5 things to know: 22 September 2017
5 things to know: 22 September 2017
22 SEPTEMBER 2017 9:13 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hoteliers, organizations respond to Hurricane Maria
  • 400 people rescued from Russian hotel fire
  • Joint-venture buys Sheraton Grande Tokyo for $909m
  • Europe, Asia/Pacific monthly reports from STR
  • AmTrav survey on what matters to business travelers

Hoteliers, organizations respond to Hurricane Maria: Hotel companies and tourism organizations shared how the Caribbean region has been affected by Hurricane Maria, the Hotel News Now editorial staff reports.

While places such as Puerto Rico were severely damaged by strong winds from Hurricane Maria, other areas, such as Aruba and Jamaica, were not damaged and are open for business.

Frank Comito, president and director general of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, said the view that the entire Caribbean was devastated by Maria just isn’t true; 70% of the Caribbean was not severely hit and is open, he said.

See HNN’s coverage for responses from companies including Marriott International and Hilton, and check back for more updates as more details become available.

400 people rescued from Russian hotel fire: A huge blaze broke out in the 10-story Torn Hotel in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on Wednesday, leaving two people dead and causing children to jump from windows to escape, The Independent reports. 

Local officials said 50 firefighters and 19 fire engines were sent to put out the fire, and more than 400 people, including 61 children, were saved, according to reports.

“Government official Evgeny Kondratiev told reporters the face of the building was made of ‘very flammable material containing toxic elements,’” which “increased the danger of the fire spreading,” reports The Independent.

Joint-venture buys Sheraton Grande Tokyo for $909m: Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, and Invincible Investment Corporation have entered into a joint venture to purchase the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel for 102 billion Japanese yen ($909.1 million), according to a news release. GIC will have a majority stake of 51% in the hotel.

The 1,016-room hotel, built in 1988, has a 175-room Annex Tower that opened in December 2016, and the property is adjacent to Tokyo Disney Resort.

Lee Kok Sun, CIO of GIC Real Estate, said the hotel “has shown strong and resilient cash flows,” and the joint venture “will seek to enhance the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel and support it in its next phase of growth,” the release states.

Europe, Asia/Pacific monthly reports from STR: STR, parent company of Hotel News Now, released monthly performance data for Europe and the Asia/Pacific region.

For August 2017, the Asia/Pacific region reported positive results in the three key performance metrics. Occupancy increased 3.3% to 75.3%, average daily rate rose 2.3% to $99.98 and revenue per available increased 5.7% to $75.33.

Europe also experienced growth in all three key performance indicators. Occupancy rose 2.5% to 77.4%, ADR increased 5% to €116.66 ($139.67) and RevPAR increased 7.6% to €90.26 ($108.06).

AmTrav survey on what matters to business travelers: A recent survey from AmTrav offers insights into what’s top of mind for business travelers when it comes to traveling for work. 

Of those surveyed, 56% of business travelers said they must have a hotel that’s in close proximity to their client or meeting, and 28% said inflight Wi-Fi was a “must have.” An on-site hotel gym ranked at the bottom of the “most requested travel must-have” list, with only 2% of respondents giving this answer.

A majority of respondents (55%) also said that booking travel for others has become easier in the past 10 years.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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