5 things to know: 4 March 2019
5 things to know: 4 March 2019
04 MARCH 2019 10:27 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Accor launches Tribe brand, refreshed loyalty program
  • Marriott CEO on relaunched loyalty program, data breach
  • US, China closing in on trade deal to hold off tariff hikes
  • DC shutdown hurt Ashford Trust performance
  • Hotels doing more to cater to travelers with pets

Accor launches Tribe brand, refreshed loyalty program: During a news conference earlier today at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, Accor announced the creation of a new lifestyle midscale brand, Tribe, and shared more details about the transformation of its loyalty program into ALL (Accor Live Limitless).

Accor has already opened one Tribe property in Perth, Australia, has 10 in the development pipeline and another 50 around the world under negotiation, according to a news release. The brand is aimed at travelers around the world who “seek a high-quality hotel experience at an affordable price.”

Described as a lifestyle loyalty program, ALL will provide members with rewards, services and experiences at Accor’s brands as well as a collection of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and more, according to a news release.

“It’s a 180-degree shift, going from product-centric to client-centric,” Accor President & CEO Sébastien Bazin said at the company’s press event introducing the program this morning in Berlin. The new program was designed to meet guest expectations of simplicity, immediacy, personalization and experiences beyond the stay. “What we’re not doing is starting a new loyalty program; we’re starting a new lifestyle loyalty program,” he said.

Marriott CEO on relaunched loyalty program, data breach: During Marriott International’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 earnings call, President and CEO Arne Sorenson told analysts the data breach of the legacy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide reservation system affected fewer people than initially believed, reports HNN’s Bryan Wroten. While the company fielded a large number of calls from concerned guests, the company saw no material revenue-per-available-room impact from the incident, Sorenson said.

“All of us remain committed to learn from this experience, work to improve our information security systems and increase our ability to respond quickly to threats,” he said.

The full unification of all its loyalty programs under Marriott Bonvoy was an important achievement for the company as that is what binds all of its brands together under one umbrella in its relationship with guests, Sorenson said.

U.S., China closing in on trade deal to hold off tariff hikes: Negotiators for the United States and China are at the final stages of discussions for a new trade deal, The Wall Street Journal reports. Beijing is offering to lower tariffs on U.S. farm, chemical, auto and other products while the U.S. could remove most of its sanctions on Chinese products.

Though there is more to work through, there’s optimism the two sides could reach an agreement by the time U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet for a summit at the end of the month.

D.C. shutdown hurt Ashford Trust performance: Ashford Hospitality Trust has a high concentration of hotels in its portfolio in the Washington, D.C., area, opening it up to performance issues stemming from the recent government shutdown, reports HNN’s Sean McCracken. During the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 earnings call, executives at Ashford Trust explained the shutdown caused enough drag in the market to push comparable RevPAR growth negative.

“Excluding D.C., the entire portfolio’s RevPAR would be positive in Q4,” said Co-President and COO Jeremy Welter.

Hotels doing more to cater to travelers with pets: A pet-friendly hotel used to be one that charged an extra fee to allow travelers to keep their pet in the room with them, but as people increasingly travel alongside their furry companions, hotels are doing what they can to capture that demand, CNN reports.

The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle has a menu aimed at dogs, offering smoked beef marrow bones, a pig skin chew toy, beef stew and a “Pupsicle” made from frozen peanut butter, yogurt and bananas. The Eden Roc Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic offers a bedding package for dogs that includes pet towels, treats, food and water bowls and walking services. Dorchestor Collection’s Coworth Park in the United Kingdom allows guests to bring their horses, who get their name on a stable door, a Himalayan salt lick and an equine manicure.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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