From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Oyo seeks $1.5 billion in new round of financing
- US-China trade talks to restart this week
- Best Western launches extended-stay SureStay Studio
- Saudi Arabia relaxes rules on who can rent hotel rooms
- Last of Thomas Cook’s UK holiday-makers return home
Oyo seeks $1.5 billion in new round of financing: Oyo Hotels & Homes will raise $1.5 billion as part of its Series F funding round, according to a news release. RA Hospitality Holdings will invest $700 million as primary capital, and the remaining $800 million will come through other existing investors.
The company intends to focus “a significant part of the funds” toward its continued growth in the United States and strengthening the position of its vacation rental business in Europe, the release states.
U.S.-China trade talks to restart this week: The U.S. will welcome China’s trade delegation on 10 October to begin a new round of trade talks, Reuters reports. The two teams will discuss forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, agriculture and enforcement.
U.S. stocks opened lower today as investors prepared for the start of talks later this week “after a rollercoaster start to the month on fears that the world’s largest economy could be sliding into a recession,” the news agency reported in a separate article. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both fell nearly 0.3% at opening while the Nasdaq Composite dropped more than 0.3%.
Best Western launches extended-stay SureStay Studio: Seeing growth opportunity given the demand in the economy segment, Best Western Hotels & Resorts has launched SureStay Studio, an extended-stay version of its existing SureStay brands, writes HNN’s Bryan Wroten. The company launched the brand at its annual conference.
SVP and COO Ron Pohl said the new-build prototype has 67 rooms in a 32,000-square-foot building. The construction cost is about $60,000 per key. The extended-stay brand is also suitable for conversions, he said.
Saudi Arabia relaxes rules on who can rent hotel rooms: Saudi Arabia will now allow unmarried foreign couples to rent a hotel room together under a new visa regime, BBC News reports. The country will also allow women to stay in hotel rooms alone.
“Long seen as one of the strictest places on earth, Saudi Arabia is trying to soften its image in the eyes of foreign tourists and investors,” the article states.
Recent changes include allowing women to drive and to travel abroad without a male guardian’s permission, according to the article.
Last of Thomas Cook’s U.K. holiday-makers return home: The last groups of holiday-makers from Britain who were stranded when Thomas Cook fell apart have made it home, Reuters reports. The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority reported 4,800 people were scheduled to fly home on 24 flights Sunday, with the last landing this morning.
“In the first 13 days, we have made arrangements for around 140,000 passengers to return to the U.K., and we are pleased that 94% of holiday-makers have arrived home on the day of their original departure,” CAA CEO Richard Moriarty told Reuters.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.