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Driving conversions requires a standout hotel website

Hotel Management·21 February 2018
A hotel’s brand can’t survive without a quality website that will build awareness and drive conversion. But sometimes it’s not enough to rely on the site a big brand provides. Unique properties need unique websites. A hotel’s online presence is important because it allows hoteliers to track and analyze results, and then quickly respond and adjust for optimal performance. But the key, Mitroff said, is to make sure all messaging is consistent across marketing efforts.

Choice Hotels puts focus on the upscale segment in 2018

Hotel Management·20 February 2018
Choice Hotels International aimed high for Q4 2017, and according to its latest earnings report it nailed its projections—but it’s not enough. There is much to celebrate, from record occupancy levels to generous tax reform, and times are good, which is why Choice, like many hotel companies, is diversifying its business by planning ahead for when the cycle takes a turn for the worst. “This was a transformative year for Choice Hotels, proof that our strategy is working,” Pat Pacious, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International, said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “Last year we increased our pipeline of new hotel franchises, we increased the percentage of Choice proprietary revenue to our hotels, and this allowed us to increase the pricing of our franchise agreements. We also invested in our future by acquiring a growing brand, WoodSpring Suites… and reinvesting in our technology infrastructure.”

Disruption and development converge at IHIF's new tech hub

Hotel Management·20 February 2018
Two main topics dominate public conversation in the hotel industry these days. One is around franchising, asset values, building and overbuilding, lending, operations management and where hotels are in the asset cycle—it’s primarily a conversation about real estate, development and finance. The other centers on disruption: How hotels are managing, expanding and integrating the tech stack; the state of distribution and online guest engagement; and what role technology and innovation will hold regarding the future of hotel management and profitability.
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Serbian company seeks deal for InterContinental hotel in Zagreb, Croatia

Hotel Management·16 February 2018
Serbia's Delta Holding is looking to buy land in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, in order to build an InterContinental hotel. "We plan to build a hotel with 200 rooms, similar to the InterContinental hotel we recently opened in Ljubljana. Zagreb has been our target for some time," Zivorad Vasic, VP of Delta Holding and IHG regional manager, told local news source Poslovni.hr. The company expects to sign the deal by June, and will then begin construction and negotiating terms with the UK hotel company.
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Brazil has Latin America's largest hotel pipeline

Hotel Management·16 February 2018
The current total hotel construction pipeline in Latin America has 831 projects with 142,084 rooms, down 5 percent by projects year-over-year, according to the latest figures from Lodging Econometrics. There are 374 projects with 67,130 rooms under construction, down 9 percent by projects year-over-year. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 208 projects with 31,614 rooms, up 23 percent, while those in early planning are at 249 projects with 43,340 rooms, down 16 percent year-over-year.
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In Madrid, hotel investment leaning toward luxury

Hotel Management·16 February 2018
Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Print Madrid’s growing reputation as a leisure and business destination is bringing in more international visitors. Those visitors, in turn, are the impetus for more hotels. Hotel transactions in the city doubled over the past year, and the arrival of the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental are expected bring balance to a city that has seen a dearth of global brands.
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Are limited-service hotels offering too much for too little?

Hotel Management·16 February 2018
With complimentary breakfasts, free Wi-Fi and spacious gyms, limited-service hotels aren't limited at all. But as savvy travelers seek out best prices and value, the question arises: Are limited-service hotels offering too much at too low rates? Turning a profit at a midscale ADR, not to mention at the economy level, is challenging, especially with midscale brands like Hilton’s Tru and Marriott’s Moxy offering perks in order to stand out from one another. And while the brands may aim for midscale prices, a hotel’s ADR can likely creep up to cover the amenities.
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Google now allows hotel bookings through search results

Hotel Management·15 February 2018
Google is trying to make it easier for consumers to use their smartphones to directly book travel from a Google search. The tech giant announced that hotel and flight reservations now can be scheduled directly from a search result on mobile—without the user ever having to leave their results list.
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Hilton CEO Nassetta extols Trump tax cuts as "positive" for lodging industry

Hotel Management·14 February 2018
The lodging industry may be bipartisan, but when it comes to tax reform, it leans right. On Hilton's fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Chris Nassetta called attention to the benefits that have come via the Trump administration's tax reform plan, which was passed by Congress. Though he said it's still early to judge the ultimate ramifications of it, "it looks good for the broader economy and lodging industry," he said, adding that those connected to the industry whom he has spoken to have all lauded tax reform and the positivity driven by a reformed regulatory environment.
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How Compass Group's Foodbuy head learned customer relations

Hotel Management·13 February 2018
Growing up in Charlotte, N.C., Patrick Lynch developed a taste for sales and support early on. Lynch’s family owned catering companies and childcare centers in the city, and helping out in these businesses gave him a passion for customer-facing roles. Today, Lynch is head of sales at Compass Group North America’s Foodbuy division, a procurement services organization that works with hotels, restaurants and healthcare businesses to provide everything from food and facilities management to office supplies and support services.
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Hostmark Hospitality's CEO ruminates on technology and the art of service

Hotel Management·13 February 2018
As a child, Jerome “Jerry” Cataldo never expected to enter the hospitality industry, but it gradually happened anyway. Sure, his father, C.A. (known as Bud), founded one of the management companies that would eventually merge to form Hostmark Hospitality Group, and growing up Cataldo took on a number of part-time jobs in hotels, but early on he didn’t realize he was actually growing up in a hospitality training program. Now, as president and CEO of Hostmark, it all seems so inevitable in hindsight.
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Close to 60 percent of Saudia Arabia's hotel pipeline to open in 2018

Hotel Management·13 February 2018
Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Print Approximately 60 percent of Saudi Arabia's 143-hotel development pipeline is expected to open this year. A major portion of these 84 hotels, which consist of 27,281 guestrooms, are in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Al Khobar, according to Tophotelprojects. These cities all scored high ranks in the Middle East's top 10 most active cities for hospitality. Riyadh is in third, and Jeddah is in fourth, while Makkah is in sixth and Al Khobar is in 10th. Some hotel openings in the kingdom slated for 2018 are Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences, Copthorne Hotel Makkah, Jabal Omar, Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah, Millennium Hotel Jeddah and the Hilton Garden Inn Al Khobar.
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How to handle estate planning for continued business growth

Hotel Management·13 February 2018
A business can live on beyond an owner's involvement provided there is careful and continuous planning before the entity passes hands. With an eye toward the future, estate planning can also help to minimize estate taxes and equally distribute wealth, according to Shahir Hanna, senior financial representative for The Principal Financial Group.
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Alibaba invests $486 million in hotel tech company Shiji

Hotel Management·13 February 2018
Hotel and retail system provider Shiji Information Technology has landed a $486 million investment deal from China’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The company will buy a 38-percent stake in Shiji Retail Information Technology Co via its subsidiary Alibaba Investment Ltd.

Consumer spending at hotel food-and-beverage outlets on the rise

Hotel Management· 9 February 2018
Hotel restaurants’ climb back to respectability—and in many cases, acclaim—has been a continuing story for several years. The positive buzz has resulted in concrete gains in food-and-beverage spending at hotels, and new research shows that it’s not just hotel restaurants that are benefitting. According to Technomic, the hotel F&B space continues to show growth, with overall consumer spending increasing 4.9 percent in 2017 and showing a robust 5.5 percent annual growth since 2011. Total spending by consumers within hotels, which includes all restaurants, bars and lounges, banquets and catering, roomservice, in-room minibars and other areas, totaled $48.7 billion in 2017. For 2018, Technomic is forecasting continued growth of 5 percent in consumer spending, as demand remains strong.
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Dream Hotel Group's CEO stays on script

Hotel Management· 8 February 2018
Under CEO Jay Stein's stewardship, Dream Hotel Group has been in expansion mode, and well outside the confines of the U.S. Consider the UK, where Dream has a deal in place with London-based Ciel Capital to bring its lifestyle Unscripted brand to Birmingham in 2020. At the time of the announcement, in October, Stein referred to Birmingham as "one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the United Kingdom, and therefore an ideal destination for the Unscripted flag." The first Unscripted hotel opened in Durham, N.C., in the U.S., a city that is not so different from the likes of Birmingham, a secondary market to Charlotte some two hours away, but also with the kind of hip factor akin to a Birmingham.
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Marriott plans Fairfield conversions in India

Hotel Management· 8 February 2018
Marriott International has signed a conversion deal with Samhi Hotels to open five new Fairfield by Marriott properties across India. These five new properties will contribute toward the company's plan to add 583 new guestrooms to the brand's existing portfolio. The new hotels will be in Chennai, Pune, Goa, Delhi and Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore) among others. There are currently nine Fairfield by Marriott hotels open in India and one operating in Nepal.
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Airbnb to welcome third-party hotel distribution

Hotel Management· 8 February 2018
It's becoming harder every day to differentiate between Airbnb and traditional online travel agencies, and a new agreement that allows third-party distribution services to list hotel rooms on its site is blurring that line even more. SiteMinder, a cloud-based distribution platform used to attract guests, will be Airbnb’s first partner in this new endeavor, and will act as a channel manager to ensure its properties will be included alongside Airbnb hosts.
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Gartner recognizes SkyTouch as leader in hotel-management software

Hotel Management· 8 February 2018
SkyTouch Technology has been named a leader in the latest Gartner Quadrant for hotel-management software. The FrontRunners quadrant evaluated verified product data and end-user reviews for 185 hotel property management systems. Only the products with the top scores were designated a quadrant. Gartner said the companies in the Leaders Quadrant, such as SkyTouch, were chosen as all-around strong products that offer the highest value and capability in the market.
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Wyndham's CEO confirms what we already know: scaling up matters

Hotel Management· 7 February 2018
Assailed from every conceivable direction by the likes of Expedia, Airbnb and other disruptors, legacy hotel companies have taken a tack to get bigger to ward these forces
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Spain's hotel investment reached record levels in 2017

Hotel Management· 7 February 2018
Hotel investment in Spain reached a record €3.9 billion in 2017, beating the previous record of €2.6 billion that was set in 2015, according to the Insights on the Hotel Investment Market in Spain 2017 report. This investment spanned both operating and converted hotels. 182 hotels changed hands in the country last year, compared to the 147 hotels sold in 2016. Average price per room also rose last year to approximately €119,000—a 30-percent increase from the average recorded in 2016.
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The CEO of LW Hospitality Advisors lets loose on Airbnb, OTAs and hotel brands

Hotel Management· 7 February 2018
Daniel Lesser, the CEO of LW Hospitality Advisors, a firm that offers various advisory services to the hospitality industry, doesn't mince words and not Airbnb, not OTAs and not hotel brands escape his scrutiny. In this wide-ranging Q&A, Lesser discusses some of the bigger current challenges on the hotel industry and how it must deal with these impacts.
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Penn State School of Hospitality Management to honor Marriott's Sorenson

Hotel Management· 7 February 2018
The Penn State School of Hospitality Management in the College of Health and Human Development and The Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society have named Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, as the 2018 Hospitality Executive of the Year. Arne Sorenson. Photo credit: Marriott International With Marriott’s purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide last year, Marriott reigns as the world’ largest hotel company with more than 6,000 hotels, 1 million rooms and 30 brands in 122 countries. The university will honor Sorenson at a reception at the historic Nittany Lion Inn on April 12, 2018. The award and events precede the university’s 2018 Blue-White Weekend festivities and football game.
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Rotana sets 5-hotel development pipeline for Saudi Arabia

Hotel Management· 7 February 2018
Rotana is planning to expand its presence in Saudi Arabia as part of the country's Saudi Vision 2030 plan, capitalizing on the mid-market lodging demand. As part of the initiative, the company will open five new hotels in Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Medina and Dammam under its Centro by Rotana and Rayhaan by Rotana brands. The new hotels will add more than 1,150 guestrooms to Rotana's portfolio, which already includes four hotels with 1,258 guestrooms in Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah. Two of these hotels are in the midscale sector.
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Brand Finance's list of hospitality's top 50 brands shows a close race at the top

Hotel Management· 7 February 2018
Not all brands are created equal, but the value of a strong brand and what it is that creates value for a brand remain a topic of debate. How do customers measure the value of one brand compared to another when so many variables exist? Brand Finance, an independent business valuation consulting company based in the UK, has made this task its mission. This week the company released its list of the 50 most valuable and powerful hotel brands, and why these brand deserved their rankings. The report can be found here.

AccorHotels inches closer to real estate unit share sale

Hotel Management· 6 February 2018
AccorHotels Group reached the final stages of a €6.6-billion deal to sell half of its real estate subsidiary AccorInvest. Five institutional investors are in the running to acquire the hotel group’s real estate investment arm. These are French asset manager Amundi, Crédit Agricole’s life insurance arm Predica, U.S. real estate investor Colony NorthStar, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund PIF.

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