5 things to know: 5 March 2019
5 things to know: 5 March 2019
05 MARCH 2019 10:03 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • HNN editors recap Day One of IHIF
  • Sorenson to testify before Senate on Marriott data breach
  • Boutique hotel segment continues to grow
  • Dip in revenue and occupancy at Maui hotels
  • New Mexico lawmaker proposes historic hotel trail

HNN editors recap Day One of IHIF: Hotel News Now is at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin this week, and editors said the talk of the first day was investors, brands and operators believe Europe is a hot market for hotels.

The number of global air travelers is expected to rise from 4 billion trips annually to 8 billion in the next 20 years, and Europe’s history and culture makes it a good place for travelers to experience.

Abhishek Agarwal, managing director real estate, London, at Blackstone, said on a panel that “we’re in the second phase of a rather long cycle.”

“It means we all need to be careful and judge each thing as it comes. If you look at the excesses created in previous cycles, a lot of those aren’t here. Demand is still exceeding supply. If you think about leverage, it still remains in check. That combination of demand/supply in check and leverage in check makes you feel optimistic. There are some political risks. You can’t paint all of Europe the same way. You need to look at each market and what’s going on there.”

Sorenson to testify before Senate on Marriott data breach: Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson will testify before the United States Senate on 7 March about the data breach of the company’s Starwood Hotels & Resorts reservations systems that affected approximately 383 million customers, Reuters reports.

The hearing will look into what causes data breaches that expose peoples’ personal information and the scope of these breaches in the private sector.

“The hearing will also include Equifax Inc. Chief Executive Mark Begor, who will discuss the company’s 2017 disclosure of the hacking of sensitive data of about 148 million people. That massive breach sparked calls for changes by Congress to the credit reporting agencies’ handling of data,” the news outlet reports.

Boutique hotel segment continues to grow: The Highland Group released The Boutique Hotel Report 2019, which shows that the segment was a $20-billion industry last year and continues to grow.

Hotel supply for independent boutique hotels has increased at 6% annually since 2000. Lifestyle hotels grew at a compound annual average rate of 14% and soft-brand collections at 21%.

The report also shows that upscale-class hotels have been one of the fastest-growing segments for several years in the lodging industry, but boutique hotels are surpassing this class.

Dip in revenue and occupancy at Maui hotels: A report from the Hawaii Tourism Authority shows that hotels in Maui County “led the state in revenue per available room in January of this year,” Maui Now reports. However, this was a year-over-year decrease for hotels in Maui. 

Average daily rate and occupancy also dropped in year-over-year comparisons in Maui County. Room revenues in Hawaii decreased 4%, “with nearly 25,000 fewer available roomnights in the month compared to a year ago,” according to the news outlet.

Among the four island counties in Hawaii, Oahu was the only one with hotel properties that reported RevPAR growth in January.

New Mexico lawmaker proposes historic hotel trail: New Mexico Representative Matthew McQueen has proposed to create a trail that focuses on historic hotels in the state, which he hopes would “ramp up tourism and give people unique places to sleep during their time in New Mexico,” The Telegraph reports.

Hotels such as the La Fonda hotel in Santa Fe, the Hotel St. Francis and the St. James Hotel in Cimarron could be part of the hotel trail.

“His House Memorial 55 asks the Cultural Affairs Department to study setting up a state historic hotels trail,” the news outlet reports. Rep. Kelly Fajardo told the news outlet that the historic hotels trail could be set up by the Cultural Affairs Department without legislation.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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