The total active U.S. hotel development pipeline comprises 2,770 projects totaling 292,806 rooms, according to the April 2012 STR/McGraw Hill Construction Dodge Pipeline Report. This represents a 9% decrease in the number of rooms in the total active pipeline compared to April 2011.
Among the chain scale segments, the luxury segment (+18.5% with 4,641 rooms) and the upper-upscale segment (+10.9% with 16,570 rooms) were the only two segments to report an increase in rooms in the total active pipeline compared to April 2011.
The U.S. Travel Association is meeting with lawmakers this week as the U.S. Congress considers several bills that could increase oversight of government conferences and impose limits on travel spending.
The association is putting forth its own recommendations to Congress, which include:
- Requiring all federal agencies to report conference-related expenditures and conference contracting procedures to the Inspector General at the end of each fiscal year; and
- Ensuring agencies select conference locations based solely on cost-effectiveness by permanently eliminating the “blacklisiting” of American cities for government conferences and meetings.
Hotels are continuing the fight against sex trafficking by enacting measures—including proper training—to prevent it from happening on property, according to a report from HotelNewsNow.com contributor Brendan Manley.
Both Hilton Worldwide and Wyndham Hotel Group, among others, work with the nonprofit Polaris Project to come up with training materials for company employees. Polaris runs the National Human Trafficking Resource Center—a national, toll-free hotline available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year—and also trains law enforcement in the states. According to the chains, incorporating the organization’s key points within their own corporate cultures has gone a long way, and ongoing training remains the linchpin.
“Unfortunately, as long as there are criminals profiting from this practice, no single hotel or company will ever be able to fully guarantee that these events won’t occur in the future,” said Christopher Nowak, senior VP of legal at Wyndham. “That said, there are measures that a hotel can take to help lessen the chances of it happening and more quickly put an end to it when it does. This starts with proper training for hotel employees so that they know how to identify when trafficking may be taking place and what to do when they suspect that it is.”
Boutique properties in the United Kingdom are facing a growing number of branded competitors in their region, according to a report from HotelNewsNow.com’s Patrick Mayock.
The entry of brands such as InterContinental Hotel Group’s Hotel Indigo, with its seven properties in the U.K., and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s Aloft, with its lone hotel in London, will only raise the game of existing independents—if they compete at all, sources said.
“When the big brands enter a sector, it does generally mean that the independents have to raise their game to still compete with the big brands, and thus standards are inevitably improved or ensured to remain consistently good,” said Nina Basset, proprietor of the 11-room Hotel TerraVina in New Forest near Southampton, Hampshire.
Accor intends to reopen two hotels closed in Christchurch since last year’s earthquake in New Zealand, according to a report on e-travel Blackboard.
The company’s Hotel ibis and Novotel properties will reopen in September of this year and April 2013, respectively.
Accor has four properties in Christchurch. Reconstruction of the remaining two All Seasons properties is delayed because of ongoing demolition work in the area.
Compiled by Shawn A. Turner.