2018
Philadelphia -- The announcement earlier this year of ASFONA's "Diversification Strategy" has seen the organization branch out and incorporate additional international hotel companies into their meetings, as well as continuing to assist Marriott International with the successful integration of the "Starwood Legacy Brands" into the Marriott portfolio.At the November 29-30 ASFONA Board of Directors meeting, held at the Warwick Hotel - Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, the association's newly independent stature was re-stated and attendees informed of how positively the new strategy had been received by the hotel industry. The ASFONA Board of Directors now, in addition to Marriott International, also interacts with other international hotel companies who will be individually and separately invited to join future Owner Board Meetings and General Sessions. The overall goal associated with this new strategy is for ASFONA to establish a line of communication with all leading hotel companies and to create conduits to engage, align and strengthen the relationships between selected hotel brands and key hotel owner/operators in North America.The implementation of ASFONA's Diversification Strategy began at the Spring 2018 Board of Directors Meeting in Washington D.C., which provided the opportunity for Virgin Hotels CEO, Raul Leal and his executive management team to join the group and present the Virgin Hotels brands, along with their positioning and development opportunities to the ASFONA Owner Board members and Associate members in attendance.At the recent Philadelphia meeting, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts became the second major international hotel company to join the ASFONA group meeting and members of its executive management team gave a comprehensive overview of the 20 brands within Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, along with an update on their development pipeline and performance. With their recent acquisitions, which included La Quinta Inns, The Wyndham hotel portfolio now comprises 9,000 properties in 80 countries around the world with 400 under direct management, making it the world's largest hotel franchising company."Wyndham Hotels CEO Geoff Ballotti has led this company to become a truly dynamic organization and ASFONA was honored to welcome some of his executive management team to our Philadelphia meeting," said John Shingler, ASFONA's President. "We greatly enjoyed learning more about this exciting hotel organization and its brands. Going forward, we are equally excited about the opportunity to welcome additional international hotel groups to be our guests at our meetings, providing them with a forum to discuss industry issues of mutual interest and align these interests of the hotel owner/operator community with their respective brands."For more information on ASFONA, please visit www.asfona.com.

Market Report Senegal

·13 December 2018
Senegal benefits from a strategic location on the West coast of Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, and represents a gate-way to the landlocked Sahelian countries. According to United Nations projections, the population of Senegal should reach 40 million by 2050, underlining the great potential for the domestic market.

Senegal - a rising star

Bench Events ·13 December 2018
As the potential for tourism investment in under-exploited Francophone Africa becomes ever-clearer, Senegal has been highlighted as an emerging economy that's ripe for further development.The country still faces challenges, but the government wants to put Senegal in the top five African tourist destinations with three million visitors a year by 2023.A detailed analysis comes from Horwath HTL, a global leader in hotel, tourism and leisure consulting, ahead of the new Forum de l'Investissement Hotelier Africain (FIHA) in Marrakesh in February 2019. The conference, organised by Bench Events as a sister event to the long-established Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), will focus on the markets of north and west Africa.During the conference, Philippe Doizelet, Horwath HTL's Managing Partner, Hotels, based in Paris, will be sharing his expertise, gained from 300 development studies both in France and internationally. His verdict on Senegal is: "We're of the opinion that Senegal has potential for diverse hotel development in the mid-term."As one of the best-performing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal's growth is expected to stay at around seven per cent, sustained by agriculture and industry, including mining exports.Future hotel demand is expected to come from both the business and leisure sectors against a background of positive factors, including:Senegal's regional position as a major economic hub, backed by a stable democratic political systemImproved air access thanks to a new airport Diass/DiamniadioThe discovery of natural gas in the north of the countryGovernment support for the tourism sector with infrastructure plansA pipeline of internationally branded hotelsImproving hotel performances in DakarHowever, there are some challenges as well: on-going neighbouring conflicts; low-standards of services outside the capital, and the high cost of reaching Senegal compared to other seaside destinations in the region. Nevertheless, overall, Horwath believes there's good potential for new mid-scale, economical hotels in Dakar and the "Petite Cote" area, which is now the top leisure destination in continental West Africa, where the market has been performing well.That optimistic perspective is supported by the hotel industry, which is seeing a number of development projects in the pipeline, including, in 2019, the opening of a Golden Tulip with 118 rooms, the Days Hotel & Suites with 84 rooms and the Hyatt Centric, with 150 rooms. In 2020, at the airport, a 460 room Movenpick recently announced by Accor is due to open and a midmarket hotel, developed by Mangalis. In the medium term, around 3,200 new rooms will be built - an Azalai along the Corniche, the Sheraton/Aloft in Almadies, Dakar, a second Club Med, which will be the largest seaside resort in West Africa, and two new hotel clusters, in Pointe-Sarene (1,600 rooms, 100% resort) and in Lac Rose (1000 rooms, Mixed business and leisure.In the long term, Horwath expects there will be significant new development close to the new airport and in Saint-Louis, close to the newly-discovered gas fields.Philippe Doizelet added: "With an average contribution of 10% of GDP and 9% of total employment in 2017, the tourism sector holds a key role within Senegal's economy."All this will be explored in more detail at FIHA, aimed at helping countries to develop their economies and support hospitality investment. Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of Bench Events, concluded: "It's this level of analysis that will make FIHA a must-attend event; plus, it will connect business leaders from the international and regional markets and drive investment in tourism, infrastructure and entertainment."

Hotel Demand Jumps In Areas Affected By California Wildfires

STR ·12 December 2018
Growth in hotel demand has been significant in wildfire-affected areas of California, specifically Butte County and the Oxnard/Ventura submarket, according to an analysis from STR's Consulting & Analytics office. "The hotel performance impact has been stronger in the areas around the Camp Fire, and that is largely due to market structure," said Hannah Smith, STR consultant. "Butte County, and the surrounding counties affected by the Camp Fire, account for just 94 hotels and 4,810 rooms.Roughly 75% of that supply is classified in the midscale or economy segments, which are much more likely to accommodate longer-term, disaster-related demand. For comparison, the Oxnard/Ventura submarket and its surrounding areas comprise 40,950 rooms across 420 hotels.Only 28% of that supply is in those midscale and economy classes, while more than 45% is classified as upper upscale or luxury."From 7-27 November, Butte County reported a 43.3% increase in demand (room nights sold) when compared with the same days in 2017.As a result, occupancy jumped to 85.6%, and average daily rate (ADR) grew to US$102.49. Those absolute levels represented year-over-year increases of 43.4% and 3.6%, respectively. The county's peak demand increase occurred on 25 November as demand grew 120.1% year over year on the Sunday that followed Thanksgiving.The hotel performance impact during the first week of the Woolsey Fire was widespread across the region. During the second week of the wildfire, however, the impact became most concentrated in the Oxford/Ventura submarket, as defined by STR. From 7-23 November, a 12.4% lift in demand pushed a 12.4% increase in occupancy to 81.9% and an 8.0% lift in ADR to US$145.05. During the same time period, noticeable demand increases were also seen in other STR submarkets such as Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey (+9.3%),Los Angeles North (+8.9%) and Hollywood/Beverly Hills (+3.6%).A note to editors: All references to STR data and analysis should cite "STR" as the source. Please refrain from citing "STR, Inc." "Smith Travel Research" or "STR Global" in sourcing. Additional Performance DataAre you a member of the media looking for performance data for a hotel market not included in this release? STR's sample comprises 62,000 hotels and 8.3 million hotel rooms around the globe. Please refer to the contacts listed below for additional data requests.

Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index up 1.6% in November

STR ·12 December 2018
The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index was up 1.6% in November to 4,447. Year to date through the first 11 months of 2018, the stock index fell 9.0%. "Hotel stocks experienced modest gains in November, but the hotel REITs underperformed their broader real estate benchmark, while the hotel brands were slight relative outperformers," said Michael Bellisario, senior hotel research analyst and VP at Baird. "Stock market volatility moderated in November, but interest rates moved lower and macroeconomic growth concerns remained. As a result, investors positioned more defensively, which negatively impacted the hotel stocks' performance during the month, particularly the hotel REITs.""There is chance that we will see a period of disconnect between underlying lodging industry fundamentals and hotel stock performance," said Amanda Hite, STR's president and CEO. "Record-breaking demand continues, and RevPAR growth returned in October after a one-month hiatus. However, macroeconomic jitters, fears of a trade war with China and uncertainty about the Brexit deal all seem to be weighing heavily on investors' minds. Our assessment of the industry remains unchanged though--U.S. hotel performance is healthy, and we expect that to continue in 2019."The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index's performance lagged both the S&P 500 (+1.8%) and the MSCI US REIT Index (+4.4%). The Hotel Brand sub-index increased 2.0% from October to 6,520, while the Hotel REIT sub-index jumped 1.0% to 1,613. As of 3 December 2018, Chatham Lodging Trust replaced LaSalle Hotel Properties in the Hotel Stock Index and the REIT Sub-Index.

WhyHotel Raises $10M in Series A Funding and Announces New Pop-Up Locations

WhyHotel ·11 December 2018
WhyHotel, an alternative lodging service that operates pop-up hotels in newly built, luxury apartment buildings, today announced it has secured $10 Million in Series A funding. The round was led by Highland Capital Partners, with participation from Camber Creek, Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Mendacre, MetaProp and Geolo Capital. The funds will be used to launch new pop-up hotels, beginning with three locations in Virginia, and to continue expanding nationwide in 2019. In addition, the funding will be utilized to hire new positions across multiple areas including technology, brand, sales and human capital."WhyHotel provides a better product and a better customer experience to business and leisure travelers for their short-term housing needs," said Craig Driscoll, Partner, Highland Capital Partners. "The WhyHotel team has taken a leadership position in helping modern cities and leading property developers provide visitors with a more flexible and cost-effective housing option. We are proud to be partnered with the WhyHotel team on this journey."After a series of successful pop-up hotel launches in 2018, including properties in D.C. and Baltimore, WhyHotel will now expand to Northern Virginia with locations at Ballston Quarter, Centro Arlington, and The Boro in Tysons. In partnership with the property owner, Brookfield Properties and QIC Global Real Estate, the Ballston Quarter pop-up will house up to 175 WhyHotel units and will be located at 700 N Randolph Street. The Centro Arlington pop-up, launched in partnership with Orr Partners and Weingarten Realty (NYSE: WRI) will house up to 150 WhyHotel units and will be located at 950 South George Mason Drive. Finally, The Boro pop-up, located at 8305 Greensboro Drive in the future apartment building branded as "Rise" will house up to 150 WhyHotel units in partnership with The Meridian Group and KETTLER."WhyHotel at Ballston Quarter will greatly accelerate the activation of our luxury residential and retail spaces," said Greg Meyer, Executive Vice President and Head of the Greater Washington D.C, Region for Brookfield Properties. "With WhyHotel onsite, we will differentiate Ballston Quarter by offering a unique hospitality amenity for residents, prospective residents and visitors, while also generating additional income for the property during our lease-up phase."WhyHotel's new locations are strategically located with proximity to the core business districts in Arlington; The Pentagon, The Pentagon's training center, Foreign Service Institute, and DARPA. The launch of these pop-up hotels stands to positively benefit the local dining, retail and entertainment establishments with the immediate attraction of guests to the area. WhyHotel has proven success in Arlington County where it launched a highly successful pilot project at The Bartlett in Pentagon City in 2017."The WhyHotel concept of turning brand new, yet to be leased luxury apartment building units into temporary hotel suites has seen great success with consumers in the areas we have launched so far," said Bao Vuong, President and Co-founder of WhyHotel. "It is for that reason that we are continuing our rapid expansion to bring the WhyHotel experience to additional metros and we are grateful to have received the funding to do so."Guests of the new WhyHotel pop-ups will enjoy modernly furnished luxury apartments. Guests will have access to the building's amenities and WhyHotel's 24/7 onsite hospitality and security staff. Residents of the brand-new apartment buildings will also benefit during WhyHotel's temporary operation with discounted room nights for friends and family, and access to the WhyHotel cleaning staff."With its recent pop-up hotels, WhyHotel has proven its hospitality services are well-received by residents," said David Orr, Chairman of Orr Partners. "We could not be more excited that our upcoming Columbia Pike project, Centro Arlington, will offer residents and visitors the incredible benefits of having a WhyHotel in the apartment building when we open our doors in the summer of 2019."With an eye toward 2019, WhyHotel is currently planning for strategic development to new markets throughout the new year, with plans to expand beyond the East Coast. In addition to expansion to new markets, WhyHotel will also look to open new pop-ups in the cities they currently operate in, to create a permanent presence in the cities despite individual locations ending their temporary programs.For more information, please visit www.whyhotel.com or view our explainer video on YouTube.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts Announces Management Agreements With Three Premium Salt Lake City Properties

Interstate · 7 December 2018
Interstate Hotels & Resorts unveils the addition of three new premium branded hotels to its growing portfolio - the Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown, Hyatt House Salt Lake City/Downtown and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown in Salt Lake City, Utah. The three new management contracts follow Interstate's news of momentum in Europe, opening the first Staybridge Suites in the Netherlands."Interstate is pleased to continue expansion in the greater Salt Lake City area, adding three new premier hotels to our portfolio," said Interstate Hotels & Resorts President and CEO, Mike Deitemeyer. "As a leading powerhouse in hotel management, we look forward to deploying our successful operating strategies to these properties and delivering exceptional value to our owners."Interstate Hotels & Resorts currently manages five properties in the greater Salt Lake City area, extending their portfolio to eight properties. Boasting a central location with easy access to popular destinations, the Courtyard and Hyatt Houseare directly adjacent to one another just minutes from the Fairfield Inn, and within walking distance of the Gateway Mall, Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Palace Convention Center, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and Clark Planetarium all located in the greater downtown area.The Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown features first-class accommodations with 175 guestrooms, including 15 suites, a new state-of-the-art lobby, The Bistro offering healthy choices and an evening bar providing specialty beverages, well-equipped fitness center, indoor pool and whirlpool, and more than 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space.The Hyatt House Salt Lake City/Downtown features 159 guestrooms, including residentially inspired suites with fully equipped kitchens, an outdoor grilling area, and three separate meeting rooms with more than 1775 sq. ft. of space for special events. Complimentary breakfast is available, with a create-your-own Omelet Bar and chef-inspired options. Guests can access the business and fitness center, grab groceries from the H Market to bring back to your room's kitchen, or enjoy craft cocktails and bar bites at H Bar 24-hours a day.The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown features 120 spacious and modern guestrooms, a state-of-the-art lobby, providing guests with free Wi-Fi and inviting, convenient spaces to work or relax, a hot, healthy complimentary breakfast, fitness center, heated indoor pool and whirlpool, and 950 sq. ft. of flexible event space.A global leader in third-party hotel management, Interstate Hotels & Resorts' depth of experience across all lodging segments and asset classes drives results in each of its managed hotels worldwide. For more information on Interstate Hotels & Resorts, visit www.InterstateHotels.com.

Wanda Hotels & Resorts Unveils New Brand - Wanda Moments

Wanda Hotels & Resorts · 7 December 2018
On 30 November, 2018, Wanda Hotels & Resorts held a launch ceremony and gala dinner to unveil Wanda Moments, a premium mid-scale hotel brand, and announced the newly upgraded guest loyalty program - Wanda Club at the conference center on the Star Island of Qingdao Movie Metropolis. The conference brought together representatives of Wanda Club members, guests of Wanda Moments and media guests to witness the launch of Wanda Moments and the new development strategy of Wanda Hotels & Resorts.At the conference, Dr. Ning Qifeng, Executive President of Wanda Cultural Tourism Creativity Co., Ltd. and President of Wanda Hotels & Resorts, introduced the group's latest development strategy during its transformation to asset-light development and Wanda Moments, the new premium mid-end hotel brand. He announced that Wanda Moments plans to develop 700 hotels around China in the next 5 years, and shared the comprehensive upgrade of Wanda Club program with the guests. Dr. Ning signed contracts with the first 6 Wanda Moments hotels' owners, which marks an official beginning of the development of the new brand, Wanda Moments.Mr. Chen Mengchao, Vice President of Wanda Hotels & Resorts, introduced Wanda's resource strength in developing hotel industry. He also described the brand positioning, product characteristics, development plan and cooperation models of Wanda Moments.As the fifth hotel brand of Wanda Hotels & Resorts after Wanda Reign, Wanda Vista, Wanda Realm and Wanda Jin, Wanda Moments is a premium mid-scale hotel brand that is committed to providing high-quality selected service to business travelers with unique taste, enjoy life attitude and pursuing different experiences. The new brand continues the diversity and inclusivity of Wanda hotel brands, and the artistic design, attentive services as well as interactive staying experience. With the brand concept of "Better for tomorrow" and the 4S core values (Sweet+Social+Style+Smart), Wanda Moments aims to create a new lifestyle that integrates art, culture, intelligence and fashion.Mr. Liu Yingwu, Vice President of Wanda Hotels & Resorts and President of Wanda Hotel Design Institute, introduced Wanda's integrated services from hotel design to construction and to project management. "The asset-light transformation we are pursuing is not just providing hotel management and design services, but a integrated project management services. It is an innovative service model and a mature and completed management system that based on the investment, construction and operation experience of more than 100 hotels. This enables us to assist and serve our owners with extensive ownership experience and systems."Wanda Hotels & Resorts attributes the brand development to the support of the brand's loyal customers, and pays close attention on rewarding program. During the event, Ms. Adeline Yong, Deputy General Manager of Sales & Marketing Department of Wanda Hotels & Resorts, officially announced the launch of upgraded Wanda Club program which was comprehensively enhanced in the points accumulation mechanism, membership system and points redemption system.Accumulation: Points accumulation is expanded from rooms to consumption at restaurants, rooms, banquets and MICE within Wanda Hotels & ResortsSystem Upgrade: There are four levels of membership: Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each level is designed with detailed privileges that include welcome amenities, exclusive discounts, extra rewarded points and more.Redemption: * Points redemption is expanded from room upgrade and redemption to redemptions of hotel rooms, dining products, flight mileage and movie tickets at Wanda Cinemas across China.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Strategically Expands Global Convention Portfolio With Six New Members

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) · 7 December 2018
Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), which serves as the global sales force for more than 250 luxury independent hotels, has increased its domestic and international footprint with the addition of new hotels and brands in destinations with emerging meeting and incentive markets. New properties in the company's portfolio include One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico; Kempinski Emerald Palace, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; MGM Springfield, Springfield, MA; Hotel Annapolis, Annapolis, MD; Live! By Loews, St. Louis, MO; and Hotel Alessandra, Houston, TX."In response to client's needs, we are excited to offer new hotel & resort options in markets around the world. ALHI's growth strategy will continue to be strategic in nature and aligned with our client's requests," said Mark Sergot, Chief Sales Officer for ALHI. "We welcome our new member hotels to the ALHI family and look forward to educating clients on the unique and authentic qualities these hotels offer"One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, MexicoSituated on the edge of the Baja Peninsula, alongside the Sea of Cortez, One&Only Palmilla is a luxury hideaway whose earliest guests include Hollywood celebrities like John Wayne, Lucille Ball and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Originally built in 1956 with just 15 rooms, One&Only Palmilla underwent a $90 million-dollar renovation in 2004. Today, the luxury resort preserves the glamourous flavor and ambience of the original resort, and boasts 174 guest rooms, several fine dining establishments, including a Michelin-star chef steakhouse and seafood restaurant, a celebrated destination spa and wellness retreat, and a fitness center. Other resort amenities include 16,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, a 27-hole golf course and three tennis courts.Emerald Palace Kempinski, DubaiThe Emerald Palace Kempinski is Dubai's palace by the sea. Located on the Palm Jumeirah and slated to open November 29, this five-star luxury hotel features 391 guest rooms with panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, exceptional leisure facilities including a 500-meter private beach and lagoon pool, a private cinema, a 9-hole putting green, and a spa with 23 treatment rooms. The hotel's private salons and elegant ballroom provide exceptional service and are ideal for hosting meetings and events. Guests can enjoy eight indoor and outdoor culinary experiences, including a royal garden-inspired restaurant; the enchanting Matagi, serving Japanese cuisine and East meets West drinks; and famous local chef Alain Ducasse's miX, an al fresco restaurant serving a fusion of contemporary and classical French cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients.MGM Springfield, Springfield, MassachusettsAs new England's first integrated resort casino and a premier entertainment destination, MGM Springfield boasts eight fine-dining and casual eating establishments, and four luxury hospitality and entertainment venues. MGM Springfield's venues include the MassMutual Center, a sports and entertainment center with 100,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, and an 8,000-seat arena; the ROAR! Comedy Club, an on-property comedy club opening in January 2019 that will feature an eclectic mix of popular, national comedians and rising stars; and the Topgolf Swing Suite, a simulated golf experience and lounge. For further comfort and convenience, MGM Springfield offers guests easy check-in and check-out of its 252 accommodations using the MGM Resorts App.Hotel Annapolis, Annapolis, MarylandLocated in the heart of downtown Annapolis and a short walk from Maryland State House, the United States Naval Academy and St. John's College, Hotel Annapolis provides guests with the ultimate Chesapeake Bay experience. The hotel features 198 guest rooms and 17 suites that combine nautical charm with modern convenience and boasts 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The hotel's meetings spaces are equipped with state-of-the-art A/V services and innovative catering, and the hotel's Meeting Specialists are readily available to help guests plan their event. Business and leisure travelers can enjoy Maryland-inspired fare made with locally-sourced ingredients, local craft brews and an outdoor fire pit at Baroak, Hotel Annapolis' neighborhood cookhouse. Live! by Loews, St. Louis, MissouriIn 2020, Live! By Loews will open its doors in downtown St. Louis and truly embody the spirit of the city with its celebration of rich history and professional sports. A $65 million-dollar hotel project and part of the Ballpark Village's $260 million-dollar expansion, the eight-story hotel will complete Clark Street's transformation into one of the most unique city streets in professional sports history. With 216 guest rooms and 19 suites with incredible views of Busch Stadium, the Gateway Arch and the downtown area, and 21,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, Live! By Lowes will be a premier destination for business and leisure travelers.Hotel Alessandra, Houston, TexasEuropean luxury and sophistication coupled with Texan flair come to mind when you walk through the doors of Hotel Alessandra. The 21-story hotel's striking architecture and minimalist design are timeless and can be seen throughout the 223 guest rooms and 5,500 square feet of meeting space. Hotel Alessandra's fine-dining options include a Mediterranean restaurant whose dishes are infused with flavors from Portugal, Greece and Spain, and a bar and lounge, boasting signature hand-crafted cocktails and light bites. The hotel is conveniently located near popular downtown destinations, including Discovery Green park, Alley Theatre, the Toyota Center, the Houston Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium, among others. For more information about ALHI and/or its member hotels and resorts, planners can contact their nearest ALHI Global Sales offices in North & South America, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom (25 offices in total). For specifics, go to alhi.com to identify the nearest ALHI Global Sales professional. Or, call the ALHI Group Desk toll-free in the U.S. at 866-303-ALHI (2544).

Horwath HTL Industry Report: Rwanda

Horwath · 6 December 2018
Rwanda is no longer a newcomer into the tourism scene - it has paved its own way to becoming a leading eco-tourism and MICE destination, anchored in its vision, values, aspirations and leadership. Now is the time to invest in this country full of opportunities and possibilities.

ITB Berlin and IPK International: European outbound travel grows by five per cent

Messe Berlin GmbH · 6 December 2018
Turkey recovers, Spain stagnates - Positive outlook for 2019 - ITB Berlin and IPK International analyse travel to and from EuropeBerlin, 6 December 2018 - Spain has been unable to maintain its strong growth of international visitors of recent years, while Turkey is attracting more holidaymakers again. Greece is also reporting rising visitor numbers. Following a steady decline in the past few years, tour holidays are back in favor with European tourists. Overall, European outbound travel grew by five per cent during the first eight months of the year. The outlook for 2019 is also positive. Further growth can be expected according to the World Travel Monitor conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin.Slowdown in European growthOn a global level, 2017 was an exceptionally good year, a development to which Europe contributed significantly. However, the first eight months of 2018 were unable to surpass those figures. Although European outbound trips increased by five per cent, that figure fell short of the seven per cent last year. "Rising oil prices and air fares have dampened European growth as well. However, the trend remains clearly positive", said Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International.Poland was the biggest source market for international travel, reporting a ten per cent growth year-on-year. Also Swedes and Russians undertook more trips this year, while the Italian, German and Austrian markets registered solid growth too. According to the IPK World Travel Monitor, which covers more than 90 per cent of global outbound travel, figures for Switzerland, Denmark and the United Kingdom were below average by comparison. Again, driving growth this year were trips within Europe, which increased by six per cent. A look at long-haul travel shows that trips to Asia grew by three per cent. At one per cent, trips to the Americas recovered slightly from last year's stagnating figures. Mexico, for instance, registered four per cent more visitors from Europe over the first eight months, while the USA reported an increase of one per centTurkey recovers - Spain stagnatesAmong European destinations Turkey is the clear winner, reporting almost 30 per cent more visitors. The developments were also very positive in Greece, with a 19 per cent increase over the first eight months. During the same period the UK registered a drop in visitors of approximately three per cent. After years of strong growth, the figures for Spain stagnated. "Despite a politically unstable period, Turkey has clearly managed to win back faith among travelers, said Dr. Martin Buck, senior vice president, Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin. "Spain experienced a slight damper this year after the steep upward trend of recent years. However, as one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations Spain continues to attract high visitor numbers. "Europeans rediscover tour holidaysAmong Europeans, tour holidays are seeing a comeback this year with a growth of five per cent. Ever-popular sun & beach holidays were among this year's growth drivers during the first eight months. With a plus of eight per cent, their growth was clearly above average. In 2018 city breaks showed positive growth, albeit less than in previous years. After frequently reporting double-digit growth in the past they achieved average figures this year (six per cent). So far this year, holiday trips overall increased by six per cent. In contrast, business travel stagnated in 2018. Traditional business trips dropped by five per cent, while MICE travel increased by three per cent. During the first eight months of this year higher expenses and longer stays of European travelers have led to an eight per cent rise in total turnover.Positive outlook for 2019Looking ahead to 2019, IPK International forecasts a good year for the European outbound travel market and anticipates five per cent growth. In particular, Russian traveler numbers are expected to rise sharply by seven per cent. The signs are also positive for source markets like Denmark, France, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium. Europe's largest outbound travel market, Germany, is forecasted to grow by four per cent in 2019.Additional information on specific topics regarding World Travel Monitor data from IPK International will be published soon by ITB Berlin. Conclusive travel trend findings for 2018 will also be presented by the end of the year.Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, will present the findings of the World Travel Monitor for 2018 at the ITB Future Day during the ITB Berlin Convention as well as forecasts for 2019. The World Travel Monitor is based on the results of representative interviews with more than 500,000 people in over 60 global travel markets. It has been published for more than 20 years and is recognised as the most widescale continuous survey of global travel trends.

ITB Berlin and IPK International: International tourism continues its success story with solid growth

Messe Berlin GmbH · 5 December 2018
Asia and South America report highest outbound growth - Tour holidays are making a comeback - Outlook for 2019 remains positive - ITB Berlin publishes the latest findings of the World Travel Monitor exclusively in January 20192018 has been a strong year for the tourism industry, which has registered uninterrupted growth in international trips around the world. In the first eight months of 2018 international outbound trips grew by six per cent worldwide, with Asia and South America recording the highest increases. According to the findings of the first trend analysis of the World Travel Monitor by IPK International, the outlook for 2019 also remains positive.Strong year for Asia and South AmericaAsians are as keen to travel as ever. Following below-average growth in 2017, this year Asia is on a strong recovery path with an increase of eight per cent. One contributing factor was the upswing in China, with notably more foreign trips than the previous year. Likewise another growth driver is Latin America with an increase of eight per cent. This can be mainly attributed to Mexico, which has recovered from last year's negative growth rates. According to the World Travel Monitor, between January and August 2018 trips by Europeans increased by five per cent, while North Americans went on four per cent more international trips.Also in terms of destinations, Asia had the strongest growth and recorded a plus in visitors of eight per cent. Europe follows with eight per cent more guests, while the Americas had an eight per cent increase. Looking at destination countries shows that the recent boom in trips to Spain has subsided somewhat in 2018 so far. At the same time, destinations, which have lately been shunned by visitors, are coming back. Turkey is the best example. With a remarkable 30 per cent increase in visitors compared to the same time last year, it is celebrating a strong comeback.Holidays biggest growth driverHoliday trips continue to be the main reason for traveling abroad - with a further increase of seven per cent. Visits to friends and relatives (VFR) grew by five per cent year-on-year. Business trips with a plus of three per cent increased below average. Traditional business trips actually declined in 2018 so far, whereas MICE travel, which accounts for the majority of business trips, increased by five per cent.City trips are losing momentum - revival of Tour holidaysLooking at the different types of holiday shows a slight shift in recent trends. City trips, one of the main growth drivers in recent years, still continue on an upward trend, however tailed off slightly during the first eight months of 2018. "This may be due partly to overtourism, which has lately received a lot of media attention and may possibly have kept visitors away from large cities", said Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International. "Sun & beach holidays are profiting from that and have overtaken city breaks in terms of growth, something we have not seen in a while. And tour holidays are making a recovery. After declining steadily in the past they have now grown by four per cent."Despite subsiding terror fears travelers prefer safe destinationsAccording to IPK International, the influence of terror threats has settled at a lower level. 38 per cent of international travelers claim that the recent instability and terror warnings will have an effect on their travel plans, compared to 41 per cent at the same time last year. This however is mainly leading to shift in destinations to those that are perceived as safe, rather than avoiding traveling altogether. Destinations regarded as being particularly safe include Switzerland, the Scandinavian countries, Canada and Australia. At the same time, other destinations such as Egypt and Tunisia, previously deemed unsafe, have been able to improve their negative image.Positive outlook for 2019The forecast for travel in 2019 remains positive: IPK International expects international trips to increase by around six per cent. The highest forecasts are for North and South America, with an expected increase of eight per cent. Asia is expected to grow by six per cent, followed by Europe with five per cent. These forecasts are based on the World Travel Confidence Index published by IPK International, which is compiled annually based on the views of the survey participants about their travel intentions for the coming 12 months.Further conclusive results showing 2018 travel trends will be published in subsequent trend telegrams. Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, will present the findings of the World Travel Monitor for 2018 at the ITB Future Day of the ITB Berlin Convention along with forecasts for 2019. The World Travel Monitor is based on the results of 500,000 representative interviews in over 60 travel markets around the world. It has been published for more than 20 years and is recognised as the most widescale continuous survey of global travel trends.

PGA Of America Relocating Headquarters To Frisco As Part Of Innovative Public-private Partnership

Omni · 5 December 2018
The PGA of America is moving its headquarters from Palm Beach County, Florida to Frisco, Texas, the '2018 Best Place to Live in America,'* where it will anchor a 600-acre, mixed-use development with an initial investment worth more than half a billion dollars.Today's announcement follows votes by the Frisco City Council, its Economic and Community Development Corporations and the Frisco Independent School District (FISD) board of trustees. The PGA of America will initially employ at least 100 people at the Frisco-based headquarters. Under this agreement, two PGA Championships, two KPMG Women's PGA Championships and potentially a Ryder Cup will be held in Frisco.This groundbreaking agreement is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $2.5 billion over the next 20 years based on a city commissioned tourism feasibility study.** The study considered the economics of golf course activities, including tournaments, plus the additional impact from the new conference center.The PGA of America is teaming with Omni Stillwater Woods (OSW), a joint venture led by Omni Hotels & Resorts with Stillwater Capital and Woods Capital; the City of Frisco, as well as its Economic and Community Development Corporations; and the Frisco Independent School District."Our move to Frisco will be transcendent for the PGA of America," said Seth Waugh, CEO, PGA of America. "Everything great starts with a dream. This is the beginning of a bold, new journey as we bring together world-class partners in a world-class location - to deliver innovative and differentiated experiences for our nearly 29,000 PGA Golf Professionals, golfers of all abilities and our staff."Two championship golf courses, a short course, and practice areas totaling 45 holes; a clubhouse; Class AA office space; a 500-room Omni resort and 127,000-square-foot conference center; a technologically advanced retail village; parks and open space plus several miles of trails, will complement this unique, signature development.The PGA's Northern Texas Section will also move to PGA Frisco, where state of the art connectivity will provide opportunities to pilot promising new growth-of-the-game programming for all 41 Sections of the PGA of America.A welcoming gateway at Frisco's northern border, the upscale development will be located at Rockhill Parkway and Legacy Drive, approximately one-third of a mile south of U.S. 380. The 600 acres are primarily situated within 2,500 acres being master planned by Hunt Realty Investments. The development will be open to the public, as well as golfers.The entire project will have an initial, estimated public-private investment totaling more than $520 million. The PGA of America will invest $30 million to build its 100,000-square-foot global headquarters and education facility. OSW will invest $455 million to purchase the land, construct the hotel, conference center, retail space, parking facilities, and golf courses. The golf course, club house, practice areas and associated public facilities will be owned by the city. More than 300 FISD high school golfers will practice at the facility on a weekly basis.The agreement calls for the City of Frisco and its development corporations (each funded by a half-cent of Frisco's sales tax) and FISD to contribute no more than $35 million toward development of the public facilities (City of Frisco, $13.3 million; Frisco Economic Development Corp. (FEDC), $2.5 million; Frisco Community Development Corp. (FCDC), $13.3 million; and FISD, $5.8 million).The City of Frisco will also provide performance incentives, which include a portion of hotel occupancy, mixed beverage, sales and property taxes generated by the hotel and associated retail on the site for a 20-year-period. These performance incentives are estimated to total between $52 million and $74 million. Additionally, the State of Texas will contribute all the hotel and sales tax, along with a portion of mixed beverage tax collected on the project for 10 years. The state grant total, provided through Chapter 351 incentives, is valued at more than $62.5 million over 10 years.FEDC is also investing $14.3 million over a 15-year period for the PGA of America's headquarters relocation, job creation and PGA tournament incentives. The initial 25-year agreement calls for the land and conference center to be publicly owned by the City of Frisco and operated by OSW, which will pay $100,000 a year in rent to the city. That lease will increase two percent after the fifth year of the development agreement. OSW is responsible for all maintenance and capital expenses while retaining revenues. Omni Hotels & Resorts will own and operate the resort."For years, the PGA of America has served its membership all across the nation where they engage their local communities, and help to raise over $4 billion annually," said Governor Greg Abbott. "The decision to relocate their headquarters to Texas because of our business-friendly climate is a welcome one. I thank the PGA of America for the new jobs and investment that they will bring to the City of Frisco, wish them continued success, and welcome them to the Lone Star State, the home of champions.""Today is both historic and transformational for the City of Frisco," said Mayor Jeff Cheney. "Not only will this signature development change the future of Frisco's northern landscape, it will transform the sport, growing a new generation of pros, fans and golf enthusiasts. As Sports City, USA, we're thrilled to partner with another world-class brand like the PGA of America. We're also honored Omni is, once again, committing such a huge investment in our community, recognizing the potential to grow entertainment, tourism and economic development in one of the fastest-growing cities in America.""Partnering with the PGA of America and City of Frisco to build a brand new, luxurious golf resort in north Texas is an unprecedented move in the strategic growth of our company," said Blake Rowling, president of TRT Holdings, Inc., parent company of Omni Hotels & Resorts. "Omni is known for its elevated service and amenities, including golf, and this resort, alongside the headquarters of the PGA of America, promises to be a first-class development that will attract thousands of people per year.""This is a tremendous opportunity for all of North Texas," said Robert Elliott, co-founder, Stillwater Capital. "Stillwater Capital is proud to play a part in conceiving and delivering a grand vision for this unique development.""This is yet another example of the public entities in Frisco coming together with private partners to provide unprecedented experiences for young people," said John Classe, Frisco ISD School Board President. "The opportunities available to students in Frisco ISD are simply unmatched in Texas and across the nation. We're excited about what this partnership means, not just for our students, but the community.""As co-developers of Fields, Hunt Realty and Karahan Companies, along with our investors, are committed to creating a world-class, mixed-use planned community with the 2,500-acre Fields development, and we are proud to have facilitated the land sale for the new premier Omni Hotel, PGA of America headquarters and championship golf," said Chris Kleinert, President of Hunt Realty Investments. "We are thrilled to play a part in this transformational project in Frisco, and we welcome the PGA and its employees to Fields."The golf courses are expected to open in summer 2022. The hotel, convention center, and other facilities are expected to open within six months of that date. The development will host the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in 2023. *Money Magazine named the City of Frisco the "2018 Best Place to Live in America". **Economic impact study for the proposed hotel and convention center. Hotel & Leisure Advisors, October 2017 study. SUPPLEMENTAL QUOTESSETH WAUGH, CEO - PGA of America "We welcome the opportunity to develop friendships and partnerships with the community and its residents, as well as across North Texas and throughout the state. We are grateful to the City of Frisco, the State of Texas and Omni Stillwater Woods for embracing our vision of creating a transformational headquarters that, together with our world-class partners, helps us advance our mission of serving our Members and growing the game," said Seth Waugh, CEO, PGA of America. RON PATTERSON, president, Frisco Economic Development Corporation"Having another corporate presence, especially one with such a nationally and internationally recognized brand like the PGA of America, continues to enhance Frisco's reputation as one of the most sought-after sports and business environments in the United States," said Ron Patterson, president, Frisco Economic Development Corporation. "The PGA will bring more jobs, as well as numerous PGA tournaments, to Frisco. Additionally, the PGA becomes the eighth professional sports organization to be headquartered in the city."

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