Skift Take

Asia's reopening continues at a glacial pace while analysts now think a full demand recovery in the U.S. isn't out of the question sometime next year.

Skift’s Daily Lodging Report is a subscription-required, email-only newsletter read by anyone and everyone in the hotel investor, owner, and operator space, including CEOs of some of the industry’s top brands. With two separate regional versions, it covers everything from North America to Asia Pacific. The report itself, curated by founder Alan Woinski, boils industry news down to a quick, easy-to-read daily digest known for keeping readers up to date in an efficient, effective way.

Here’s a sampling of what the Daily Lodging Report provided to its readers this past week. If you’re not a subscriber, you should be. Don’t wait. Sign up now here.

Sunday, Nov. 7

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Development Ventures Group announced the signing of definitive agreements for the development and management of a Fairmont hotel in Orlando, FL. Scheduled to open in early 2025, Fairmont Orlando will mark the brand’s 20th property in the United States. The seven-story property will feature 550 guestrooms, including 90 suites, 12 unique villas, and 87 Fairmont Gold rooms. The brand’s signature Fairmont Gold experience will be offered on the top floor and includes an expansive private lounge. Additional property features include seven distinct food and beverage concepts; spa and wellness center inclusive of seven treatment rooms, a gym and two hot tubs; over 44,0000 square feet of expansive meetings and events space; three pools; children and young adult centers; a library and business center; as well as ample retail space. 

Skift Note: One hotel deal may not seem like a lot, but this strengthens Accor’s grip on the U.S. luxury sector and provides the Paris-based company with even a little bit more presence in the U.S. — something its CEO Sebastien Bazin clearly wants.

Monday, Nov. 8

Japan said they will allow short term travelers and foreign laborers to enter the country. This follows a sharp fall in new infections in Japan with more than 70% of the population fully vaccinated. Japan will still restrict the total number of international arrivals a day. Short term visitors must be vaccinated and isolate themselves for three days after which they need a negative test. Students and workers will face a two-week isolation period. There is not much help for the hotels, yet, as tourists continue to be banned.

Skit Note: Hotels will continue to struggle in countries — especially smaller ones — taking a more isolated approach to containing the spread of the virus.

Tuesday, Nov. 9

A number of media outlets reported authorities are looking to implement a trial beginning in December that would allow Hong Kong travelers to enter Mainland China without having to quarantine. The trial would be limited initially to Guangdong Province with Shenzhen as the sole entry point. There would be a daily visitor quota in place and travelers would be subject to a health code system. Travelers from Hong Kong could go to other cities in Guangdong province after arriving in Shenzhen if they have valid health codes and meet other requirements, which are being finalized. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told Hong Kong’s Economic Daily that this could be extended to Macau with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge to represent the first batch of ports to open, connecting the three jurisdictions for the first time since early 2020. Other media reports suggest mainland China is willing to entertain a broader reopening with Hong Kong by February and a full reopening by no later than June 2022.

Skift Note: Hong Kong needs an infusion of visitors. The expat-heavy city usually finds this from other countries, so its focus on Mainland China is a test on if that’s enough of a traveler base to keep hotels afloat.

According to an upgraded forecast released by STR and Tourism Economics, U.S. hotel demand as well as average daily rate on a nominal basis will near full recovery in 2022. Additionally, RevPAR on a nominal basis is projected to be fully recovered by 2023. Amanda Hite, President of STR, said ADR has risen more rapidly that she expected and, in some cases, that rise was due to strong demand confronting capacity constraints, which enabled solid revenue management, while in other cases, the rise was more influenced by inflation. When adjusted for inflation, RevPAR is further off the pace and will likely remain below 2019 levels until at least 2025.

Skift Note: Data suggests major hotel CEOs aren’t so far-fetched with their optimistic predictions heading into 2022.

Wednesday, Nov. 10

Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s travel program, announced The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will join the program effective November 9, 2021. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is poised to become one of the most exciting debuts in the luxury travel sector, carving out an entirely unique space within the industry. Evrima, the first yacht from the Collection, will cruise a variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. The intimate size of the vessel allows the yacht to call on locations that are usually not accessible to larger cruise ships, including Saint-Tropez, Ibiza and St. Barts. The specially designed yacht measures 624 feet and features 149 suites. Guests will enjoy a range of programming including a curated menu of spa treatments, watersports from the yacht’s marina and Evrima’s signature restaurant. In each destination, guests can choose from a selection of experiences within The Shore Collection or utilize the services of the Concierge Ashore to customize their own private tours. 

Skift Note: Major hotel companies are boosting revenue beyond the walls of a traditional development. Five-star service floats.

Thursday, Nov. 11

The Biden administration is awarding $314 million in grants to 34 states and the District of Columbia to revitalize travel and tourism. The funding comes as the United States lifted travel restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign nationals flying from 33 countries and from tourists crossing land borders from Mexico and Canada. Communities along the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada were especially hard hit as were places like Florida that cater to foreign tourists. U.S. Travel stated that one key need is to fully reopen and resume visitor visa processing at U.S. embassies to reduce the backlog for future visitors. Countries not part of the Visa Waiver program are facing long wait times in excess of 14 months for a visitor visa appointment…

NY Governor Hochul consulted with leaders of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council before steering a big chunk of her $450 million tourism-revival program for New York into ramping up employment at the city’s 300 hotels. The plan includes a $100 million Tourism Worker Recovery Fund. Another $100 million aims to spur hotels and other tourism-related businesses that suffered job and revenue losses. To receive the full benefit, employers have to maintain employment increases over 6 months. In addition, the Hochul plan includes a $25 million “Meet in New York” grant program that convention planners partnering with hotels can tap into to offer discounts on booking fees or room blocks to woo back business-related tourism.

Skift Note: Economic relief is coming to the battered travel and tourism sector but not at the broad national levels major lobbyist groups would like to see.

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Tags: accor, daily lodging report, hotels, str

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