5 things to know: 8 February 2018
5 things to know: 8 February 2018
08 FEBRUARY 2018 10:40 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • China’s Alibaba invests $486m in big-data firm
  • Carlson’s Greene targets smarter growth
  • Marriott next to remove plastic straws in UK hotels
  • STR: US, Canada weekly numbers
  • Historic US hotels expect strong growth through 2019

China’s Alibaba invests $486m in big-data firm: Alibaba Group Holding, a China-based e-commerce company, announced it will invest $486 million for a stake in Shiji Retail Information Technology Co, which is a data firm focused on hotels and retail, to “deepen its offline presence,” Reuters reports.

The 38% stake will be bought through Alibaba’s subsidiary Alibaba Investment Limited. This deal comes about four years after Taobao Software Co—another Alibaba subsidiary—agreed to take a 15% stake in Beijing Shiji Information for 2.81 billion Chinese yuan ($444 million) to boost its online travel business, according to Reuters.

Beijing Shiji Information provides its software and data systems to hotel companies, including InterContinental Hotels Group, Reuters reported.

Carlson’s Greene targets smarter growth: About one year has passed since China-based HNA Tourism Group purchased Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels, and Ken Greene—who was appointed president of the Americas for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in June—said the company is poised to have “one of the greatest growth stories this industry has seen,” writes HNN’s Stephanie Ricca.

Greene talks about the company’s new strategic plan that emphasizes better synergy with Carlson’s global partners, like The Rezidor Hotel Group; more attention for the owners of the company’s franchised hotels; and a smarter expansion plan for the company’s hotel brands, including Radisson, Radisson Blu and Country Inn & Suites.

Marriott next to remove plastic straws in U.K. hotels: Several United Kingdom hotels under Marriott International’s umbrella—including the Grosvenor House, W London and Park Tower—are beginning to remove plastic straws from dining areas, the London Evening Standard reports.

Instead of straws, customers will be offered alternatives that are made of paper or other biodegradable materials, the newspaper reports.

“Our U.K. hotels used 300,000 straws last year,” Michel Miserez, Marriott’s VP for the U.K. and Ireland, told the newspaper. “By removing plastic straws, we are making a small but significant step in playing our part in reducing the volume of plastic that damages our environment and wildlife.”

HNN’s Robert McCune recently spoke with sustainability-conscious hoteliers across the globe who are purging plastic from their properties on why paying attention to the small things can make a big difference.

STR: U.S., Canada weekly numbers: The U.S. hotel industry reported positive year-over-year growth in the three key performance metrics during the week of 28 January through 3 February, according to data from HNN’s parent company STR.

Occupancy grew 1.4% to 56.4% and average daily rate rose 2.2% to $122.53 to lift revenue per available room 3.6% to $69.05. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota-Wisconsin market, which hosted Super Bowl LII, reported the largest increase among the top 25 markets.

During the same week, the Canadian hotel industry also reported positive year-over-year growth, according to STR data. A 1.1% increase in occupancy to 55.6%, and 3.7% ADR growth 3.7% to 144.03 Canadian dollars ($114.65) boosted RevPAR 4.9% to CA$80.13 ($63.79).

Historic U.S. hotels expect strong growth through 2019: The outlook for historic hotels in the U.S. is positive, according to CBRE Hotels’ Historic Hotels of America Annual Forecast, a report that is in its fourth-consecutive year.

Citing data from STR, Mark Woodworth, senior managing director at CBRE, said over the next two years, RevPAR in hotels that are members of the Historic Hotels of America is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 1.0%, mostly stemming from ADR increases.

Annual occupancy for these hotels remains around 8 percentage points more than the national average occupancy level through 2019. Since 2009, historic U.S. hotels have achieved greater revenue and profit growth than “contemporary” hotels, CBRE notes.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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