This week in hospitality news, based on coronavirus impact, particularly from China, Oyo's valuation could plunge to $6 billion based on Skift Research estimates. Plus, Best Western stands out among its hotel peers as a nonprofit with a unique membership model for its owners. Is that holding it back from growth?
Hotel News Weekly Roundup
Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines hotels.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
Oyo’s Post-Coronavirus Valuation Could Fall to Around $6 Billion: Numerous travel companies, private and public, have seen their valuations taken down a peg by coronavirus. But Oyo’s China business, where it fields about 60 percent of its rooms, and its ongoing operational problems in other regions exacerbate its likely valuation decline.
Best Western: A Hotels Anomaly Ripe for Change: Best Western’s unique longstanding model gives much power to its member hotels. But as changes quickly alter the industry’s landscape, can the chain still compete effectively under the old ways?
Myopia, Spin and the End of the Hotel Industry’s Winning Streak: Just weeks ago, the trend was for hotel companies to give guidance that didn’t include coronavirus fallout with the expectation that analysts would bless them. How in the world do you trust guidance that doesn’t include the biggest negative impact of the year?
Aman Expands in New Direction With Launch of Community-Focused Luxury Brand: Aman launches a new sister brand. The opportunity? To give creative class travelers more connected and social experiences while in the familiar aesthetic considerations (and a lower price point) of the elder sister brand Aman. Right now it’s all theoretical, but the rationale is rock solid.
Airbnb, Expedia and Others Agree to Landmark Data-Sharing Deal With European Union: It’s hard to know whether greater transparency will benefit or hinder these short-term rental platforms. Might lawmakers use the information as a stick to wield over the industry?
Hostmaker Collapse Prompts Further Consolidation in Europe’s Short-Term Rental Market: In a growing sector like this where there is a race to scale up, casualties will always exist. Houst will be hoping to capitalize on Hostmaker’s misfortune.
Hotels Strive to Get Savvier About Forecasting Total Revenue: Software may be eating the world, but in hotel tech it’s still munching on the appetizers. Hotels have only begun to automate operational forecasts, such as how much revenue restaurants on a property may bring in or how much group business a hotel might steal from a crosstown rival.
Airbnb-Backed Rental Manager Lyric Restructures to Focus Just on Key Cities: Restructuring in itself isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world for a company, although fired employees might not see it that way. This is at least the second recent and high-profile Airbnb investment. The other, with Oyo, doesn’t appear to be proceeding according to plan, either.
ITB Berlin’s Cancellation Had Only a Mild Impact on Short-Term Rental Owners: An upside for cities like Berlin that tighten short-term rental supply through regulation is that they’re less prone to price and occupancy shocks when something like the trade fair ITB Berlin cancels at the last minute.
How Hyatt’s Miraval Resorts and Others Are Tuning In to Sound Healing: If you have been noticing more spas offering treatments that incorporate Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks, or gongs, you aren’t alone. Sound therapies are starting to make waves in the spa industry.
Travelers Frustrated by Plastic Alternatives Offered by Companies: Reducing plastic waste is just step one. Step two is implementing alternatives to plastic. But how do companies get travelers on board if the alternatives are flawed? Part of the answer lies in forthright communication.
Up All Night, Searching for the Lights: A Finnish Hotel’s Aurora Watcher: Overnight shifts are usually bemoaned by those who work them, but that’s not the case for Mikko Anetjärvi. He spends his nights on the lookout for something many of us only dream of seeing.
Wellness Travel in the Time of Coronavirus: While certain wellness travel trends are on the rise, like sound therapy, they won’t drive more bookings as long as the coronavirus is a threat. Wellness travel, along with the rest of the industry, will need to hold tight and hope the outbreak gets under control.
Photo credit: A guest room at Oyo Hostal Las Murallas in Madrid, Spain. Oyo Hotels & Homes