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5 things to know: 5 March 2013
March 5 2013

• Marriott, IKEA parent team to launch Moxy Hotels
• UK leads Europe in hotel transaction volume
• Carlson, Panorama Group sign JV for Indonesia development
• Starwood Hotels plans to boost Europe portfolio by 30%
• Hilton, Starwood, Marriott raise reward redemption levels

Marriott International and the parent company of IKEA have teamed to launch a chain of European-based economy hotels. Marriott announced Tuesday its new Moxy Hotels brand at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, reports’s Patrick Mayock.

Marriott plans to add 150 franchised Moxy Hotels in Europe during the next 10 years, aiming for locations in Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The new brand will fuel Marriott’s company-wide growth in the region, which is expected to reach 80,000 rooms by 2015.

In September, reported that Swedish furniture giant IKEA announced plans to open 100 budget hotels across Europe but that the hotels will not feature IKEA's own fixtures and fittings nor even its brand name.

Inter IKEA, the company that owns the IKEA brand, had alternative plans to work with one of the world’s most recognizable hotel companies. Inter Hospitality—part of Inter IKEA’s property division—was named by Marriott as the initial developer. Nordic Hospitality will be the first franchisee to operate the Moxy brand.

The United Kingdom’s hotels market saw the most transaction activity during 2012 with a total volume of €1.4 billion ($1.8 billion), accounting for 38% of hotel volume in Europe, according to HVS London’s 2012 European Hotel Transactions report.

European hotel transaction volume reached a total of approximately €5.6 billion ($7.3 billion) in 2012, a decrease of 21% on the €7.1 billion ($9.3 billion) recorded in 2011, highlighting the fact that investors in Europe’s hotel market are still being cautious over purchases.

Activity during 2012 involved some 101 transactions of more than €7.5 million ($9.8 million) per property, with 301 hotels and more than 39,000 rooms. Although total volume was above the 2009 trough of €2 billion ($2.6 billion), it remains below the 10 year average of €9.5 billion ($12.38 billion) since 2002.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has signed a joint-venture agreement with Indonesia’s Panorama Group that will accelerate Carlson Rezidor’s portfolio growth in Indonesia, according to a news release. Under the agreement, 20 Radisson and Park Inn by Radisson hotels will be developed in Indonesia over the next seven years. These hotels will be located in top-tier Indonesian cities including Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya and Yogyakarta, as well as emerging cities such as Manado, Makassar, Palembang and Medan.

A new joint venture management company called PT. Carlson Panorama Hospitality will be created and a representative office will be established in Jakarta. Carlson Rezidor will provide its hotel-management services, worldwide sales and marketing support, as well as access to its distribution network, while Panorama Group will afford its local network and business expertise, co-operating business development, project acquisition and project developments.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide plans to open 50 new hotels in Europe over the next five years, increasing its European hotel portfolio by 30%, the company said in a news release. This year, Starwood will open nine new hotels across the continent, primarily in fast-growing markets.

Since 2009, Starwood has added 25 new hotels to its European portfolio of now 163 hotels in 32 countries.

Airlines aren't the only companies getting stingy with loyalty programs. Changes at three major hotel chains mean it's going to be more costly for travelers to book rooms using reward points, according to a CNN Money report.

Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and Starwood all announced they will raise the number of points needed to stay at many of their properties.

Hilton will nearly double the points needed to stay at its most popular locations during peak seasons. Marriott will increase the points needed to stay at more than 1,000 of its hotels in the United States and abroad after 15 May.
Starwood, meanwhile, will change one of its popular programs by hiking the combined points and cash needed to stay at the majority of its hotels by 25%.

Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.

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