5 things to know: 19 December 2016
5 things to know: 19 December 2016
19 DECEMBER 2016 10:15 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Cuba-bound US travelers worry Trump might end deal
  • What recent Caribbean M&A activity says about region
  • How Marriott might move forward in selling Starwood assets
  • Irish hotel sales hit €700 million in 2016
  • Rain, snow to prove challenging for holiday travelers

Cuba-bound U.S. travelers worry Trump might end deal: U.S. travelers with their hearts set on finally getting to visit the island nation fear President-elect Donald Trump might make good on his threats to terminate the deal with Cuba, NBCNews reports.

The article cites a blog post by travel expert Arthur Frommer, stating his belief that Trump will end the deal to lift travel restrictions unless cruise lines, airlines, hotel chains and other travel entities persuade him they have invested significantly in preparation of U.S. tourism in Cuba.

“With a Trump presidency, it's difficult to know what will happen, so travelers may as well go now while the door is at least partially open,” Lonely Planet Cuba writer Brendan Sainsbury told NBCNews.

What recent Caribbean M&A activity says about region: Three large transactions in the Caribbean and coastal Mexico are a sign of maturation in the region, writes HNN’s Sean McCracken. KKR and KSL Capital partners bought Apple Leisure Group, a TPG affiliate combined with Playa Hotels & Resorts, and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises announced a purchase agreement for the Baha Mar Resort.

“When you see these kind of acquisitions and joint-venture structures occurring, it shows money that has been watching this region … feels the time is right to get in and make a full-blown commitment,” said Ronald Sutherland, founder and president of the Hemisphere Group .

How Marriott might move forward in selling Starwood assets: Hotel analysts look to the recent sale of the St. Regis San Francisco as a guide to how Marriott International will proceed in selling off the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide-owned portfolio, writes HNN’s Bryan Wroten.

Marriott will likely sell those assets faster than Starwood because the long-term management fees will take priority over getting the highest-dollar value possible, said Ryan Meliker, managing director and senior REIT analyst at Canaccord Genuity.

“Marriott has always said the economies they get on the asset sales are not defined by the price of the sale but the management contract,” he said. “They can make up the discount through the fee stream over time. That’s something that can potentially expedite asset sales when owners know they’re buying at a discount.”

Irish hotel sales hit €700 million in 2016: The hotel industry in Ireland recorded sales of €700 million ($730.2 million) in 2016, which represents 55 hotels, the Irish Independent reports

The Irish hotel sector this year had a slightly less active sales year than 2015, when 63 hotels sold for €710 million ($740.7 million).

In Dublin, where trading performance is strengthening, occupancy is expected to be 2% higher than what it was last year, average daily rate is up 17% and revenue per available room is expected to increase 19.8%.

Rain, snow to prove challenging for holiday travelers: A storm system could bring lake-effect snow before the weekend in the interior Northeast, AccuWeather reports. Cold air following this system could mean snow showers and whiteouts for those near the Great Lakes.

Meteorologists expect snow across the upper Midwest midweek before heading into the Northeast. To the east, warmer air will bring mostly rain from the mid-Atlantic to southern New England.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten and Danielle Hess.

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