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5 things to know: 8 November 2011
November 8 2011

• Hilton to rebrand Mint Hotels;
• IHG, Melia Hotels release Q3 results;
• HPT delays sale of portfolio of Marriott hotels;
• Jim Evans leads launch of Brand USA in London; and
• Global Trends Report reveals travel trends by region.

Hilton Worldwide has reached an agreement to rebrand and operate the eight Mint Hotel properties that were previously acquired by parent company Blackstone. The properties will be folded into the DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn brands.

The multi-brand deal will bring the total number of hotels managed by Hilton to more than 100 properties in the United Kingdom and more than 220 hotels and resorts comprising more than 50,000 rooms across Europe.

Two leading global hotel companies announced third-quarter earnings results today.

In its third-quarter report, InterContinental Hotels Group said systemwide revenue per available room was up 6.4% for the quarter, led by Greater China and the United States, which were up 10.8% and 8%, respectively.

IHG improved in all metrics when compared to the same time period last year: Revenue was up 11% from US$421 million to US$467 million; operating profit was up 33% from US$115 million to US$153 million; adjusted earnings per share were up 34% from 27.1 cents to 61.4 cents; and net debt was cut from US$801 million to US$644 million.

Read “IHG’s systemwide RevPAR up 6.4% in Q3.”

Melia Hotels International reported an even stronger RevPAR boost, up 9.3%, led by “a recovery in prices and high occupancy rates.” The company increased RevPAR by 15.8% in Spanish resort hotels, notably in the Balearic and Canary Islands.

A decline in revenue of 0.7% and reduction in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 18.3% as compared to the same time frame in 2010 can be attributed to the sale of the Tryp brand, which boosted revenues, last year, the company said.

Read “Meliá Hotels reports strong RevPAR boost

Hospitality Properties Trust has pushed back its timeline to sell a portfolio of Marriott International-branded hotels because of volatility in the capital markets, reports’s Shawn A. Turner.

The real-estate investment trust previously announced it had entered into agreements with Marriott and IHG to re-align and extend its contracts with the companies. As part of the agreements, 21 Marriott properties, representing 2,923 rooms, are being offered for sale while 42 IHG hotels will be rebranded and renovated. 

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HPT executives did not have much to add regarding the company’s recently announced deal to acquire Sonesta International Hotels Corporation for US$174 million, including assumed debt, but Murray did say the company is mulling converting some of the hotels in its portfolio to the Sonesta brand.

Read “Sale of HPT Marriotts pushed into Q1 2012

At the launch of Brand USA on Day 1 of World Travel Market 2011 in London, officials said the focus is for the U.S. to regain lost international visitation market share.

“Many of you know the first decade of this year has been labeled the lost decade. In some sense we lost our way,” CEO Jim Evans said. “We were the dominant destination in the world; we went from a 17% share to a 12% share. That’s 78 million people that didn’t come to our shores in these years.  We lost one million people from the U.K. We have our work cut out for us.”

Brand USA is set to be the first coordinated global marketing effort dedicated to welcoming international travelers to the United States. The idea of Corporation for Travel Promotion doing business as Brand USA was created by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 with the mission to promote increased foreign leisure, business and scholarly travel to the U.S.
Read “
What’s on tap for Brand USA?

Meanwhile, as Brand USA detailed its marketing plan in London, hoteliers in the U.S. are preparing for a surge in foreign guests.

Among other concerns, in the future hoteliers will need to adapt to better satisfy a host of hypothetical foreign clients, as well as devising the means to not only convince international guests to choose the U.S. as their destination, but to also book at one’s own hotel, rather than the competitor down the street.

Read “Ready or not, here they come?

The Global Trends Report, released Monday at the World Travel Market, revealed some interesting insights about travelers and the travel industry.

Split into geographic regions, the report, compiled by Euromonitor International, focused on the way travel and tourism markets were responding to both the global economic downturn and also political unrest such as the Arab Spring.

Global arrivals were expected to slow down 5.8% from last year but by 2012 are expected to break the 1 billion arrivals barrier—amounting to a total spend of almost US$1 trillion. The global overview was of “recovery on the brink” with the IMF predicting 4% global gross-domestic-product growth in 2011, down from 5.1% in 2010.

Rising fuel and commodity prices, taxation, austerity measures, political turmoil and social unrest were all found to have exerted some influence. Across all markets, online growth was considered to be without a doubt the most important growth area in the long term, with sales in the mobile device area very strong in the mid-term.
Read a list of key trends by region (NEEDS HNN LINK).

Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.

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