From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Louvre-Sarovar deal reportedly near
- Brexit could boost US-UK free trade
- Expect the unexpected for Europe in 2017
- Kingdom sells Ghana property
- Japan tourism hits record highs in 2016
Louvre-Sarovar deal reportedly near: A new report from DNA India citing anonymous sources claims that Louvre Hotels Group is within days of acquiring India’s Sarovar Hotels & Resorts. Because France-based Louvre was acquired in March by Shanghai-based Jinjiang International, this deal would mark the first major foray for Chinese money in the Indian hotel market.
Details of the deal have not been publicly announced, but sources told DNA India the price tag could be between 3.3 billion Indian Rupees ($48.3 million) and 3.5 billion Rupees ($51.2 million).
The deal, which is expected to be finalized and announced Thursday, would bring Louvre a total of 70 managed properties in India.
Sources told DNA, “Louvre will take full charge of the company and its brands (Sarovar) as well as decide on how to operate the business thereafter.”
Brexit could boost U.S.-U.K. free trade: U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expects a free trade deal to come together quickly with the U.S., pushed by enthusiasm from President-elect Donald Trump and the U.K.’s desire to get such trade deals in place before their impending exit from the European Union, Bloomberg reports.
Johnson recently told members of the House of Commons that meetings have been held with Trump’s advisers and congressional leaders during the past few days, where interest has been shown for the agreement. Johnson also said that discussions on Russia have been brought up.
“The point we’ve made to the incoming administration—and indeed on Capitol Hill—is that we do think that the Russian state, the Putin Kremlin, is up to all sorts of very dirty tricks such as cyber warfare,” Johnson said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the U.K. must adhere to EU rules on freedom of movement if they want to remain in the single market.
Expect the unexpected for Europe in 2017: Officials with U.K. hospitality industry advisory Whitebridge expect 2017 to be an especially difficult year to predict in terms of hotel performance, writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.
After describing 2016 as “one of the craziest years in history,” Whitebridge Director Philip Camble said it’s reasonable to expect some curveballs this year as well.
“And 2017 will be chock-a-block full of events waiting to happen,” he said.
Kingdom sells Ghana property: Kingdom Holding Company has announced the sale of their 100% stake in the Mövenpick Hotel Ambassador Accra in Accra, Ghana, to QG Africa Hotel LP for $100 million, according to a news release. The deal for the 260-room property closed on 28 December.
Despite giving up all ownership, Kingdom Chairman HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud said his company will keep a stake in the property through Kingdom’s “interest in the management company Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, which will continue to operate the hotel.”
QG Africa Hotel is a fund managed by Quantum Global Investments Africa Management based in Mauritius.
Japan tourism hits record highs in 2016: Japan saw a 21.8% increase in foreign tourists throughout 2016, according to a report from Japanese news service Jiji Press.
The country saw a record 24 million inbound travelers, which marks the fourth consecutive year of record-setting travel, according to data from Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii.
“If the annual number grows 15% every year from 2015, we can achieve the target,” Ishii said.
There are hopes of attracting up to 40 million tourists in 2020, fueled by the Olympics and Paralympics, which will take place in Tokyo.
Compiled by Sean McCracken and Dana Miller.