From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- US inbound travel showing signs of recovery
- Motel 6 to pay $8.9 million to settle lawsuit
- US performance results for week ending 3 November
- Hotel in Boston to offer free curling rink
- Choice to offer direct booking on Book on Google
U.S. inbound travel showing signs of recovery: Revised data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that inbound travel to the U.S. has rebounded after years of slowing growth, HNN’s Bryan Wroten writes from two recent webinars from the U.S. Travel Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
David Huether, SVP of research at USTA, said the global economy remains strong, and the U.S. gross domestic product has increased by approximately 3% in past years, which should continue into next year at a similar pace. Asia, Europe and the rest of the Americas are also seeing solid growth, he added.
“Widespread growth in global GDP supports strong growth in global long-haul travel,” he said, defining long-haul travel as “international trips taken by people around the world outside of their home continent,” Wroten writes.
Motel 6 to pay $8.9 million to settle lawsuit: Motel 6 will pay $8.9 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged employees of the company “provided the personal information of several Latino guests to federal immigration officials, leading to their detainment,” The New York Times reports.
Eight hotel guests filed a class-action suit in January claiming employees at two Motel 6 properties in Phoenix “handed over private information to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials without a warrant.”
Thomas A. Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which is the nonprofit that represents plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told the newspaper that $7.6 million “would go to plaintiffs across the country” and the remaining $1.3 million would go towards the plaintiffs’ legal fees and the administration of the settlement.
A joint statement released by the plaintiffs’ attorneys and Motel 6 stated, “Motel 6 fully recognizes the seriousness of the situation and accepts full responsibility for both compensating those who were harmed and taking the necessary steps to ensure that we protect the privacy of our guests.”
U.S. performance results for week ending 3 November: For the week of 28 October through 3 November, the U.S. hotel industry reported mostly flat year-over-year results, according to data from STR, Hotel News Now’s parent company.
Occupancy was down 0.7% to 62.9% compared with the same week in 2017. Average daily rate was up 0.7% to $124.81 and revenue per available room decreased 0.1% to $78.54.
Boston recorded the largest increases in the three key performance metrics among the top 25 markets. Occupancy in the city was up 8.6% to 80.9%, ADR increased 9.2% to $212.70 and RevPAR rose18.6% to $171.98.
Hotel in Boston to offer free curling rink: The Liberty Hotel in Boston is set to open a curling rink on 12 November, which will be free to the public, Boston.com reports.
The 40-by-8-foot curling rink will be housed in the hotel’s courtyard. Glenn Sampert, GM at the hotel, told the news outlet “he wanted to make good use of his property’s courtyard during the winter months.”
“We’ve got such great outdoor space at the Liberty in our courtyard,” he said. “Having outdoor space in the middle of Boston is a great asset.”
For guests that aren’t familiar with the sport, he said the hotel will have a “curling concierge” to educate.
Choice to offer direct booking on Book on Google: Choice Hotels International announced that it is launching Book on Google, which will allow guests to make a hotel reservation using their Google login credentials, according to a news release.
The third-party booking platform is different from others because reservations made through Book on Google are managed by Choice properties, the release states, and after the reservation is made through the platform, users have the option to go into the booking and add their Choice Privileges information.
"At Choice Hotels, we are committed to being at the forefront of technology and innovation for our consumers and hotel owners," Robert McDowell, chief commercial officer, Choice, said in the release. "Along with ChoiceHotels.com and the Choice Hotels app, Book on Google provides our guests with another frictionless path to reserve a hotel room with many of the benefits of booking direct."
Compiled by Danielle Hess.