From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Dollar, immigration policy could slow US tourism
- Anbang eyeing European assets
- A look at the modern solo traveler
- Sparks fly on first day of Lotte trial
- Courtyard tops experience rankings
Dollar, immigration policy could slow U.S. tourism: The World Travel & Tourism Council is projecting a $1.2-billion decrease in spending by foreign visitors to the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reports, and council President and CEO David Scowsill said that number could grow due to concerns related to President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
“The message that has gone out around the world is that the U.S. is effectively closing for business,” Scowsill told the newspaper.
Many other global travel and tourism groups have similarly negative predictions for the U.S. Dubai-based Emirates Airlines has reported a decrease in the pace of bookings to the U.S. following the announcement of the initial travel ban.
Anbang eyeing European assets: Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group, best known in the hotel industry for its attempt to pry Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide away from Marriott International, is now publicly interested in purchasing assets in Europe, reports Reuters.
The company’s chairman, Wu Xiaohui, said Europe has “very cheap assets,” and he is generally optimistic about both China and Europe.
“If we combine Europe with China, I believe the chance of a black swan will be very small,” Wu said at the China Development Forum.
Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker writes that there seems to be a diverse group of Chinese investors interested in European assets.
A look at the modern solo traveler: Hotel New Now’s Danielle Hess takes a look today at a sometimes overlooked group, solo leisure travelers. According to data from Phocuswright, the average solo traveler from around the globe skews younger than the typical tourist and tends to be more frugal.
“Around 47% (in the U.S.) are 18 to 34, but older travelers still do partake,” Phocuswright’s Mark Blutstein said. “Out of travelers that are 55 and older, about 28% of them will travel alone.”
Solo travelers in the U.S. tend to make less than $50,000 and spend about $1,000 on travel throughout the year, Blutstein said.
Sparks fly on first day of Lotte trial: Shin Kyuk-ho, founder of South Korea’s Lotte Group, drew attention during the first day of his trial on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust, when he “threw his cane to the floor … and demanded to know where he was,” according to a report from Reuters.
Reuters reports the trial and the investigation led the company to shelve plans in 2016 for a $4.5 billion initial public offering of the company.
Courtyard tops experience rankings: The 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings has Courtyard by Marriott as the top-ranked hotel brand for customer experience, according to a news release. Surveying 10,000 U.S. consumers, the study ranks their interactions with companies based on whether they got what they wanted from the company, how easy it was to do that and how they felt about the interaction in general.
Courtyard’s 77% rating was followed closely by several other hotel brands in the “hotels & rooms” category, including Fairfield Inn, Marriott and Radisson each at 76%, and Holiday Inn Express, Westin and Wyndham at 75%.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.