From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Vail Resorts buys Whistler Blackcomb for $1.06b
- UK tourism sees Brexit boost
- French hotel bookings down 20%; security vital for recovery
- Mövenpick CEO Pérès tapped to head Kerzner
- Baird/STR index increases 6.1% in July
Vail Resorts buys Whistler Blackcomb for $1.06b: Vail Resorts has announced it intends to buy Whistler Blackcomb Holdings—which owns and operates the Whistler Blackcomb Resort in Whistler, Canada, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics—according to Reuters and other media outlets.
The deal—which is due to be finalized in the fall—is worth 1.39 billion Canadian dollars ($1.06 billion) and includes a cash payment of CA$676 million ($514 million). Whistler CEO Dave Brownlie said on a conference call announcing the deal that Vail’s offer was unsolicited and that there had been no other bidders.
U.K. tourism sees Brexit boost: Tourism to the United Kingdom has seen a boost since the country’s referendum decision to leave the European Union on 23 June, according to the BBC. Since the vote, about 4.3% more flights were booked to the U.K. when compared to the same period in 2015, and the pound sterling has fallen 13% against the U.S. dollar and 10% against the euro.
According to travel researcher ForwardKeys, bookings from Hong Kong grew by 30.1%, while bookings from the U.S. and from Europe increased by 9.2% and 5%, respectively. On 3 August, Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association, said that while the fall in the value of the pound would encourage more people to visit, “We cannot, and do not want to, rely on currency fluctuations, or trouble abroad, to bolster our home tourism economy.”
French hotel bookings down 20%; security vital for recovery: After France’s tourism minister Matthias Fekl confirmed Sunday that hotel stays in the country have fallen by 10% in year-over-year numbers, analysts who follow France’s hotel industry spoke to HNN contributor Tamara Thiessen about how bookings in the second half of 2016 in Paris and Nice are down about 20% since the Nice Bastille Day terrorist attack.
According to MKG Group’s director of operations Vanguelis Panayotis, French hoteliers lost an estimated €270 million ($299.8 million) in revenue, €146 million ($162 million) of which were losses suffered by Parisian hotels.
Mövenpick CEO Pérès tapped to head Kerzner: After Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts announced its new CEO last week, its outgoing CEO—Jean-Gabriel Pérès—has been hired to run Kerzner International Holdings, according to a news release. Pérès’ official start date with Kerzner was not announced in the release.
Pérès, who has spent 17 years at Mövenpick, will be based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and will “embark on an accelerated growth and expansion plan to take Kerzner to new places around the world, from China to Mexico and beyond,” according to Mohammed Al Shaibani, Kerzner’s chairman and also executive director and CEO of Investment Corporation of Dubai, the company’s majority shareholder.
Baird/STR index increases 6.1% in July: The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index increased 6.1% in July to close the month at 3,320. Year to date, the index is up 7.3%. STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.
“As U.S. hotel lodging performance continues its period of slow growth, the stock index reflects those new realities,” said Amanda Hite, STR's president and CEO. “After an overcorrection post-Brexit, we are now in a ‘new normal’ environment of muted, but still positive RevPAR performance.”
Compiled by Terence Baker.