5 things to know: 26 November 2019
5 things to know: 26 November 2019
26 NOVEMBER 2019 10:03 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Earthquakes kill seven, damage two cities in Albania
  • Oyo projects no profit in India, China until 2022
  • India hotels woo guests with experiences, adventure
  • Loss of group business over holiday week shrinks RevPAR
  • Ahead of pardoning, turkeys live it up at Willard Hotel

Earthquakes kill seven, damage two cities in Albania: Earthquakes registering 6.4 and 5.5 on the Richter scale, along with numerous aftershocks, have severely damaged the Albanian cities of Durrës and Thumane, resulting in seven deaths, according to New Zealand media company Stuff, which reported the destruction of at least one hotel.

The media outlet published an uncredited photo showing serious damage to the 4-star Hotel Vila Palma in Durrës. The center of the earthquake was 21 miles northwest of the country’s capital, Tirana, and was felt as far away as Italy and Novi Sad, Serbia, some 435 miles away. Authorities said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the country since 1979, when an earthquake registering 6.9 resulted in the deaths of 139 people.

Oyo projects no profit in India, China until 2022: Amidst rapid expansion in China that has made six-year-old Oyo Hotels, one of the world’s biggest hospitality brands by room count, internal projections show the company doesn’t expect to make a profit in China or its home country of India until at least 2022, Reuters reports.

Management-certified financial projections included in a valuation report filed with India regulators show Oyo’s India business in the red until 2022, when it projects a net profit after tax of $45.2 million, which could grow by nearly 13 times to $586.9 million by 2024, Reuters reports.

In China, a projected profit of $394.9 million in 2022 could grow four-fold to $1.65 billion by 2024, the report shows.

India hotels woo guests with experiences, adventure: Sales and marketing strategies at hotels in India are focusing more on the country as a destination for unique experiences as guests increasingly express that need, reports Chitra Balasubramaniam for Hotel News Now.

“While experiential travel constitutes a very small portion of tourism in India, there has been a clear growth in this segment, which can only be expected to increase further,” said Jaideep Dang, managing director of hotels and hospitality at business advisory JLL. “India has an extensive offering ranging from culture and heritage (to) spiritual and wellness tourism to adventure and eco-tourism. There are limited reliable figures on the growth in this segment as it is partly driven by the informal tourism sector.”

Loss of group business over holiday week shrinks RevPAR: An analysis of hotel performance data for the past eight Thanksgiving weeks in the U.S. shows the steepest impact on the Tuesday before the holiday, when revenue per available room dropped to 55% below normal, reports STR research analyst M. Brian Riley for Hotel News Now.

This decline is largely due to the fact that groups are occupying only 4% of U.S. room supply on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. By comparison, about 31% of U.S. rooms on average are filled by group business on the prior Tuesday, outside of the holiday week.

An upsurge in transient business on the Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and Friday helps to mitigate the RevPAR losses somewhat, Riley reports, and by the Monday following the holiday, “average RevPAR essentially is back to seasonal normal.”

Ahead of pardoning, turkeys live it up at Willard Hotel: Only one of the two turkeys who visit the White House in Washington, D.C., Tuesday will win the title of National Thanksgiving Turkey in an annual Thanksgiving tradition dating to 1947. But both of the birds have been treated to some luxury ahead of the ceremony after checking into the Willard Hotel, CNN Newsource reports for a NBC affiliate station.

The turkeys, named Bread and Butter, both will be spared by presidential pardon Tuesday and will spend their retirement at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, according to Politico.

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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