From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- AccorHotels officially launches AccorLocal
- Deloitte: Amsterdam tops Europe’s investment hotspots
- IHG thinks Avid hits a sweet spot
- Japan sets circa 20-year record for growth
- UK unemployment down, but so are wages
AccorHotels officially launches AccorLocal: AccorHotels announced today it will officially launch AccorLocal on 19 November, according to a news release. The initiative will offer both guests and local communities AccorHotels’ products and services, while giving the brand a chance to promote their hospitality to non-guests.
According to the release “local residents can hence access a whole range of additional hospitality services, such as spas, the swimming pools, fitness rooms, co-working spaces or takeaway breakfasts and a myriad of little useful services: access to printers, motorcycle helmets left offices, ironing rooms, parkings under surveillance, etc.”
CEO Sébastien Bazin added “AccorHotels is continuing a history of daring and winning moves which has led us to where we’re not expected to go, but to where we do however have absolute legitimacy as a place bursting with life in the heart of the city.”
The program is available to consumers via a smartphone app.
Deloitte: Amsterdam tops Europe’s investment hotspots: Amsterdam is the most attractive European city for hotel investment for the second consecutive year, according to business consultancy Deloitte. Rounding out the top five are Barcelona, Dublin, London and Madrid and in that order.
London fell to fourth place following a second place showing 2016’s rankings. At Deloitte’s 29th European Hotel Investment Conference last week, Andreas Scriven, head of hospitality and leisure, Deloitte, said “it is not surprising to see London slip down the pecking order, with concerns of over-supply, high pricing and uncertainty starting to bite. Investors may be questioning how much value they can get out of the city.”
IHG thinks Avid hits a sweet spot: Officially launched in September, InterContinental Hotels Group’s latest brand Avid has been developed for owners who have “truly bought into the transient limited-service space,” said Chris Drazba, VP of core brands and Mexico development for the Americas.
HNN’s Jeff Higley, interviewing Avid executives during the recent Lodging Conference, writes that the brand was created to fill the gap between economy and midscale segments, with a targeted average daily rate $10 to $15 less than Holiday Inn Express and development costs between $85,000 and $90,000 per room, excluding land fees.
Drazba further described the type of developers who will find the brand appealing.
“One that understands the need to include free breakfast but doesn’t necessarily want a full F&B operations,” he said. “It’s not a brand where we seek third-party management arrangements.”
Japan sets circa 20-year record for growth: Japan has recorded growth in its economy for the seventh quarter in a row, according to The New York Times, the longest streak for growth in almost 20 years. Gross domestic product in the country increased 1.4% in annualized terms for the three-month period ending in September.
Japan, according to the newspaper, has benefitted from rising global demand coupled with a strategy of financial stimulus championed by the country’s government and central bank, which might have been the cause for the October re-election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
All of this bodes well for the hotel industry in Japan, which has been enjoying ongoing growth in international visitors. A report from Nikkei citing data from the Japan National Tourism Organization notes the country has seen roughly 23.8 million inbound visitors through the end of October, a 18% year-over-year increase for the 10-month period.
U.K. unemployment down, but so are wages: In more national economic news, the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics released its U.K. Labour Report for the three months between July and September. Unemployment fell by 59,000, its first drop since August to October 2016 and the largest decline since April to June 2015.
More worrying to some observers was that pay, including bonuses, in the quarter rose by 2.2%, while inflation rose 2.7%. The London Stock Exchange saw a rise in the value of the pound sterling, which The Guardian attributed to “the pick-up in wage growth in the last quarter,” despite a rate of inflation higher than a rate of growth effectively continuing a wage squeeze in the U.K.
Compiled by Terence Baker.