HotelNewsNow.com each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s compilation covers the Americas.
April hotel performance
The Americas region recorded mixed results in the three key performance metrics when reported in United States dollars for April 2010, according to data compiled by STR and STR Global.
In April 2010, the region’s occupancy rose 4.9 percent to 58.5 percent, average daily rate ended the month virtually flat with a 0.2-percent decrease to US$99.96, and revenue per available room increased 4.7 percent to US$58.53.
Among the key markets, Mexico City, Mexico, reported the largest occupancy increase, rising 37.8 percent to 57.9 percent, followed by Sao Paulo, Brazil (+25.1 percent to 66.3 percent), and Buenos Aires, Argentina (+20.7 percent to 64.7 percent). Two markets experienced occupancy decreases: Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Canada (-2.1 percent to 66.1 percent), and Alberta, Canada (-0.3 percent to 55.9 percent).
• Read “STR Global: Americas performance for April 2010.”
Hotel development pipeline updates
The total active U.S. hotel development pipeline comprises 3,512 projects totaling 367,080 rooms, according to the April 2010 STR/TWR/Dodge Construction Pipeline Report. This represents a 31.2-percent decrease in the number of rooms in the total active pipeline compared to April 2009. The total active pipeline data includes projects in the In Construction, Final Planning and Planning stages, but does not include projects in the Pre-Planning stage.
• Read “STR: US hotel pipeline for April 2010.”
Among the Chain Scale segments, the Economy segment reported the largest decrease in rooms in the total active pipeline, falling 62.2 percent to 6,627 rooms.
The Caribbean/Mexico hotel development pipeline comprises 133 hotels totaling 17,018 rooms, according to the April 2010 STR/TWR/Dodge Construction Pipeline Report.
Mexico reported the most rooms in the total active pipeline (10,852 rooms) and in the In Construction phase (5,336) among the countries of the region. The Dominican Republic (1,874 rooms) and Puerto Rico (1,445 rooms) also reported a significant number of rooms in the total active pipeline.
• Read “STR: Caribbean/Mexico pipeline April 2010.”
The Central/South America hotel development pipeline comprises 134 hotels totaling 21,628 rooms, according to data from STR Global.
Among the countries in the region, Brazil reported the largest number of rooms in the total active pipeline (7,854) and in the In Construction phase (3,536). Panama followed with 5,094 rooms in the total active pipeline and 2,777 rooms in the In Construction phase.
• Read “STR Global: Central/S. America pipeline April.”
Oil spill casts shadow on tourism industry
The oil rig explosion on 20 April off the coast of Louisiana and subsequent oil spill has hotel owners along the Gulf Coast fearful of business losses.
The oil leak that has spewed millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico will undoubtedly become the worst in U.S. history, Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change, said on “Good Morning America” this morning.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist asked BP to pay for a US$35-million advertising campaign to reassure tourists that Florida beaches remain untarnished by the spill, according to CNN.com.
STR Summer Forecast
The U.S. hotel industry should expect to see mixed results in the three key performance metrics this summer, according to STR’s 2010 summer forecast.
The summer travel season comprises June, July and August. STR predicts summer occupancy will increase 2.2 percent from summer 2009 to 63.1 percent, average daily rate will decrease 1.9 percent to US$95.16, and revenue per available room will end the summer virtually flat with a 0.2-percent increase to US$60.03.
• Read “STR releases 2010 summer forecast.”
Orlando top destination
During 2009, Orlando received 46.6 million visitors, making it the most visited U.S. destination of the year, according to the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau. This total visitation number represents a 4.7-percent decrease compared with 2008, marking a much stronger performance than the earlier forecast by D.K. Shifflet and Associates of a 9.9-percent decrease in a difficult year for the travel and tourism industry.
Domestic travel, which represented 93 percent of total visitors in 2009, accounted for 43.3 million visitors. International travel, which includes overseas countries and Canada, totaled nearly 3.3 million.
As expected, Canada overtook the U.K. to become Orlando’s top international market with 865,000 visitors versus 831,000 visitors respectively.
Overseas travel to the U.S. dropped in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The department, which announced the states, cities and territories that benefitted from overseas travelers to the United States, said overseas arrivals to the U.S. posted a 6-percent decline from 2008.
New York was the state most visited by overseas travelers for the seventh consecutive year. Visitation to New York declined 5 percent, slightly less than the national average. Florida moved up into second position, for the first time since 2004, with a 1-percent increase in visitation. California moved down to third position after experiencing a 13-percent drop in visitation. Nevada, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Illinois followed the top three states in visitation estimates. Of the 20 states/territories for which estimates are available, double-digit declines were suffered by 10 states. Virginia visitation increased by 16 percent, leading growth among the six states posting growth in 2009.
Hyatt in Panama
Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Immobiliare Real Estate Development, a Panamanian real estate company, announced that a Hyatt subsidiary and Immobiliare have signed an agreement to develop the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Panama and the first Hyatt Place hotel in Latin America. The 167-room Hyatt Place Panama City is slated to open during early 2012.
Hyatt Place Panama City is the first of three hotels planned for development in Panama, all of which will be owned by a joint venture between a Hyatt subsidiary and Immobiliare Real Estate Development. The second Hyatt Place in Panama, which will be located in Costa del Este, is expected to begin construction in 2011.
• Chatham Lodging Trust signed a contract to acquire four hotels for US$61 million, or US$137,387 per key, including the assumption of approximately US$12.5 million of debt on two of the properties. The properties include a Residence Inn by Marriott in Westchester County, N.Y., a Hampton Inn & Suites in Houston and a Courtyard by Marriott and a SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Pennsylvania.
• Hersha Hospitality Trust purchased the Holiday Inn at Wall Street in New York City for approximately US$34.8 million, or US$308,000 per key, including closing costs and fees. The prior owner converted the 113-room hotel to a Holiday Inn in April 2010.
Openings in May:
• Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced the opening of the Sheraton Brooklyn New York. The 25-story contemporary, full-service hotel is owned by The Lam Group and features 321 guestrooms. The hotel also marks the first of two Sheraton hotels that will make their New York debut this year—the Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel will open in fall 2010.
• InterContinental Hotels Group announced the opening of the Crowne Plaza San Salvador, the first of its brand in El Salvador. The property is part of a franchise agreement between IHG and Latin American Hospitality Management, Grupo AGRISAL's Hotel Division.
• Commonwealth Hotels and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts announce the opening of the country's second joint Hyatt Place LLC and Hyatt Summerfield Suites development in Warrenville, Illinois. Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites each feature 123 rooms. Both hotels were developed and owned by a subsidiary of Corporex Companies of Covington, Kentucky.
• Carlson Hotels opened its 13th Park Inn property in North America—Park Inn Houston North Hotel & Conference Center.
• Starwood, Inland American Lodging Corporation and Alliance Hospitality Management LLC announced the opening of the 130-room Aloft Chapel Hill in North Carolina.
• The 123-room Hyatt Summerfield Suites Denver Airport was opened by Corporex. The hotel is operated by Commonwealth Hotels LLC.
• Doubletree Hotels announced the opening of the Doubletree Resort Lancaster/Willow Valley in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
• Wyndham Hotels and Resorts announced the opening of the 133-room-and-suite Wyndham Garden Hotel Miami South Beach.
• Encore Hospitality opened the new 125-room D'Iberville (Mississippi) Courtyard by Marriott hotel. The new property is located within Encore's 150-acre master planned, mixed-use Lakeview Village.
• Starwood opened the 202-room Le Méridien Philadelphia. The historic adaptive reuse property was developed for HEI Hotels & Resorts, owner and operator of the hotel.