5 things to know: 8 November 2017
5 things to know: 8 November 2017
08 NOVEMBER 2017 10:41 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • OTA shares being squeezed by competitors
  • Visit California working to bring travelers back
  • 4 F&B trends driving hotel revenue
  • Marriott raises full-year profit forecast again
  • Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index reaches 4.3% in October

OTAs being squeezed by competitors: Online travel agency booking sites such as Priceline Group and TripAdvisor faced pressures from investors and competitors on Tuesday as shares were declining, according to a Reuters report.

TripAdvisor’s shares dropped 23%, Priceline saw a decline of 13.5% and Expedia fell 2.74% while down 19% since 26 October. Expedia’s third-quarter results were weaker than expected, the report said.

All three OTAs are “encountering increased competition from sites such as Airbnb and others that offer alternatives to traditional hotels. Hotel chains also are putting up a tougher fight for the online sites’ business,” Reuters reports. Hilton, for example, has become more aggressive, offering discounts if travelers book directly.

Visit California working to bring travelers back: The California Office of Tourism’s nonprofit entity Visit California will spend about $2 million on a campaign to draw travelers back to California’s wine country after the recent wildfires, according to the The Press Democrat.

Outreach for the campaign will begin in early 2018 via paid newspaper ads as well as digital and social media to promote spring tourism in hopes of reaching national and international travelers, the newspaper writes.

“The effort will help counter the perception that the wildfires, which resulted in 43 deaths to date and caused more than $3 billion in insured damage, has shut down prime tourist spots in Sonoma and Napa counties,” the newspaper writes, when only about 10 wineries in California’s North Coast region sustained damages.

Some hotels are still hosting evacuees until they find housing, the report said, as occupancy rates were still higher than 90% as of last week.

4 F&B trends driving hotel revenue: Hotel owners and operators are warming up more to the idea of using food-and-beverage outlets as viable profit centers, writes HNN’s Stephanie Ricca, and those who are doing F&B right know how to mix trends with experiences to generate high-margin operations.

“Most people don’t make a decision to stay at a hotel based on the F&B there, but once they arrive, it’s the overall experience of their stay that captures them, and no doubt, F&B sits at the center of that,” said Ken Taylor, VP of strategic development for bar and restaurant consultancy MarkeTeam.

Marriott raises full-year profit forecast again: For the third time in 2017, Marriott International has increased its full-year profit forecast and raised its revenue-per-available-room guidance amid seeing strong demand from business travelers, according to Reuters. The company expects to see comparable systemwide RevPAR to increase between 2% and 3% from the last forecast of 1% to 3% and raised its full-year profit forecast to $4.22 to $4.24 per share from $4.06 to $4.18, Reuters reports.

In other third-quarter earnings news, Extended Stay America and Apple Hospitality REIT also reported third-quarter earnings results Tuesday.

ESA’s RevPAR growth was flat at $54.55 compared to the same quarter last year, occupancy fell 0.1% to 79% and average daily rate increased 0.4% to $69.01. Apple Hospitality reported a 1.3% year-over-year increase in comparable hotel RevPAR to $109.77, driven by a 1.5% rise in ADR to $136.83 while occupancy remained relatively flat, dropping 0.2% to 80.2%

Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index reaches 4.3% in October: The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index closed at 4,505 in October, which is a 4.3% increase, according to STR, parent company of HNN. The index was up 21.7% year to date through the first 10 months of the year.

“Hotel stocks outperformed again in October as investors remain optimistic about the potential for tax reform to lead to improved growth next year,” said Michael Bellisario, senior hotel research analyst and VP at Baird. “Despite continued sluggish RevPAR growth trends and plenty of noise related to the hurricanes, investors appear to be looking through these near-term items and have extended their investment time horizons; most management teams remain optimistic that 2018 will be a better year than 2017, but no one is seeing any signs of improvement just yet.”

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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