5 things to know: 1 March 2019
 
5 things to know: 1 March 2019
01 MARCH 2019 9:34 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Women lacking presence in hotel finance roles
  • TUI Group to combine brands under TUI Blue flag
  • Marriott, Ashford and RLJ report earnings
  • Panama City hotels still recovering from hurricane
  • Xtreme Arena could help out Iowa hotels

Women lacking presence in hotel finance roles: Research from the Castell Project’s “Women in hospitality leadership” report shows that women are about one-fifth as likely as men to get C-suite positions and one-third as likely to reach EVP or SVP levels at hotel companies, which is why the industry needs to be better at tackling gender biases head on, Castell Project Director Peggy Berg told HNN’s Dana Miller. The report found that women are lacking representation in finance and operations roles in particular.

Berg said it is important to realize “unconscious biases exist.”

“We all have them, don’t care who you are; we’ve all got them. The second thing is to notice when they’re kicking in and for company leaders to challenge the people who work with them to identify it when they see bias,” she said.


TUI Group to combine brands under TUI Blue flag: To expand its presence in the global leisure hotel sector, TUI Group is moving its adults-only TUI Sensimar and family-oriented TUI Family Life brands under the TUI Blue Flagship brand, according to a news release.

Moving the brands under TUI Blue will expand the brand’s hotel count from 10 properties to 100 by 2020. The brands have a strong footprint in southern Europe and the Caribbean, and there’s growth potential in South East Asia and the Indian Ocean, according to the release.

“Hotels remain a strong and attractive growth segment, and TUI has many years of experience as a hotel developer, investor and operator. TUI is the leading international tourism brand. What we were lacking was a hotel brand with a global presence incorporating TUI in its name,” TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen said in the release.


Marriott, Ashford and RLJ report earnings: Real estate investment trusts Ashford and RLJ Lodging Trusts will discuss fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 earnings with analysts today.

Marriott International saw comparable systemwide constant dollar RevPAR increase 2.6% worldwide for the full year, 5.5% outside North America and 1.5% inside North America, according to the company's earnings release. Marriott also added 80,000 rooms in 2018.

Ashford saw total revenue reach $51 million in the fourth quarter, which reflected a growth rate of 72% over the fourth quarter in 2017, according to an earnings release. The company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $8 million for the quarter.

RLJ sold seven hotels for approximately $533 million last year at a 16.5x trailing EBITDA multiple, according to the company’s earnings release. Pro forma revenue per available room decreased 0.8% for the full year.


Panama City hotels still recovering from hurricane: Hurricane Michael swept through the Florida Panhandle in October, and some hotels in Panama City are still dealing with damages from the storm, according to news station WJHG.

Hotels such as the Courtyard and TownePlace Suites in Panama City have had groups scheduled for March cancel because of damage at the hotel. Some hotels in places where spring break guests stay, such at the La Quinta Inn and Holiday Inn by the Panama City Mall, are still being repaired and renovated.

Jennifer Vigil, president and CEO of Destination Panama City, told the news outlet the area should be fully recovered by next year.


Xtreme Arena could help out Iowa hotels: The Iowa River Landing District has seen a lot of new hotel rooms come into the area but not a lot of demand. That will hopefully change with the opening of the Xtreme Arena, “a $190 million project that anchors the district,” the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports.

"(Hotel room supply) is a significant challenge right now because there has been a tremendous amount of development, and it is impacting (occupancy) rate," Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the news outlet. "It's impacting tax collections. That's what happens when you throw 34% additional supply with only 4% annual demand growth."

The Xtreme Arena is expected to have entertainment on a weekly and monthly basis, which is why some hoteliers are excited about the project bringing in more business.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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