North American Hotel Bookings Are Positive for Q1 2017
The first-quarter outlook for 2017 appears promising for North American hotels, according to TravelClick. Committed occupancy and average daily rate both are ahead of this time last year. ADR is up 2.7 percent, and committed occupancy—transient rooms reserved and group rooms committed—is up 6.7 percent. Even for transient business, the thorn in the side of hoteliers through most of 2016, bookings have bumped up 2.7 percent and ADR has increased 4.4 percent. Looking farther out, though, business transient bookings for the next 12 months are down 0.8 percent, while ADR is up 1.7 percent. TravelClick’s November North American Hospitality Review looks at group sales commitments and individual reservations in the 25 major North American markets for hotel stays booked by Nov. 1, 2016, for November 2016 to October 2017. Source: Travel Procurement
Marriott International Splits 30 Brands into “Classic” & “Distinctive”
Marriott International is differentiating each of its 30 brands as either Classic, described as “time-honored hospitality for the modern traveler,” or Distinctive, “for those who lean towards memorable experiences with a unique perspective.” Classic brands include The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites and Residence Inn. Distinctive brands include W Hotels Worldwide, Edition, Le Meridien, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, AC Hotels, Aloft Hotels and Element. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson previously said the company intends to keep every brand intact following the Starwood Hotels & Resorts acquisition, which added 11 brands from Starwood to the Marriott portfolio. Source: BTN
Wyndham Buys Latin America’s Fën Hotels
Wyndham Hotel Group has acquired Fën Hotels, a management and franchise company based in Latin America. The buy adds 26 management contracts to the group’s portfolio across Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and the United States. It also expands WHG’s brand portfolio to 18 with the addition of Fën’s Esplendor Boutique Hotels and Dazzler Hotels brands. Integration of the two companies will occur over the next 18 months, according to Fën Hotels CEO and co-founder Patricio Fuks. Fën will maintain its more than 100 executives and management staff members at its headquarters in Buenos Aires, which will become WHG’s Latin America headquarters. Source: BTN
United Debuts Polaris Business Class
Earlier this month, services for United Airlines’ new Polaris business class rolled out, including bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue and kits from Soho House’s Cowshed Spa. The carrier also opened its Polaris business class lounge at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and it will open similar lounges in Hong Kong, Houston, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, Tokyo Narita and Washington Dulles. Pod-style business class seats will appear next year, first on new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and later on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000s. United also will add the pod-style business class seats by retrofitting Boeing 767-300s and 777-200s. Source: BTN
Norwegian Air Plans U.S. Expansion
The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a foreign air carrier permit for low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle’s Irish subsidiary to fly to the United States.
The decision affirms the tentative approval the DOT offered in April. Norwegian Air Shuttle already flies to the United States from Norway and other markets covered by its Norwegian license, but the permit for Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary will open up further expansion opportunities, including service between the United States and Ireland. Source: BTN
Qatar Airways More Than Doubles Expansion Plans
Qatar Airways has added eight destinations to the seven it already had planned to launch by 2018.
• Las Vegas
• Canberra, Australia
• Rio de Janeiro
• Santiago, Chile
• Medan, Indonesia
• Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
• Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
• Auckland, New Zealand
• Sarajevo, Bosnia
• Skopje, Macedonia
• Libreville, Gabon
• Nice, France
• Chiang Mai, Thailand
• Douala, Cameroon
So far this year, Qatar has added 12 destinations, including three in the United States: Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles. Source: BTN
Vista Closes Cvent Acquisition, Merges Cvent & Lanyon
Cvent’s rising stock prices on Nov. 17 preceded an official announcement the next morning that the U.S. Department of Justice had cleared the path for Vista Equity Partners’ $1.65 billion acquisition of the Virginia-based meetings technology company. In a joint statement Tuesday, Vista and Cvent announced the completion of that tie-up, but with a twist: Cvent and Lanyon, which is also owned by Vista and widely considered Cvent’s closest industry rival in terms of technology stack and client scope, have merged, as well.
The combined Cvent and Lanyon company will operate under the Cvent name. It will maintain the Cvent headquarters in Tysons Corner, Va., and will have significant presence at the former Lanyon headquarters in Dallas. Cvent CEO Reggie Aggarwal will keep his role. Lanyon CEO David Bonnette will step aside after a management transition. Source: Travel Procurement
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