Today marks the beginning of HotelNewsNow.com’s week-long coverage of online travel agencies. The series will put OTAs under the microscope and examine such issues as booking behavior, their relationship with hotels and the benefits the companies bring to the industry.
Featured today, HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed examines how hoteliers should plot out their channel management strategy when dealing with OTAs.
Instead of deciding on a formula—such as 75% of rooms will be booked in house and the other 25% can be driven by OTAs—Ted Rusch, director of revenue management for The Roosevelt in New York, suggested staying nimble and reading the market.
“When you apply a rule there’s always an exception. Everyone wants a real simple formula to apply a strategy and it just doesn’t work out that way,” he said. “Strategically, you need to decide which direction the market is going and then use the OTAs shrewdly. It boils down to day-by-day; you cannot apply a black and white rule.”
As much as US$45 billion to US$50 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities could be issued this year, according to Fitch Ratings.
Cautious optimism was the key phrase at this year’s Commercial Real Estate Finance Counsel’s annual conference, as CMBS lending activity picks up. Still, there is concern that increased competition among lenders will—again—lead to a loosening of underwriting standards. Talk about short memories …
Owners of the Telegraph Media Group, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, have acquired Misland (Cyprus) Investments Limited, which owns a 24.8% stake in Coroin Limited, the parent company of the Maybourne Hotel Group, according to a report in the Telegraph.
Maybourne owns The Berkeley, Connaught and Claridge’s hotels in London. The price of the deal was not disclosed.
Trump Hotel Collection is preparing to open its first two hotels outside of the United States, HotelNewsNow.com contributor Harvey Chipkin reports.
Trump is opening the 261-room Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto in March and the 364-room Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower Panama in June.
With Internet and phone communications cut off, the status of how hotels are holding up amid the weeklong protests in Egypt is uncertain. But at least one hotel, the 340-room Sheraton Cairo, was caught in the middle of the chaos, the Globe and Mail reports.
“There, beside the Sheraton Hotel, the protesters fought a relentless battle with security troops that barred entry to the El Gala bridge over part of the Nile,” the article reports. “Wave after wave of people charged at the troops, throwing no rocks and using no violence, only shouting at the forces. They then were beaten back by a particularly strong tear gas.”
HotelChatter found a message on the website of the Hilton Ramses in Cairo that said the property is focusing on the security of its guests.
“The well being, safety and security of our guests and team members are of paramount importance and our hotels across Egypt are making every effort to ensure we deliver the highest level of security. We continue to monitor the situation closely. Guests planning to travel to Egypt should contact their respective governments or tour operators for travel advice and more information.”
Compiled by Shawn A. Turner.