From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- US tightens reigns on Cuba travel, blacklists hotels
- Grupo GDI to execute partnership with Oberoi
- Deals on the table in Europe as hoteliers asses market
- TripAdvisor identifying hotels where sexual assault occurred
- US, Canada hotel results for the week ending 4 November
U.S. tightens reigns on Cuba travel, blacklists hotels: On Wednesday, the Trump administration unveiled a new policy to further isolate Cuba’s communist government, which will mean that Americans seeking to visit Cuba will be faced with travel, commerce and financial restrictions, The Associated Press reports.
Travelers from the U.S. can still fly into Cuba, but they will need to stay clear of more than 80 hotels and several other businesses the U.S. believes are linked to Cuba’s military, intelligence or security services, NPR reports.
The State Department issued the full list of hotels and companies that are off-limits. Among the blacklisted hotels is the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski in Havana, the first luxury hotel to open since the revolution, NPR reports.
Grupo GDI to execute partnership with Oberoi: Mexico-based real estate development company Grupo GDI has signed a letter of intent along with an exclusive agreement with India-based Oberoi Group to bring development of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a news release.
Grupo GDI has since secured the first two development sites for Oberoi properties, the details of which have not yet been announced. Ownership and development will be handled by Grupo GDI and branding and management will fall under Oberoi Group’s responsibility. Grupo GDI expects to invest about $100 million into each of the first two properties, the release states.
Deals on the table in Europe as hoteliers asses market: Discussion at the 29th edition of Deloitte’s European Hotel Investment Conference was divided as to whether Europe has reached a cycle peak, writes HNN’s Terence Baker.
Steffen R. Doyle, managing director at Credit Suisse, referred to funds looking for deals in Europe as an “absolute wall of capital.”
Andreas Scriven, head of hospitality and leisure at Deloitte and conference host, said portfolio deals are still in the works, calling the upcoming Jurys Inn portfolio the next litmus test for Europe.
TripAdvisor identifying hotels where sexual assault occurred: In an effort to raise awareness of hotels where sexual assault might have occurred, TripAdvisor has started flagging the hotels in its property listings online, The New York Times reports.
The warnings are meant to notify travelers about health, safety and discrimination issues throughout each of the website’s travel categories, the article states. Three resorts in Mexico’s Playa del Carmen region have already been identified and flagged.
“These badges will remain on TripAdvisor for up to three months. However, if the issues persist, we may extend the duration of the badge,” Kevin Carter, a TripAdvisor spokesperson, told The Times. “These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive.”
TripAdvisor has come under criticism after The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the company had repeatedly deleted forum posts by a guest who alleged a security guard sexually assaulted her at a resort.
U.S., Canada hotel results for the week ending 4 November: The U.S. hotel industry reported mixed results in the three key performance metrics for the week of 29 October to 4 November. Occupancy dropped 0.9% to 63.3%, average daily rate increased slightly by 0.4% to $124.08, and revenue per available room fell 0.4% to $78.57, according to data from STR, HNN’s parent company.
Among the top 25 markets, Houston reported the highest increase in RevPAR (+40.4% to $90.28).
Meanwhile, the Canadian hotel industry reported positive results across all three key performance metrics for the same time period. Occupancy was up 3.8% to 60.1%, ADR rose 5.3% to 144.60 Canadian dollars ($113.83), which drove RevPAR up 9.3% to CA$86.86 ($68.38), according to STR data.
Overall, eight of the 11 provinces saw growth in RevPAR for the week.
Compiled by Dana Miller.