5 things to know: 19 April 2017
5 things to know: 19 April 2017
19 APRIL 2017 8:35 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Airbnb responds to hotel industry’s ‘combat’ plan
  • Sterling value rises after UK’s early election
  • Growth, expansion on Red Roof Inn’s radar
  • Barceló Hotel Group now sole owner of Crestline
  • Maldives looks to maintain structured growth

Airbnb responds to hotel industry’s ‘combat’ plan: Earlier this week The New York Times published a story about the U.S. hotel industry’s role in fighting alternative accommodations provider Airbnb over regulatory issues. The story cites a “previously unreported plan (the American Hotel & Lodging Association) started in early 2016 to thwart Airbnb.”

Airbnb responded on Tuesday with its reasons on “why hotel prices continue to climb, why companies are ‘desperate’ to continue to doing this and why Airbnb is saving ‘millions’ for consumers, as a result,” according to CNBC.

In the Times report, an Airbnb spokesman said of the hotel industry’s plan against the company: “the hotel cartel is intent on short-sheeting the middle class so they can keep price-gouging consumers.”

Airbnb said in its response that these instances of price gouging “are most present at sports events, college graduations and—unfortunately—tragedies. (Airbnb CEO Brian) Chesky’s business model, though, has saved customers money during recent events such as the Indianapolis 500, Comic Con and the Boston Marathon—by providing consumers places to stay for a cheaper price,” CNBC states.

Sterling value rises after U.K.’s early election: On Tuesday, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early election in an effort to negotiate “for a more favorable Brexit deal,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Since then, the British pound soared more than 2% against the dollar, cited by the paper as the largest swing of the year.

Deutsche Bank, “whose analysts were among the most negative of the pound, referred to May’s announcement as a game-changer for sterling and dropped its two-year recommendation for clients to sell the currency,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

However, few still are predicting a comeback for the currency, which remains down about 15% since Britain decided to exit the European Union, the report said.

Growth, expansion on Red Roof Inn’s radar: Columbus, Ohio-based Red Roof Inn opened its 500th hotel earlier this year, and more growth is on the company’s horizon. President Andrew Alexander and Chief Development Officer Phil Hugh sat down with HNN’s Stephanie Ricca to talk about the company’s international expansion plans, and strategies to further differentiate the brand from its competition.

“We’ve seen more than 40% brand growth since 2014 … and nearly 100% franchise growth in that time,” Alexander said. Hugh said that at the end of 2013, the company’s portfolio was 25% franchised, and at the end of 2016 that had grown to 75% franchised.

Growth in Brazil, Thailand, Japan and Canada, as well as expansion across the western United States, is on the company’s agenda as well. 

Barceló Hotel Group now sole owner of Crestline: Spanish company Barceló Hotel Group bought back the 60% stake in U.S.-based Crestline Hotels & Resorts it sold to AR Global in 2013, according to a report from Nexohotel. That, plus the 40% stake in Crestline it held on to, means Barceló now owns 100% of Crestline.

Crestline, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, manages 112 hotels with more than 16,000 guestrooms. Barceló Hotel Group, the hotel division of the Barceló Group, operates hotels in 21 countries under the brands Royal Hideaway, Barceló Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts and Allegro Hotels.

Maldives looks to maintain structured growth: Struggling to match an increased bed capacity, the Maldives adopted a structured growth supply policy in order to level out tourism demand and supply, Maldives Insider reports.

Tourism minister Moosa Zameer told The Financial Times’ FDI Intelligence “that his government had slowed down leasing islands for resort development. It was to match with the supply and demand in the face of increasing number of new resort openings,” the report said.

The government, according to the report, has come under scrutiny from private organizations that represent the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators over “the lack of effort and budget to promote the Maldives as a destination.”

Compiled by Dana Miller

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