From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Starwood reservations database breached; Marriott investigates
- Forecast: US hotels to reach 10 years of consecutive growth
- October demand restarts RevPAR growth momentum
- RevPAR growth slows for Manhattan hotels in Q3
- US, UK reach air service agreement pending Brexit
Starwood reservations database breached: Marriott International announced Friday morning the company is investigating a data security breach of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide guest reservation database that occurred between 2014 and 2018. Marriott learned during its investigation that “there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network” since 2014, involving up to “approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property.” The breach affects combinations of guest personal information, loyalty information, contact information and payment card data, among other information.
The Wall Street Journal reported the breach “is one of the largest data breaches ever disclosed, measured by the number of individuals potentially affected,” eclipsed by a 2013 hack of Yahoo that affected roughly 500 million people.
Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said in the news release the company is supporting law enforcement investigations and has begun to notify regulatory authorities.
For a full timeline of data breaches in the industry since 2010, click here.
Forecast: U.S. hotels to reach 10 years of growth: According to a revised U.S. economy outlook from CBRE Hotels Americas Research, United States hotels are forecast to reach the 10th consecutive year of growth in 2019. Occupancy for the nation’s hotels also is expected to reach 66.2% next year, which will be the fifth consecutive record level, and is due to a projected 2.1% rise in demand that will offset a 1.9% supply increase.
“It all starts with the demand for lodging accommodations. Without leisure, corporate and group travelers on the road seeking hotel rooms, there is no need to worry about all the other performance metrics,” Mark Woodworth, senior managing director of CBRE Hotels Americas Research, said in the news release. “From 1988 through 2017, the average annual gain in accommodated room nights in the U.S. was 2.0%. For 2018 and 2019, we believe demand growth will exceed this long-run average.”
October demand restarts RevPAR growth momentum: The U.S. hotel industry’s October performance results showed a return to revenue-per-available-room growth, driven by 2.7% average daily rate growth, according to STR data. In Freitag’s 5, STR’s SVP of lodging insights Jan Freitag writes that October RevPAR increased 3.5%, following the industry’s RevPAR decline in September.
With strong demand figures factoring in, the month’s 69.9% absolute occupancy made it the highest monthly occupancy ever recorded in October.
RevPAR growth slows for Manhattan hotels in Q3: Hotels in the Manhattan area saw growth in average daily rate slow from the first half of 2018, which reduced gains in revenue per available room, according to PwC’s Manhattan Lodging Index Third Quarter 2018 study. Small increases in lodging supply also exceeded growth in demand.
ADR decreased 3.3% from the previous quarter “as price-sensitive leisure guests replaced the business traveler over the summer months, but increased 0.8% over the prior year,” the release states. Growth in ADR in chain hotels continue to lag behind independent hotels in Manhattan, though occupancy dropped for both.
U.S., UK reach air service agreement pending Brexit: A new deal has been put in place between the U.S. and United Kingdom to preserve air service between the regions when Brexit finalizes on 29 March through a deal called the “open-skies agreement, The Associated Press reports.
The agreement will “maintain the same access to the U.S. that planes flying from the U.K. enjoy under the current U.S.-Europe air treaty,” AP reports, since the U.K. will not be under that treaty once it exits Europe. About 20 million passengers a year travel between the two countries.
Compiled by Dana Miller.