5 things to know: 21 June 2019
5 things to know: 21 June 2019
21 JUNE 2019 9:46 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Canceled flights to Dominican Republic are climbing
  • The pipeline phases where projects are most often abandoned
  • Hyatt, Homeinns reveal name of joint-venture brand
  • India hotels rationing water use
  • Monthly hotel performance for US is positive

Canceled flights to Dominican Republic are climbing: As of 20 June, the number of Americans falling ill and dying at various resorts in the Dominican Republic in recent months has reached at least 11, The Washington Post reports, which has left many travelers anxious to vacation in the region.

Trip cancellations have spiked 45% since the beginning of June for flights through August, the Post reports, citing flight data from ForwardKeys.

Major airlines, such as American, United, Delta and Southwest, said they are “willing to work with customers on a case-by-case basis,” despite airlines not issuing waivers that would let travelers change flights without penalties, the article states. Marriott International, which has six properties open in the country, told the Post it is “monitoring the situation and has not seen a measurable change in reservations” and will also work with guests on a case-by-case basis if they are looking to change a reservation.

Francisco Javier Garcia, the Dominican Republic’s minister of tourism, defended the island’s reputation, insisting it is safe and the ministry plans to go “hotel by hotel” to determine what needs to be done to improve security and quality, according to Fox News.

The pipeline phases where projects are most often abandoned: The hotel industry continues to keep an eye on hotel supply, especially as overbuilding has been a concern in previous cycles, writes Emmy Hise, senior consultant at STR, parent company of HNN.

Hise, and STR’s Ali Hoyt and Kobe Akuffo Owoo, put together a pipeline attrition analysis that evaluated what percentage of hotel construction projects in the U.S. are abandoned.

“The results are what we expected—that there’s a higher likelihood of a pipeline project being completed the further along it is in the planning process. It is interesting that even if a project is under construction, 4% of projects on average still do not open,” Hise writes.

Hyatt, Homeinns reveal name of joint-venture brand: In February, Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced a joint venture with Homeinns to create an upper-midscale hotel brand, designed to address the “evolving travel trends in China.” The companies announced the name of the brand, UrCove, at the China Hotels and Tourism conference this week, according to a news release.

“The UrCove brand is positioned to compete in the currently underserved upper-midscale segment. UrCove is an entirely homegrown hotel brand, built specifically to meet Chinese travelers’ preferences and growing expectations for a seamless, comfortable and premium travel experience in the upper-midscale market,” the news release states.

The first two UrCove hotels are scheduled to open in Shanghai and Beijing by late 2020.

India hotels rationing water use: Hotels in Chennai, India, are forced to ration water for guests as the city, which holds a population of 4.6 million, “faces its worst shortage in years,” Reuters reports.

Chennai’s water supply comes from four reservoirs, and all have run dry this summer due to poor monsoon rains in 2018, the news outlet writes. This year’s monsoon is delayed, which is causing further problems for the water crisis.

The Ananda hotel, in southern Chennai, posted a notice at its entrance warning guests of a water shortage, the article states. Other hotels in the area are also at risk of shutting down because of the shortage.

Monthly hotel performance for U.S is positive: According to data from STR, the U.S. hotel industry in May saw positive year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics. Occupancy rose 0.9% to 68.7%, average daily rate increased 1.6% to $132.43 and revenue per available room jumped 2.5% to $91.01.

Denver, Colorado, showed the largest RevPAR increase (+7.0% to US$102.97) driven almost equally by gains in occupancy (+3.6% to 77.3%) and ADR (+3.3% to US$133.15).

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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