5 things to know: 7 March 2017
 
5 things to know: 7 March 2017
07 MARCH 2017 10:25 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • New executive order on travel to US may face same challenges
  • Sorenson predicts new Marriott hotel every 15 hours in 2017
  • Coverage of International Hotel Investment Forum
  • Baird/STR index shows slight uptick in February
  • Street artist Banksy opens hotel with ‘worst view in world’

New executive order on travel to U.S. may face same challenges: Notable changes to President Donald Trump’s executive order on travel to the U.S. include the omission of Iraq from the majority-Muslim nations that are banned for 90 days from being issued visas, The Washington Post reports.

The order also details specific sets of people who would be able to apply for case-by-case waivers, including “those previously admitted to the United States for ‘a continuous period of work, study or other long-term activity’; those with ‘significant business or professional obligations’; and those seeking to visit or live with family,” according to The Post.

Still, Democrats and civil liberties groups say the executive order amounts to “a thinly disguised Muslim ban,” which The Post reports “seems to portend more litigation—though how soon remains unclear.”

New York City officials, on the heels of the executive order announcement, had a dismal view on how it would affect tourism.

“The city projects it will see 300,000 fewer international visitors this year than it did in 2016, a 2.1% dip,” reports USA Today. “It’s the first time that group of travelers has shrunk since 2008, according to NYC & Company, New York’s tourism arm.” 


Sorenson predicts new Marriott hotel every 15 hours in 2017: Speaking in Berlin during the International Hotel Investment Forum, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson told Reuters that his company expects to open a new hotel “on average every 15 hours in 2017.” 

That growth projection is tied in part to a ramp up of the Aloft brand, which Marriott acquired as part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Marriott is also not ruling out further additions to its portfolio of 30 brands, Sorenson told Reuters, which demonstrates the company’s confidence despite concerns that “national policies around travel (might) roll out in a way that is harmful to our business and economies.”


Coverage of International Hotel Investment Forum: Despite a slight edginess about the future, there was an overall optimism among hoteliers on Day One of IHIF in Berlin, reports HNN’s Jeff Higley and Terence Baker.

That optimism is tied to the belief, expressed by Andreas Scriven of consultancy Christie & Company, that “the adaptability of the (hotel) sector, how it reinvents itself, (and) its ability to repurpose is very impressive.”

Watch HNN for more coverage from IHIF this week.


Baird/STR index shows slight uptick in February: An increase of 0.7% for February’s Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index marked a sluggish month for hotel stock performance. The rate of growth slowed from 1.3% the month before, according to a news release.

“Hotel stocks underperformed the broader indices in February as industry trends remained sluggish and investors digested 2017 guidance updates that were generally a bit below expectations, especially from the hotel REITs,” said Michael Bellisario, senior hotel research analyst and vice president at Baird. “Management teams remain hopeful that fundamentals will improve in the back half of the year, but green shoots have yet to emerge, and full-year guidance ranges reflect a continuation of moderate year-to-date growth trends, which caused stocks to be relative underperformers in February.”


Street artist Banksy opens hotel with ‘worst view in world’: The Walled Off Hotel, overlooking the Israeli security barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, is the latest project by the anonymous graffiti artist known only as Banksy. According to a story by Buzzfeed, the hotel is “just as controversial as you might think.”

The nine-room hotel, boasting the “worst view in the world” and filled with wall art and sculpture by Banksy, is set to officially open 11 March.


Compiled by Robert McCune.

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