This year’s summer bookings in the United States are looking to outpace last year, and hoteliers need to capitalize on this opportunity to drive rates, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed.
Hotel companies and consultants alike are sharing their ideas for how to make the most of the busy summer season.
• Read “Tweak summer strategies as demand heats up.”
Google is close to obtaining U.S. Department of Justice approval for its US$700-million acquisition of ITA Software, according to a report in the New York Post.
While the department hasn’t made a decision, a source told the newspaper it is inclined to grant antitrust approval any day. Concerns are Google might direct users to its own site, putting rivals at a disadvantage.
Hoteliers in Bahrain are asking the government for financial assistance amid civil unrest, according to the Gulf Daily News.
The paper previously reported that some hotels are reporting occupancy as low as 5% to 10% since political protests erupted.
Three-star and 4-star hoteliers hope the government would remove Labour Market Regulatory Authority fees, Specific Council Training charges and health care fees for all employees, among other types of support until the situation improves.
Two international hotel companies reported upper-midscale development plans in India today.
InterContinental Hotels Group signed a joint venture partnership with Duet India Hotels Group, the hotel investment arm of global asset manager Duet Group, to develop 19 new Holiday Inn Express hotels across India.
IHG will invest through a 24% equity stake, making a multi-year investment of US$30 million into the partnership. This investment will go into a fund to support the building of the 19 hotels during the next five years. These 19 Holiday Inn Express hotels will add approximately 3,300 rooms to IHG’s current India development pipeline of more than 10,000 rooms (46 hotels) and are expected to be operational by 2016.
Marriott International, meanwhile, formed a joint venture with Samhi Hotels, a hotel investment fund, to build its Fairfield by Marriott brand in India. Construction is expected to start around year-end, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.
"More and more cities are coming on the horizon, and they need more economy hotels," said Ashish Jakhanwala, managing director of Samhi Hotels, which is based in India. "You cannot ignore this country."
Travelodge announced the launch of the United Kingdom’s first budget hotel management apprenticeship program. The new scheme, titled JuMP (Junior Management Programme), is a fast-track route into management and provides A-level students (18+) with an alternative to going to university. School leavers can continue their education, obtain work experience, receive a salary and become a manager by the age of 21.
The JuMP scheme was developed to support Travelodge’s aggressive growth strategy in addition to supporting the Chancellor’s appeal for British companies to generate more high-value apprenticeship placements.
Travelodge is offering 500 management apprenticeships and is kick-starting its search for its first 50 apprentices this summer.
Compiled by Stacey Higgins and Jason Q. Freed.