China Lodging Group Limited on Friday announced the company recently completed an investment in Starway Hotels Limited to own a majority stake.
Started by Ctrip.com International Limited, Starway operates more than 100 franchised midscale hotels in China. Since its inception in 2008, Starway has gained wide awareness and recognition among customers and hotel owners.
In addition to the franchise model Starway already has adopted, China Lodging plans to introduce franchised-and-managed and leased-and-operated models under the Starway brand.
Almost all online channels, including online travel agencies; travel metasearch and general search engines; travel review websites; flash deal websites; and even social networks experienced a healthy bump in usage for travel shopping—roughly 2% to 5% across the board, according to PhoCusWright’s U.S. Consumer Travel Report.
One key channel, however, failed to expand its consumer reach during the past year: supplier websites. The percentage of travelers who shop for travel products through provider websites was stagnant, dipping slightly by 1%.
While a range of factors can influence a traveler's preference for one website over another, the types of websites that attracted more shoppers share one key characteristic: They all aggregate content. In fact, some of the biggest content aggregators in online travel—metasearch and travel review websites (i.e., Kayak and TripAdvisor)—demonstrated the largest year-over-year growth.
However, a similar study shows different results.
TravelClick, on a webinar Thursday discussing the first-quarter findings, noted a shift in revenue from OTAs to brand sites and the GDSs.
“One channel we’re seeing a minor decrease in is the OTA channel,” said Rao Avasarala, VP of business intelligence at TravelClick. “This means hoteliers are doing a great job of driving demand to their proprietary websites. And the GDSs are doing a great job working with their customers.”
With leisure demand growing at a much stronger pace than this time last year and most areas of the world forecasted for continued improvement, hoteliers would benefit by placing an increased focus on pricing and distribution strategies, TravelClick officials said during the company’s first-quarter update.
“Whether it’s a brand’s own channel or an (online travel agency) or the (global distribution system), all of them represent critical demand that needs to be understood well and utilized,” Avasarala said.
Investment sentiment for hotel assets has strengthened across EMEA with yield and internal rate of return requirements hardening when compared to October 2011, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ latest Hotel Investment Sentiment Survey. In EMEA, yield requirements decreased by 40 basis points to 7% and leveraged IRR requirements fell by 100 basis points to 15.4%.
"Despite the on-going sovereign debt crisis, economic contraction in many EU countries and instability in the European banking system, recent indicators suggests that confidence in the hotel real estate sector has improved since October 2011. London, Paris, Munich and Stockholm are positioned as some of the most stable European hotel markets reflected by their low yield requirements, and they continue to attract a substantial amount of investor interest,” said Jon Hubbard, CEO of the Northern Europe office of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
Of the 37 cities tracked, 17 (46%) are expected to show trading performance growth in the short term (six months), a figure which increases to 31 cities (84%) when medium-term performance over the next two years is considered. In anticipation of the upcoming Olympic Games during July and August 2012, London is the highest ranked market for short term trading. However, sentiment for medium term trading has softened as the high demand of the Olympic Games period is not expected to be sustained, while hotel supply continues to grow.
The U.S. hotel industry experienced increases in all three key performance metrics during the week of 20-26 May 2012, according to data from STR.
In year-over-year comparisons for the week, occupancy ended the week with a 4.4% increase to 66.9%, average daily rate increased 4.4% to $105.57 and revenue per available room jumped 9% to $70.67.
Among the top 25 Markets, St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois, jumped 25.3% in occupancy to 76%. Boston rose 16.4% in ADR to $183.96, reporting the largest increase in that metric. St. Louis (+35.5% to $66.96) posted the largest RevPAR increase.
Canada’s hotel industry reported mixed results in the three key performance metrics for the week of 20-26 May, according to STR data.
In year-over-year measurements, the country’s occupancy fell 0.8% to 64.6%, its ADR was up 0.9% to 131.68 Canadian dollars ($126.87) and its RevPAR ended the week virtually flat with a 0.1% increase to $85.02 Canadian dollars ($81.91).
Among the provinces, Saskatchewan reported the largest increase in occupancy and RevPAR. The province’s occupancy rose 8.6% to 67.9% and its RevPAR jumped 13.9% to $87.07 Canadian dollars ($83.88).
Compiled by Stephanie Wharton.