5 things to know about the EU's new data rules Featured Articles - 6 December 2017
If they’ve been paying attention, hoteliers should already know they have a massive challenge ahead of them with the European Union’s looming General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into effect 25 May 2018. The GDPR’s new rules threaten massive financial punishment in the case of data breaches or mishandling of data. The worst offenses will incur fines of either 4% of a company’s “global turnover” or €20 million ($23.7 million), depending on which is greater.

Don't wait to use emerging tech to market your hotel Featured Articles - 6 December 2017
Your hotel could be in big trouble. Recent data suggests we’re heading for decline in occupancy in 2018—and potentially further declines to follow. Worse, online travel agencies and your hotel competi-tors are gunning for your guests, looking to make any decline in demand your problem, not theirs.

Brands see ROI in comforts, services for Chinese guests Featured Articles - 6 December 2017
In the past two years, investors have been funding vacation rental property managers left and right. Vacasa has raised $143 million over two rounds, while Turnkey, Hostmaker, Vacation Rental Pros, Stay Alfred, Evolve, Pillow, GuestReady, MyVR, and others have taken significant investments to fuel expansion.

Sustainable tips, accomplishments from industry experts Featured Articles - 6 December 2017
Sustainability plays a variety of different roles in a hotel or company, from development to design to the ways employees are recruited, but being green isn’t always easy. But some hoteliers have found successful ways to make sustainability a core tenet of their operations. Here’s a roundup of content Hotel News Now has featured over the last year or so looking at how hotels have implemented those initiatives.

Regional hotel design builds relationships with guests Featured Articles - 6 December 2017
Indigenous design is nothing new to the Caribbean, but it has taken on more importance as consumers become more selective about experiencing local culture and communities. Speakers participating on the “Regional hotel design” panel at last month’s Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit said the focus on “contemporary regional design” has reached a crescendo. For the Caribbean region, it’s all about “tropicalization.”

Putting fraud to bed in the hotel industry Featured Articles - 6 December 2017
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the typical American company loses 6% of its annual revenue to internal fraud. That translates into a lot of towels. Who are the culprits? Unfortunately, fraud can creep into every department of a hotel, including engineering, front desk, housekeeping, accounting and food and beverage. What sets the stage for fraud? It’s a numbers game. The hotel industry is very transactions-based, with millions of transactions per day. Hotels often have many outlets, including rooms, bars, restaurants, retail, casinos and theme parks—many of which are cash intensive. As a result of these outlets, hotels need to keep a significant amount of product on hand, product that can disappear.

5 tips to prepare for Google's mobile-first index Featured Articles - 6 December 2017
Next year, Google will switch to a mobile-first index, and hoteliers need to be ready lest they see their websites falling in search rankings. “Google’s mobile-first index means that they will soon be organizing their search results based on the mobile version of websites, only calling on desktop versions when there isn’t a mobile version to index,” said Tim Johnson, corporate director of e-commerce for LBA Hospitality. While he said the concept is nothing new—in late 2016, Google revealed that to make its search results useful, it had started experimenting with mobile-first indexing—making mobile the primary index is a change.

Crisis management amid social media, breaking news Featured Articles - 5 December 2017
In a year that has witnessed several major terrorism incidents, at least two major earthquakes and a steady line of devastating hurricanes, never has it been more important for destinations and organizations to have credible spokespeople and clear crisis-management plans in place, according to sources. That sounds simple enough, but how those plans play out in a burgeoning world of social media and non-traditional lodging offerings is anything but easy, said speakers on a panel at the World Travel Market titled “An insight into destination crisis communications in the digital era.” Some key advice: Keep it as simple as possible. Do not waiver from the message. Concentrate on education, not fueling panic.

Revenue, expense shifts improve F&B profits Featured Articles - 5 December 2017
Consumer dining trends tend to be more volatile than lodging trends. Recognizing this, hotel managers have made some significant changes in the way they offer food and beverage service to their guests. The traditional three-meal, all-purpose restaurants and roomservice are disappearing. Taking their place are self-service kiosks and grab-and-go concepts that provide quick-service for in-house guests. These changes help explain recent changes in hotel food-and-beverage department revenues, expenses and profits. To understand recent trends in lodging F&B sales, we analyzed the financial performance of hotel restaurants, lounges, roomservice and catering departments for the period 2010 through 2016. The information came from a same-store sample of 705 full-service, convention, all-suite, select-service and resort hotel operating statements taken from the firm’s Trends in the Hotel Industry database. In 2016, the hotels in the sample averaged 365 rooms in size, 76.5% occupancy and an average daily rate of $201.99.

Should we rethink investment cycles? Featured Articles - 5 December 2017
As hotel owners, investors and operators, we are conditioned through experience to think and respond in terms of “textbook” markets and investment cycles. After a period of marked slowdown, business activity rebounds, markets recover and occupancy and average daily rate improve. The resulting robust operating returns spawn new build plans and attract new investors, eventually leading to new construction and a resulting growth in supply. At some point, that supply begins to exceed demand, with some geographic and property class segments being affected more than others. Occupancies flatten or perhaps decline. At some point, supply and demand rebalance and, as the marketplace regains strength, the cycle begins anew. Within these real estate cycles, there will always be buyers and there will always be sellers. On which side of the equation one sits depends on many factors.

Security experts urge hoteliers to prep for EU's GDPR Featured Articles - 5 December 2017
Cybercrime is costing global businesses billions, not millions, and in some jurisdictions—notably in the European Union—the cost to companies found guilty of negligence in regards to data breaches could soon rise substantially, according to sources. At a panel titled “Cyber-attacks are on the increase, so how secure are your systems?” at the recent Annual Hotel Conference and in telephone conversations with Hotel News Now, experts underlined that many businesses, especially small- and medium-sized ones, remained woefully unprepared. Moyn Uddin, a cyber and privacy consultant, said GDPR will change the landscape for everyone and could cost businesses huge fines, but he also sees it as a learning opportunity.

Airbnb, Expedia execs answer 10 pressing questions Featured Articles - 4 December 2017
Executives from Airbnb and Expedia shared the stage during last month’s Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit. Both shared some insights into their worlds of alternative accommodations and online travel agencies as well as how they intersect with the hotel industry. Following are their responses to 10 key questions posed during a 30-minute joint interview (content edited for clarity and brevity).

A brush with stardom launched Harris Rosen's career Featured Articles - 4 December 2017
Harris Rosen, president and COO of Orlando-based Rosen Hotels & Resorts, said starting at “the bottom” helped to shape who he is today. But he credits one special moment, during what was technically his first job in the industry, for setting him on this path. If not for a hug that Harris Rosen received around age 9 in an elevator at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, he might be an artist today, rather than president and COO of a hotel company that has seven properties in Orlando. The life-changing embrace happened on what was technically Rosen’s first job in the hotel industry—as an assistant to his father, Jack Rosen, who was working as a safety engineer and poster artist at the Waldorf Astoria.

Extended-stay hotels defy cycle amidst supply growth Featured Articles - 4 December 2017
Both factors were present during the latter stages of the last expansion period for the hotel industry when the performance trends of extended-stay hotels and the overall hotel industry were very similar. More recently, however, extended-stay hotels are defying the cycle. During the last expansion period for the hotel industry, which effectively ended in 2008, extended-stay hotel room supply increased at three to four times the rate of overall hotel room supply. Increasing supply growth coupled with decelerating gains in demand caused hotel occupancy to fall and extended-stay occupancy followed the same general trend.

It's in the details: Bad food and 2017's best hotels Featured Articles - 4 December 2017
Good RevPAR, poor repastI think the autumn conference season is over. At least it is for me. Maybe there are some others on the calendar, but for my coverage considerations, the end. Overall, in the United Kingdom and Europe, everything still looks rosy, and most markets are showing continued positive revenue-per-available-room numbers. Capital remains eager to be placed, and there are more types of capital and debt.

Customization, quality fuel Concord's success Featured Articles - 1 December 2017
To position itself as a leader in hotel development and management, Concord Hospitality strives to cover the entire hotel space, said President and CEO Mark Laport. “Our strategy is to really be all things to all people when it comes to lodging,” he said during a one-on-one interview with Hotel News Now at the 2017 Lodging Conference. “We like to cover the space entirely.” On the development side, Concord is “known as one of the most active developers of ground-up hotels,” Laport said. The company’s recent openings include the 174-room Canopy by Hilton Washington DC The Wharf, which was the first Canopy to open in North America; the dual-branded 240-room Marriott Columbus University and 114-room Residence Inn Columbus University; and the 258-room Hyatt House Jersey City.

Hotel Earnings Tracker: Q3 2017 Featured Articles - 1 December 2017
Hotel News Now updates public hotel company earnings data as the information is released each quarter. Below is a listing of quarterly results available as an Excel download. Questions/comments? Please contact Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Ricca at Dan Daniele August 29, 2014 3:54 AM Anonymous May 20, 2016 1:21 PM

What is authentic 'authenticity?' Featured Articles - 1 December 2017
A couple of months ago during The Lodging Conference, my boss Jeff Higley delivered something of a hot take about one of the most overused hotel industry buzzwords, “experiential.” Speaking during a daily recap video (which we do regularly at HNN during the largest industry conferences), Jeff lambasted the laziness of evoking the term as if the experience of a hotel stay didn’t matter until recently. “All of a sudden, the light has gone on and, oh, we have to take advantage of these experiences,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that Kemmons Wilson was thinking about an experience when he launched a Holiday Inn in 1952 as he was trying to fill those interstate interchanges with hotels. I’m pretty sure the founder of Knights Inn was seeking an experience when they adapted all those prefab buildings in the 1970s.”

Freitag's 5: Seeing through noise in the October data Featured Articles - 1 December 2017
1. US RevPAR increased 4.1%That marks the 92nd straight month of continuous revenue-per-available-room growth for those of you keeping score at home. Occupancy increased 1.6%, the second-highest growth this year. March was higher because of—you guessed it—a calendar shift. October’s 2.5% ADR growth ties for the second-highest monthly rate growth this year. The hurricane impact in Florida and Texas still drove up U.S. RevPAR results, as expected, to the tune of 180 basis points. 2. Record room demandThe October 2017 room demand—111 million rooms sold—was the highest room demand for the month ever and was the first time that October room demand exceeded 110 million. Like September 2017, the hurricane-related demand surge helped the U.S. results:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 25 November Featured Articles - 30 November 2017
The above is a news release written by a third party. While HNN’s editorial mission is to produce unique content, it occasionally publishes timely, newsworthy news releases to complement in-house reporting efforts. All news releases are clearly marked as such. For questions and clarification, please contact Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Ricca at No Comments Comments that include blatant advertisements or links to products or company websites will be removed to avoid instances of spam. Also, comments that include profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, solicitations or advertising, or other similarly inappropriate or offensive comments or material will be removed from the site. You are fully responsible for the content you post. The opinions expressed in comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Please report any violations to our editorial staff.

China Lodging closes 52 hotels, invests in new product Featured Articles - 30 November 2017
China Lodging Group executives on a third-quarter earnings call said the company closed a number of properties and is using the cash generated to reinvest in opportunities to upgrade its quality of service and product, and to build the business. China Lodging closed nine leased hotels and 43 manachised and franchised hotels, totaling 52 hotels, during the third quarter, according to an earnings release.

2018: Tastes like chicken Featured Articles - 30 November 2017
You know how kids anticipate the arrival of the Toys R Us and Target holiday gift catalogs? That’s how I feel about the annual international food trends forecasts that come out this time of year. My two favorites are the Andrew Freeman & Company Hospitality Trend Report and the Baum + Whiteman Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends in Restaurants & Hotels report. Both forecasts Are. All. Over. The. Place. And that’s what I love about them. They veer wildly from talking about the trend of lab-engineered meat to facial-recognition payment scanning in fast-food restaurants.

IHG's Barr talks candidly about growth, tech strategies Featured Articles - 30 November 2017
Keith Barr, InterContinental Hotels Group’s CEO since 1 July, talks during a video interview about the company’s Avid brand launch, the mergers-and-acquisitions landscape around the industry and IHG’s new technology implementation. Keith Barr assumed the CEO role at InterContinental Hotels Group on 1 July 2017. During the first four-and-half months on the job, Barr kept busy dealing with a number of things, including: persistent rumors of IHG being acquired; the launch of a new brand called Avid Hotels; the announcement of a major global restructuring that will take place in 2018; and the quickened implementation pace of the replacement of Holidex, the company’s legacy reservations system. Hotel News Now had a chance to sit down for an interview with Barr at the company’s office in Central London on 17 November.

CEO: More brand options could be in the cards for IHG Featured Articles - 29 November 2017
With the race for expansion in full growth mode, InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Keith Barr isn’t content to sit and watch. The Denham, England-based company launched its 13th brand, called Avid Hotels, in September. During an interview at IHG’s central London office, Barr said the company will look at adding more brands to its portfolio. Barr, who was appointed IHG’s CEO on 1 July, made it clear that the company’s first focus is simple.

Barr: Consolidation likely to linger; IHG may add to it Featured Articles - 29 November 2017
InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Keith Barr didn’t have much to say about potentially being acquired by another company during an interview at the Denham, England-based company’s central London office, but he readily addressed the notion of IHG increasing its size through acquisitions. Asked about the persistent rumors that IHG would be acquired, Barr’s response was short: “I love when people talk about us; you know, it’s nice to be in the news,” he said. “We’re always going to be looking for more opportunities around the marketplace … that’s what you have to do,” Barr said. “As a publicly traded company, you have to look at what can create value for our shareholders, what can really make sure you have a strong sustainable company and identify what looks (good) out there.”

Barr: IHG's technological direction changes company Featured Articles - 29 November 2017
Timing is everything when it comes to technology, and in the case of InterContinental Hotels Group, the waiting has been the hardest part for its much-anticipated guest reservation system. The schedule for installing the GRS actually delayed the integration of Kimpton’s loyalty program into the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program—a decision made necessary by the desire to be efficient, said Keith Barr, IHG’s CEO, during an interview from the company’s central London office in Denham, England. “(Kimpton’s integration has) been slower than we wanted, and it’s actually kind of tied to GRS,” he said. “We recognized we had to migrate the Kimpton hotels over to (the) central reservation platform, and we made the decision last year, saying, ‘Let’s wait for (the new GRS), because we don’t want to have to move them twice.’”


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