5 things to know: 3 April 2018
5 things to know: 3 April 2018
03 APRIL 2018 9:44 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • LA development down as China pumps brakes
  • Russia sees rise in American tourism
  • Operators offer best practices for market conditions
  • Holiday Inn Express, Marriott earn top customer ratings
  • Shangri-La making family travel easier

LA development down as China pumps breaks: In the last five years, Chinese companies have been some of the biggest commercial real estate investors in Los Angeles, spending billions on condominiums, hotels and retail complexes, reports the Los Angeles Times.

But now that Chinese investors are pulling out of high-profile ventures as “leaders in Beijing constrict the flow of money out of the country,” Acquisitions by Chinese investors in the LA metro area fell 67% in 2017, the newspaper reports.

One of the more significant pullbacks came from Beijing-based Dalian Wanda Group, which is looking to sell 8 acres of land on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. That location is “widely regarded as one of the most desirable development sites in the county,” according to the article.

Russia sees rise in American tourism: Data from the Russia Federal Security Service shows there was a 25% increase in arrivals from foreign travelers to Russia between January and September 2017, reports BBC, and arrivals from the United States were up 18%.

Despite U.S. officials warning citizens to reconsider travel to Russia, the number of U.S. travelers to Russia now “exceeds pre-conflict levels,” the news outlet reports, referring to the Russian annexation of Crimean. The BBC notes the increase “reflects an upward trend that started in 2015, the year after the conflict erupted in Crimea between pro-Russian forces and Ukraine.”

Russia also saw a slight rise in travelers from the United Kingdom in 2017.

Operators find ways to cope with market conditions: While hotel management companies are seeing more resources and tools available to be efficient today, there are still some headwinds, reports Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller.

At a panel discussing third-party management at the recent Hunter Hotel Conference, panelists agreed wage increases, rising costs and labor constraints continue to be top of mind.

“If things are good right now and you have high expectations in terms of your margins and your flow through and that wage increase starts to take place and grab hold … where else can you cut (costs)?” asked Brad Rahinsky, president and CEO of Hotel Equities.

Holiday Inn Express, Marriott earn top customer ratings: Hotel brands Holiday Inn Express and Marriott received the highest rankings among the 20 hospitality companies and brands included in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, which annually benchmarks customer experience, according to a news release. Both received a 78% rating.

Days Inn closed out the list at No. 20 with 56%.

“Overall, the hotel industry averaged a 70% rating in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings and came in seventh place out of 20 industries,” the new release states. “The average rating of the industry declined by 0.6 percentage points between 2017 and 2018, dropping from 70.2% to 69.9%.”

Shangri-La making family travel easier: The Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore is ramping up its luxury family experience by offering variations of themed guestrooms, suites and play areas for kids, according to a Forbes article.

Included in the suites and play rooms are children’s furniture and amenities and even a personal concierge upon request. Each of the themed family suites are about 775 square feet and have two bathrooms, with the larger of the two designed for kid-use, along with access to a washing machine and dryer.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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