From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- IHG, Hyatt waive cancellation fees for hotels in China
- European hotel markets set records in 2019
- Hotel marketing strategists emphasize collaboration, simplicity
- US hotel industry maintains upward trajectory in weekly results
- Accor joins push to eliminate single-use plastic at all properties
IHG, Hyatt waive cancellation fees for hotels in China: In the midst of an outbreak of a deadly virus originating in central China, hotel brand companies InterContinental Hotels Group and Hyatt Hotels Corporation have announced they will waive fees for guests cancelling or changing hotel reservations at properties in China, Reuters reports.
The outbreak, which has killed at least 17 people and infected nearly 600, comes during a typically busy travel season for China, coinciding with the Lunar New Year holiday 24-30 January.
European hotel markets set records in 2019: The European hotel market overall for 2019 reported year-over-year revenue per available room growth of 2.2% for the year to €113.36 ($125.49), boosted by a 0.4% increase in occupancy to 72.2% and 1.8% growth in average daily rate to €81.90 ($90.67).
Hotels in Saint Petersburg, Russia, recorded their highest occupancy of the decade, and Israel’s Tel Aviv market reached record-breaking RevPAR levels to lift overall hotel performance across Europe for full-year 2019 despite headwinds from Brexit and other challenges, according to data from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now.
St. Petersburg hotels recorded an 11.1% lift in occupancy to 67.1%, which overcame a 7.3% drop in ADR to 6,424.66 Russian rubles ($103.71) to keep RevPAR growth positive (+2.9%) at 4,310.78 rubles ($69.58).
In Tel Aviv, an 11% spike in tourists to more than 4.55 million in 2019 helped hotels achieve the highest absolute RevPAR level on record at 705.31 Israeli New Shekels ($204.03), a 2.9% increase over 2018.
Hotel marketing strategists emphasize collaboration, simplicity: Speaking during the HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference in New York City, hotel sales and marketing experts focused on the importance of having a relationship with revenue managers, keeping the messaging simple and tailoring experiences to guests, HNN’s Danielle Hess reports.
“If you look at something and say WTF, you’re probably chasing the customer away,” Sassato Principal Dan Wacksman said.
U.S. hotel industry maintains upward trajectory in weekly results: For the week ending 18 January, the U.S. hotel industry reported positive year-over-year performance, with a 6.4% hike in RevPAR, according to data from STR.
A 1.1% increase in occupancy to 58.9% and 5.2% ADR growth to $130.99 combined for RevPAR achieving $77.16 for the week.
A healthcare conference brought more than 9,000 attendees to San Francisco/San Mateo, California, where hotels recorded the highest jump in RevPAR (+124% to $439.70), due to the largest increase in ADR (+120.3% to $533.50).
Overall, 19 of the Top 25 markets reported RevPAR growth for the week.
Accor joins push to eliminate single-uses plastic at all properties: France-based hotel giant Accor, with more than 5,000 hotels across 110 destinations around the world, has announced an initiative to eliminate all single-use plastic from its properties globally by 2022, according to a news release.
The company will join the United Nations Global Tourism Plastics Initiative in this effort to reduce its environmental footprint.
Previously, Accor phased out plastic straws at its 125 managed hotels in the United Kingdom and Ireland and worked with partners to extend that policy to its 113 franchised hotels in the region. The company also pledged to ban plastic straws at its 83 hotels in North America and Central America.
Hotel News Now reported in August 2018 on the impact of hotel companies’ efforts to purge plastic from their properties.
Compiled by Robert McCune.