5 things to know: 10 March 2017
5 things to know: 10 March 2017
10 MARCH 2017 10:21 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • AH&LA lobs criticism at Airbnb’s business model
  • 5 hotel companies make ‘best to work for’ list
  • Executives share thoughts on M&A
  • HNA continues spending spree, now with banks
  • Hotel mergers, March Madness style

AH&LA lobs criticism at Airbnb’s business model: A new study released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association claims Airbnb’s stated goal of enabling peer-to-peer homesharing is a myth and the majority of the company’s revenue is instead driven by “whole-unit rentals” the association describes as “illegal hotels,” according to a news release.

AH&LA worked with CBRE Hotels’ America Research putting together the study, which showed 81% of the company’s revenue in the U.S., roughly $4.6 billion, comes from those whole-unit rentals where the owners are not present.

The study also claims “Airbnb ‘hosts’ renting out two or more entire home units are the fastest growing segment of Airbnb’s business in the U.S., generating nearly $2 billion in revenue nationally in 2016.”

5 hotel companies make ‘best to work for’ list: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hilton, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott International and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts all made Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For 2017. The list ranks companies based on employee surveys covering topics including “quality of their leaders, support for their personal and professional lives and their relationships with colleagues.”

Kimpton ranked 14th on the list, the highest for any hotel company and up from 20th in 2016. The company was lauded for its “support for diversity, flexible work schedules, lack of hierarchy and promote-from-within culture.”

Hilton ranked 26th; Hyatt ranked 32nd; Marriott ranked 33rd; and Four Seasons ranked 79th.

Executives share thoughts on M&A: The hotel industry’s appetite for mergers, acquisitions and possibly dispositions was a regular topic of discussion during the most recent earnings season, with several executives sharing their outlook on making moves in 2017. Hotel News Now’s Sean McCracken put together a collection of quotes detailing how executives view that M&A landscape.

Steve Joyce, CEO of Choice Hotels International, said his company could be in the market to make a purchase—possibly of another brand—in 2017.

“We’re going to do continue to do that, but we’re going to do it in a way that provides real value to our shareholders in the near term. … If you look at the market, you will know that there is a number of things that are potentials,” he said.

HNA continues spending spree, now with banks: A new report from Reuters states that China-based HNA Group, which made splashes in the hotel world by buying Carlson Hotel Group and a stake in Hilton, is continuing its wave of investment but now focusing on financial services. Investments in that arena thus far include “a hedge fund platform, a New Zealand lender and a 3% stake in Deutsche Bank,” Reuters reports.

The Chinese conglomerate has investments in multiple industries, including airlines and logistics firms.

Hotel mergers, March Madness style: A new piece from The Wall Street Journal looks to handicap which hotel companies are the best investment targets amid threats from the sharing economy and a “wave” of mergers, including moves made Marriott and AccorHotels.

The piece claims investors might be more inclined to invest in a company “less focused on deals” such as InterContinental Hotels Group, praising CEO Richard Solomons’ focus on building brands.

“This is probably the safer strategy for investors. The risk for Mr. Solomons is that the company is itself bought out,” the report reads.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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