5 things to know: 23 April 2019
5 things to know: 23 April 2019
23 APRIL 2019 9:36 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Oyo CEO on how he’ll continue exponential growth
  • IHG and Valor ink deal for African growth
  • Early earnings reports lift markets
  • Rate does heavy lifting for US hotels in Q1
  • A new hotel amenity: Ax throwing

Oyo CEO on how he’ll continue exponential growth: With some high-profile backers in SoftBank and Airbnb, and explosive growth across 10 countries over just a six-year span, Oyo Rooms is garnering a lot of attention in the global hotel industry. CEO and founder Ritesh Agarwal recently spoke with HNN contributor Chitra Balasubramaniam about how he plans to continue his company’s international growth as he builds “the most-loved hospitality brand in the world.”

His said one major tailwind for Oyo is that they largely operate in a white space that major hotel brands ignore.

“Globally, the majority of the chains operate properties that have over 100 rooms, while in reality nearly 80% to 90% of the assets in the hospitality industry are small or independent hotels with less than 100 rooms,” he said. “This was an opportunity that was not realized by large chains and created a unique space for us. It is our mission to create quality living spaces.”

IHG and Valor ink deal for African growth: InterContinental Hotels Group and Valor Hospitality Partners have signed a master development agreement for sub-Saharan Africa, targeting growth for IHG’s brands in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Zambia and Kenya, according to a news release from the companies.

IHG currently has 26 hotels open in eight countries in Africa, and plans to grow its presence in the continent by 40% within the next three to five years.

Early earnings reports lift markets: Positive earnings reports from companies like Coca-Cola and Twitter lifted markets early Tuesday, according to Reuters, as companies were more optimistic than expected.

Analysts who watch the hotel industry noted earlier in the week, though, that the publicly traded hotel companies are not expected to share in that upbeat attitude.

Rate does heavy lifting for U.S. hotels in Q1: Revenue per available room was up 1.5% year over year to $79.68 for U.S. hotels in the first quarter of 2019, according to the latest data from HNN’s parent company STR, and that’s largely on the back of average daily rate growth.

ADR was up 1.1% to $129.02 for the quarter, while occupancy was up slightly 0.4% to 61.8%.

That RevPAR growth number was the lowest for a Q1 since 2010.

A new hotel amenity: Ax throwing: Here’s one way to uniquely differentiate your hotel from the competition: Offer ax throwing on-property. That’s exactly what the 16-room Downtown Sporting Club in Nashville, Tennessee, is doing to compete in that increasingly crowded market, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The property is the brain child of brothers Max and Benjamin Goldberg, owners of Strategic Hospitality, with Benjamin noting their modus operandi is to “come at hospitality thinking about what would be fun for us.”

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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