5 things to know: 19 October 2017
5 things to know: 19 October 2017
19 OCTOBER 2017 8:42 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Luxury Myanmar hotel burns to ground
  • Property manager seeks Airbnb ban in Southern California
  • Indie hoteliers combat owner-operator friction
  • IHG to debut Kimpton in Southeast Asia
  • Travel offerings need to broaden to absorb spend

Luxury Myanmar hotels burns to ground: The luxury lakeside Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, owned by HTOO Hospitality, in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, has burned to the ground in a fire that resulted in the death of an unidentified guest, the BBC reports.

The fire, which started at about 3 a.m. Myanmar time, ripped through the mostly teak hotel and took firefighters several hours to extinguish. The hotel was built in the 1990s, but contains parts dating to the 1930s when it was used as a rowing club for British army officers. HTOO has nine hotels in Myanmar across four tiers and is, as the BBC reports, founded by “Burmese tycoon Tay Za, who was closely linked to Myanmar’s former military regime.”

Property manager seeks Airbnb ban in Southern California: The Apartment Investment & Management Co. and four subsidiaries have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California to halt Airbnb’s brokering of short-term rental transactions at four of AIMCO’s Southern California properties, according to a news release. AIMCO also has sought legal action in Florida.

According to the release, publicly listed AIMCO is seeking to “alleviate the irreparable harm to those apartment communities and their residents caused by Airbnb’s transactions.”

Indie hoteliers combat owner-operator friction: Communication is key to avoiding disconnect between hotel owners and operators, sources said during a panel at the Independent Hotel Show in London, reports Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

“My belief is that if we work together, at the end of the day the property will succeed,” said Debrah Dhugga, managing director of Dukes Collection. “A lot of people see barriers between the two sides, and I see that, too, but we work hard not to form them. Relationship is key.”

IHG to debut Kimpton in Southeast Asia: InterContinental Hotels Group is set to debut Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in Southeast Asia, according to a news release, with a 50-key property on the Indonesian island of Bali’s Nusa Dua coast.

IHG also has announced three other assets for the region. Its Hotel Indigo brand will debut in Vietnam in 2021 with the Hotel Indigo Phu Quoc Starbay. Also planned in Vietnam is the 275-room Holiday Inn Resort Sapa and 200-room InterContinental Sapa Resort in Sapa, a rural area of terraced rice fields in the northwest of the country.

Travel offerings need to broaden to absorb spend: According to the L.E.K. 2017 luxury travel study “Selective indulgence: The hanging market for premium travel,” more people are spending more money on the top end of the hotel and hospitality market. Thus, the report concludes, the travel industry needs to “broaden its traditional definition of luxury offerings and create menus of à la carte items on which travelers can choose to splurge.”

In a study of 2,000 U.S. high-end travelers, the main conclusion L.E.K. drew was that “people are willing to spend generously on those aspects of luxury travel that matter to them the most.” More than three in five millennials surveyed (61%) said they either choose full or selective luxury travel, compared with 48% of Gen Xers and 35% of Baby Boomers.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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