It was a good week for the Oahu Island hotel market in Hawaii. The city led the top 25 U.S. markets with double-digit gains in the three key metrics for the week ending 5 May. Average occupancy in Oahu Island rose 16% to 83.9%, average daily rate was up 13.2% to $186.75 and revenue per available room jumped 31.4% to $156.73.
Overall, the U.S. hotel industry’s occupancy was up 5.1% to 63.2%, its ADR increased 5.2% to $107.18 and its RevPAR jumped 10.5% to $67.70.
The sky’s the limit for the hotel industry in Latin America, but that doesn’t mean hoteliers in the region can coast, according to panelists speaking during Wednesday’s general session at the Hotel Opportunities Latin America conference, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Jeff Higley.
Clay Dickinson of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels said the region’s economy is expected to grow two to three times faster than the economies of mature countries, and tourism is expected to double thanks to business travel and the region’s rapidly rising middle class. Couple those trends with a positive supply-and-demand outlook and investor sentiment, and the hotel industry in Latin America is on solid footing, he said.
“The economic factors leading to strong (gross-domestic-product) growth, fairly mild to moderate unemployment across most of the region, inflation that’s under control, and political stability for the most part, and there are a lot of very positive elements for growth in hotel development across Latin America,” said Kirk Kinsell, president of the Americas for InterContinental Hotels Group, which has had a strong presence in the region for decades. However, he said investors need to be mindful of the challenges across the region. Real estate, for example, is “awfully expensive and overpriced.”
InterContinental Hotels Group continues in 2012 to focus much of its attention on growing in China, dismissing the effects of a potential development slowdown initiated by the Chinese government, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed.
During the company’s first-quarter earnings call Wednesday, CEO Richard Solomons said IHG has 20 letters of intent signed from owners interested in the Hualuxe brand. The first Hualuxe is expected to open early 2014. IHG currently has 170 hotels representing 55,871 guestrooms in China.
He addressed measures the Chinese government has taken in recent months to cool a residential real-estate boom, which in turn would impact hotel development. The actions have “only slightly affected” development of IHG-branded hotels in the region, Solomons said.
As if the Middle East hotel industry doesn’t have enough challenges on its plate, a new report from HVS’s office in Dubai found that airport passenger movements in the region bordered on a double-digit decline during 2011, exacerbated by the relapsing global economic turmoil in the second half of the year.
However, cities throughout the Middle East are not standing idling by, contributing a combined $104 billion in airport expansions. With a 6% share of worldwide tourist arrivals, the Middle East is expected to contribute a greater share as regional airlines continue their projected growth and dominate the airspace.
Speaking of commitment to the Middle East, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide today announced it would temporarily relocate their global headquarters to the region for a month-long managerial endeavor in 2013.
Room Key is officially out of the gate, having removed its “beta” tag on Wednesday. The site allows consumers to shop for hotels based on price and location and then directs them to book property direct.
Although Room Key has been functional for most of 2012, the official launch includes several new enhancements, including a “shortlist” feature that allows consumers to compare properties across multiple locations, share their top picks and collaborate with family and friends via email, Facebook and Twitter.
Also new: partnerships with reservations systems to allow travelers to shop and book at multiple independent hotels and chains.
Compiled by Patrick Mayock.