Now that Fairmont Raffles Hotels International has all but completed its divesting of assets from the balance sheet—selling 35 properties since 2006 but retaining long-term management contracts on most—the company is shifting its focus to strategic global growth.
In his new role as president and COO, Michael Glennie will help the company pursue its goal of growing the portfolio by 50% to 150 properties during the next five years, he told HotelNewsNow.com.
“That’s pretty dramatic,” said Glennie, who formerly served as president of real estate and development for the company and replaces Chris Cahill, who left the company to join Las Vegas Sands in March. “Almost 90% of our growth is outside North America, and that’s really a function of the fact that development, certainly new-build, has almost ground to a halt in North America. We started looking overseas a couple years ago and since have moved to increase resources in places like Zurich, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and India.”
He said each of the three brands in Fairmont Raffles’ portfolio—Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts—are focused on getting into primary cities across the globe.
The share of U.S. adults taking a leisure trip edged up to 69% in February compared to 68% a year earlier, according to the “Travelhorizons Quarterly Report” by MMGY Global and the U.S. Travel Association.
Looking at intentions, however, 56% of adults in the U.S. reported they plan on taking a leisure trip in the next six months. This is lower than the 59% who answered similarly in February 2011 but the same as February 2010.
As for business travel, after falling from 39% in February 2008 to 24% in February 2011, the share of U.S. adults who took a business trip in the 12 months ending in February edged down to 22% in February 2012.
Business travel intentions for the next six months remain essentially flat compared to a year earlier (15% versus 16%), indicating that economic growth will likely be moderate in the near term.
Read the full report here.
In a time of year that normally is soft for travel search advertising, there was growth in activity and spend in the first quarter compared to the same time last year, according to the Q1 “Global Online Advertising Report” by digital marketing firm IgnitionOne. Travel demand (impressions and clicks) was up by 34.6% and 34.1%, respectively, and search spend among travel marketers increased 58.9% year over year. Revenue for travel grew by a year-over-year increase of 32.3%.
Mobile search accounted for 12.3% of total search advertising spend in the first quarter, holding steady following a solid fourth quarter. Mobile clicks were up 246.1% year over year, showing acceleration over the last quarter. Impressions were up 119.9% and ad spend increased by 221.1% year over year; both showed slower growth than the preceding quarter. Much of the mobile search activity can be attributed to tablet devices, which accounted for 67.4% of the total mobile search advertising budget for the quarter.
Read the entire report here.
China Lodging Group on Friday announced preliminary hotel operating results for the first quarter of 2012. The company opened 26 net new hotels and revenue per available room saw a year-over-year increase of 9%.
The company also announced the appointment of Yunhang Xie as COO, effective 5 April.
Qi Ji, founder, executive chairman and CEO of China Lodging, will transfer the supervision responsibilities of various operational functions to Yunhang gradually in the next three to six months. After the transition, Qi will focus on corporate strategy, new brands and major investment decisions, and Yunhang will assume responsibilities for the company's overall operation.
"We are pleased to have Mr. Yunhang Xie joining our executive team. He will bring us deep knowledge in the information technology domain and solid experience in managing a large-scale service business, both valuable in our future growth, especially in today's environment, where information technology is reshaping our daily life,” Qi said in a statement.
STR, the parent company of HotelNewsNow.com, released performance results for the United States and Canada for the week of 25-31 March.
U.S.: In year-over-year comparisons for the week, occupancy was up 6.6% to 64.6%, average daily rate increased 5.8% to $105.94 and revenue per available room was up 12.8% to $68.42.
“Continued strength in demand and pricing, as well as a favorable calendar comparison (Easter) all contributed to a very strong week for the industry, said Brad Garner, STR’s COO. “This week’s growth is in line with nominal ADR values we’ve tracked in previous years [see chart below]. The lead up to Easter in week-over-week comparisons, as far back as 2010, provided extremely easy comparisons, resulting in a favorable ADR and RevPAR environment.”
Canada: In year-over-year measurements, the Canadian hotel industry’s occupancy ended the week with a 4.2% increase to 60%, its average daily rate rose 2% to 123.51 Canadian dollars and its revenue per available room was up 6.2% to $75.19 Canadian dollars.
Compiled by Stephanie Wharton.