Day two of the Good News Express from Smith Travel Research reveals the first two weeks of October show positive signs for the hotel industry.
Following Monday’s report about transient business picking up, STR VP Steve Hood reports that for the first week of October, 10 of the top 25 markets experienced occupancy growth for the week, transient occupancy percent change was positive for the total U.S. (4.9 percent), as well as for the luxury (8.8) and upper upscale (6.5) groups. Seven of the nine regions experienced transient occupancy growth, as well.
During the second week of October, the overall U.S. RevPAR number was the best weekly number we’ve seen since the first week of 2009, with the exception of the week with the Labor Day switch this year versus last year.
The executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings urged those charged with protecting travel brands to take extra care not to license their brand away and weaken it in the process, reports 4hoteliers.com.
Instead, companies should use the reach of the Internet to become global niche players.
Speaking in Singapore as the keynote speaker of Web in Travel 2009 Tuesday morning, Ho Kwon Ping said that while the global economic crisis had hurt many businesses financially, he wasn’t certain the world had changed fundamentally.
But one thing that would change, compared with the “hyped period” in the market pre-crisis, was the licensing of recognized brands away from their core product.
“A fashion designer puts his name on a hotel, and considers it the epitome of luxury,” Ping said. “All this ‘bling-bling’ part of luxury was representative of an era that had really gone to excess.”
General managers and sales managers faced with increased levels of empty rooms, shorter lead times for events and an increasingly price-sensitive consumer are simply trying to cut their losses and hold on to what they have, according to a study released by PKF Hospitality Research.
During these bad times, preserving occupancy while maintaining and building existing relationships is the key. Sales managers are looking beyond 2010 for a true recovery and hoping relationships with clients will reap benefits in the long term.
TA Global Bhd, set to become Malaysia’s fifth biggest listed property group, plans to double the number of hotels it owns in five years, adding to a portfolio that includes the Radisson Plaza in Sydney and the Westin Melbourne.
According to an article sourced to Bloomberg on The Business Times Web site, TA Global wants to build at least two hotels in Kuala Lumpur and make acquisitions in overseas markets from London to Canada, said Alicia Tiah, managing director and co-founder of its parent company, the Malaysian brokerage TA Enterprise Bhd.
“Definitely we want more,” Tiah said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. “We want to develop our own chain. I want to buy hotels in gateway cities like London. But some are not cheap, some too big, some too small. It takes time to get the right fit. I want people to show me what they have.”
TA Enterprise, whose shares have more than doubled this year, folded all its property assets into TA Global, which will be listed on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange 23 November to tap a resurgent stock market. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index has gained 44 percent so far this year.
TA Global, which now owns four hotels, is being spun off into a separate listing to realize its value and help it expand. Taking advantage of depressed prices during the global recession, the group spent about RM756 million (US$225 million) from December to August to buy the Westin Melbourne hotel, the Swissotel Merchant Court hotel in Singapore and the Coast Whistler Hotel in Canada.
Single-family housing starts in the U.S. were at 501,000 in September, up 3.9 percent from the revised August rate. The number of starts is 40 percent above the record low of 357,000 starts in January and February of this year.
And in what signals a bottoming of the housing slump, single-family housing starts have been at this level for four months.
Click here to view the Census Bureau’s report about building permits, housing starts and housing completions.
Compiled by Jeff Higley.