The U.S. hotel industry posted decreases in all three key performance measurements during the week of 19-25 April, according to data from Smith Travel Research.
In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy fell 8.4 percent to end the week at 59.4 percent. Average daily rate dropped 6.1 percent to US$100.44. Revenue per available room for the week decreased 14.1 percent to end at US$59.67.
Read the official STR U.S. weekly press release.
The World Health Organization yesterday raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5.
Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and the time to finalize the organization, communication and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short, according to the organization.
WHO advised no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.
MGM Mirage and Dubai World through subsidiary Infinity World, 50/50 joint venture partners in the Las Vegas CityCenter project, have reached an agreement on a revised joint venture agreement and also reached an agreement with CityCenter’s lenders on a comprehensive plan to fully fund the completion of CityCenter for its scheduled opening later this year.
Under the plan, Dubai World and MGM Mirage will fund their remaining equity contributions to CityCenter through letters of credit. CityCenter’s lenders will immediately fund the full US$1.8-billion senior-secured credit facility. Additionally, Dubai World will dismiss its lawsuit filed against MGM Mirage in Delaware Chancery Court, and Dubai World and MGM Mirage will exchange mutual releases.
(Read the official press release.)
Data from the American Express Business Travel Monitor revealed that international and domestic airfare prices ended 2008 up year-over-year, and hotel rates down slightly. Looking at Q1 2009 data, signs point to the effect of a weakening economy, belt tightening by corporations, and falling consumer demand noticeably impacting travel rates across the board.
Average domestic and international airfares paid increased 7 percent and 6 percent respectively in 2008 as a whole, but began to slide in Q4 2008, continuing into Q1 2009.
Q1 2009 domestic average airfares paid are down 9 percent compared to the first quarter last year.
Q1 2009 international average airfares paid are down 12 percent versus Q1 2008. Average international and domestic booked hotel rates both showed year-over-year decreases of 12 percent in the first quarter 2009. International business class air travel fell from an average of 50 percent of all bookings in 2008 to 39 percent in Q1 2009. Economy class international air travel surged 13 percentage points to 56 percent of all travel in Q1 09 versus a steady 43 percent throughout 2008.
Starwood Hotels & Resort Worldwide reported better-than-expected quarterly profit Thursday as cost-cutting offset dwindling demand, but year-over-year profit is down considerably.
The hotel group reported a net profit of US$6 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with US$32 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding restructuring and other charges, Starwood reported earnings of 14 cents a share, far above analysts' average forecast of 3 cents, according to Reuters estimates. Revenue fell 23.7 percent to US$1.1 billion.
Compiled by Stacey Mieyal Higgins.