The chasm between price and value has become increasingly pronounced in the online-distribution landscape, according to “Travel 2010: The distribution dilemma” from the IBM Institute for Business Value.
The report, which comprises opinions from 1,020 business and 1,030 leisure travelers in developed and emerging countries, found that while 93% of respondents indicate getting value for their travel expenditures is important, only 47% said their travel expenditures were well spent. The divide is caused, in part, by a fragmented distribution landscape that is fixated on price above all aspects of the traveler experience. (Download the report as PDF 2MB.)
STR, parent company of HotelNewsNow.com, today released March pipeline numbers for the U.S. and Canada.
U.S.: The total active U.S. hotel development pipeline comprises 2,752 projects totaling 293,850 rooms, according to the March 2012 STR/McGraw Hill Construction Dodge Pipeline Report. This represents a 9.5% decrease in the number of rooms in the total active pipeline compared to March 2011. Among the chain-scale segments, the upper-upscale segment reported the largest increase in rooms in the total active pipeline, rising 17.8% over March 2011 to 16,772 rooms.
Canada: Canada’s hotel development pipeline comprises 196 projects totaling 19,909 rooms, according to the March 2012 STR/McGraw Hill Construction Dodge Pipeline Report. This represents a 3.9% decrease in the number of rooms in the total active pipeline compared to March 2011. Among the chain-scale segments, the luxury segment experienced the largest increase in rooms in the total active pipeline, rising 255.5% to 711 rooms.
Hotel food-and-beverage outlets joining forces with celebrity chefs could be a mouth-watering opportunity. But hoteliers should approach with caution, according to Michael Pohlman of law firm Goodwin & Procter.
There are several key issues that should be considered, Pohlman writes in his column. First is whether the celebrity chef will be involved in the hotel’s restaurant operations. Also key is deciding between a lease structure and license structure.
Pohlman said both parties should discuss goals and the business plan as early as possible, and follow up with a meaningful market analysis to determine the projected financial performance of the restaurant affiliation with a celebrity chef.
In a follow up to an item in Tuesday’s “5 things,” Bloomberg is reporting Kingdom Holding Company, controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, plans to retain its stake in the Plaza Hotel after Sahara India Pariwar reportedly made an offer to buy the New York icon.
“Kingdom isn’t planning on selling at this point in time,” Charles Henry, a spokesman for the company, said in a telephone interview to Bloomberg. “The prince’s objective is to be a long-term investor in this kind of iconic asset.”
Sahara India Pariwar, which bought London’s Grosvenor House luxury hotel in 2010, made a $600 million offer to Israel’s Elad Group for the Plaza Hotel. Kingdom in 2004 sold its stake in the hotel to Elad and bought back a portion soon after, Henry said. Kingdom today holds 50% of the Plaza’s 130 hotel rooms and public areas, and 25% of the 100 rooms that were sold as condominiums and rented out as hotel rooms, Henry said. Kingdom also owns a stake in Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the Plaza’s operator. The hotel, a century-old destination for socialites and celebrities, reopened in March 2008 after a two- year restoration that cost more than $400 million.
Louisville, Kentucky, philanthropists and art collectors Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown announced plans Tuesday to buy the old First National Building in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, and convert it to a 21c Museum Hotel—a combination boutique hotel and contemporary art museum, reports The Lexington Herald-Leader. The duo opened Louisville's acclaimed 21c hotel in 2006, and Lexington's will be the fourth in the 21c group of hotels.
The hotel will have a restaurant, a bar, meeting rooms, a ballroom and approximately 80 guestrooms.
Compiled by Patrick Mayock.