From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- US extended-stay hotels rebound from occupancy decline
- Cuba predicts US will bring hotel activity
- Hotel execs talk spinoffs during Q1 earnings calls
- Travel survey dissects European multi-generational habits
- Memorial Day expected to create spike in travel volume
US extended-stay hotels rebound from occupancy decline: Despite opening 25,000 new extended-stay rooms in the past year and an eight-quarter slump of declining occupancy, the segment reached one of its highest first-quarter levels since 2006, according to a news release from the Highland Group.
Demand growth remained strong enough to increase occupancy and allow for a steady growth in average daily rate, the release states. Extended-stay revenue per available room lifted 3.7% in the first quarter compared to the same time in 2016.
Cuba predicts U.S. will bring hotel activity: The annual Latin American Hotel Tourism Investment Conferences began in Havana this week and with major U.S. hotel groups attending, conference organizers are hopeful the next step of hotel development in Cuba is activity from U.S. companies, Reuters reports.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide became the first American hospitality company in more than half a century to operate in Cuba with the Four Points by Sheraton Havana.
Arturo Garcia, president of the conference, told Reuters, “Most sponsors are waiting for this same approval, and when they get it you will see their hotels all over the island.”
Be on the lookout for upcoming coverage of the Latin American Hotel Tourism Investment Conferences from HNN’s Stephanie Ricca.
Hotel execs talk spinoffs during Q1 earnings calls: During Hotel News Now’s coverage of 2017 first-quarter earnings calls, spinoffs were a driving topic of discussion for MGM Resorts International, Hilton, Wyndham Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and La Quinta Holdings.
James Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, shared his take on a sale of MGM Resorts’ National Harbor property to MGM Growth Properties.
“So, when we were on the road with the MGP road show … last year, we tackled this question. We said that it was our best guess at that time that the most appropriate time to discuss a transaction between MGM and MGP would have been after you have a couple quarters of operations, so that both companies can properly underwrite what the right valuation would be. And I think that’s exactly the timetable that we’re on today.
“National Harbor has done everything and a bit more than we had hoped it to do when we built it last year. The trajectory is exactly what we would have hoped to see. The upside is very apparent to us in terms of its cash flow potential, and the real estate value of the asset is unquestionably pristine. … I would expect that we would hold to that timetable that we discussed on the road show and start having robust discussions this year as early as the third quarter.”
Travel survey dissects European multi-generational habits: A new travel study weaving through four generations—Generation Z, millennials, Generation X and baby boomers—in European travelers found that each one has distinct habits, according to a news release from Northstar Research Partners and Expedia Media Solutions.
On average, Europeans take 3.7 trips per year, the study found, for both business and leisure purposes. And findings on Gen Z show they are more “open-minded, mobile and influenced by advertising” than their counterparts.
“As one of the most budget-conscious generations in Europe, Gen Z is more likely to start the research and planning process without a set destination in mind, rely on their smartphones when looking for travel inspiration and have an all-or-nothing approach to travel activities,” according to the news release. “They are influenced by deals and appealing imagery on social media and in advertising, so marketers looking to inspire and convert Gen Z travelers must implement a visually-compelling and integrated cross-device marketing strategy.
Memorial Day expected to create spike in travel volume: This year’s Memorial Day weekend, AAA predicts 39.3 million Americans will take their travels 50 miles or more away from their home—one million more travelers than last year.
AAA predicts travelers are still traveling by road and will grow by 2.4% by the holiday despite higher gas prices. There will be a 5.5% increase in air travel, and many vacationers this holiday will travel abroad.
“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA SVP of travel and publishing. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”
Compiled by Dana Miller.