Skift Take

Bangkok and Jakarta are in the running to become significant cities in Asia Pacific for holding conferences and events. Also in this week's news: data on the recovery in hotel and corporate travel demand in key markets, and more.

Series: Daily Lodging Report

Daily Lodging Report

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. It covers North America and Asia Pacific with two separate regional editions.

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Here are some excerpts from Daily Lodging Report from the past week. If you’re not a subscriber, you should be. Get news on hotel deals, development, stocks, and career moves. Sign up here, now.

Sunday, Aug 7

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust closed on the sale of the 306-room Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA, for $80 million to a third party. Proceeds from the sale of Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square will be used for general corporate purposes and to reduce the company’s outstanding debt borrowings associated with recent hotel acquisitions. 

Extended Stay America announced that subsidiaries of ESH Hospitality, Inc. are converting more than 100 recently acquired WoodSpring Suites hotels to the Extended Stay America family of brands later this year. With the addition of these properties, Extended Stay America will have a portfolio of 762 hotels, comprising nearly 85,000 rooms in 45 states.

Graduate Hotels just launched Graduate Homes, a short-term vacation rental service. The program is quite similar to Airbnb, but a Graduate Homes stay includes access to Graduate Hotels services, from hotel concierges to on-site amenities like pools and gyms.

Skift Note: The Graduate Hotels test of providing branded-short term rental lodgings is another example of “the Great Merging” that Skift has been discussing.

Monday, Aug 8

The CBRE Hotels Research State of the Union showcases current demand trends, as well as fundamentals by segment, location type, and chain scale. Key takeaways include: CBRE expects average daily rate (ADR) growth to moderate in the U.S. in the second half of the year and beyond. June revenue per available room RevPAR growth continued to exceed 2019 levels. All location types exceeded 2019 RevPAR levels except for urban hotels. International outbound expenditures continued to rise. Bookings via brand.com continued to gain market share during Q2 from 19 percent to 21 percent compared to 2019.

According to the Q2 2022 United States Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics, at the close of the second quarter, the top five markets with the largest hotel construction pipelines are Dallas with 173 projects/20,707 rooms; Atlanta with 140 projects/18,131 rooms; Los Angeles with 124 projects/20,365 rooms; New York with 113 projects/19,238 rooms; and Phoenix with 108 projects/14,964 rooms. The top five markets with the most projects currently under construction are New York City, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.

Skift Note: It’s worth pointing out that Atlanta has the most projects scheduled to start in the next year and that Marriott International has the most projects under construction and scheduled to start within the next year.

Tuesday, Aug 9

More than 50 luxury hotels are set to open in Jakarta and Bangkok within the next five years,” Nikkei reported. The latest was the Park Hyatt Jakarta which opened on July 8, billed as the Indonesia’s first six star hotelA study by Nikkei found that 13 four star and higher-ranked hotels are scheduled to open in Jakarta from 2021 to 2026. Germany’s Tophotelnews suggests Bangkok is expecting a more rapid pace of high end hotel openings with 28 four star and 13 five star hotels expected to launch in Thailand’s capital from 2021 to 2024.

We start out on a sad note as it was announced that Corry W. Oakes III, the CEO, who was also a co-founder, of OTO Development passed away unexpectedly on August 7. Oakes, Todd Turner and Jim Ovenden provided the initials to name the hotel development and hospitality management company they founded alongside George Dean Johnson Jr. and the late H. Wayne Huizenga in May 2004. OTO Development is part of The Johnson Group.

The second half of the earnings season included a sparkler from Hyatt, while IHGwent back to returning money to shareholders with dividends and up to $500 million in share buybacks. Marriott Vacations also added $500 million to their buyback, while Hilton Grand Vacations met on revenue, beat on adjusted EBITDA by a wide margin.

Hersha Hospitality Trust entered into a definitive agreement to sell seven of its non-core Urban Select Service properties outside of New York for gross proceeds of $505 million. The following hotels are included in the transactions: Courtyard Brookline; Hampton Inn, Philadelphia; Hilton Garden Inn M Street; Hampton Inn, Washington D.C.; Courtyard Sunnyvale; Courtyard Los Angeles Westside; and TownePlace Suites Sunnyvale. Hersha intends to use the proceeds from the sale of the USS Portfolio to provide immediate liquidity for a significant net debt reduction of approximately $460 – $480 million. In addition to approximately $390 – $410 million of corporate debt, the Company expects to reduce mortgage debt associated with the USS Portfolio by approximately $75 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022.

Skift Note: Implicit in the long-term boom for luxury hotels in Bangkok and Jakarta is that those cities are forecast to become “second cities” for meetings and conventions as Asian Pacific alternatives to Singapore.

Wednesday, Aug 10

Ennismore announced its continued expansion across New Zealand and Australia with the signing of four new hotels in New Zealand with CP Group.  The partnership will see the opening of four new hotels including a JO&JOE in Auckland, two TRIBE hotels in Auckland, and a Hyde in Queenstown. The hotels are expected to open in 2023 and 2024.  The new hotels will be located in the heart of New Zealand’s distinct cities and will join Ennismore’s expanding collective in the Pacific region.  

Aimbridge Hospitality announced growth in its Latin America division with the addition of three new hotels in Mexico and a Guadalajara-based, world-class restaurant.The properties include the AC Hotel Monterrey Valley, opening this month with 166 rooms; Aloft Guadalajara Sur, opening in fall 2022 with 175 rooms; and the 167-room Aloft Playa del Carmen is anticipated to open this winter. Aimbridge LatAm also announced that Zibu Guadalajara at JW Marriott Hotel Guadalajara opened this summer.

Owner and proprietor, Amit Patel, stated The Hotel Chelsea is expected to open by the end of the year in Norwich, CT. The build out of the nearly 200-year-old building is in three phases, with the first being the 24 rooms and the lobby, the second being a banquet hall and a kitchenette, and a bar in the third phase. In the future, Patel may also rent a space for a ghost kitchen. The building has been in the possession of Patel’s family since May 2019, when it was bought by Ganesha Hospitality, LLC.

Skift Note: Meet the co-CEO and founder of Ennismore, Sharan Pasricha, at Skift Global Forum in New York in September.

Thursday, Aug 11

STR reported Sydney, Australia, hotel occupancy dipped in July from June. Occupancy in July 2022 was 65.8% while ADR was A$239.96 resulting in RevPAR of A$157.80. Even though that was a decline from June 2022, when compared with July 2019 the ADR and RevPAR levels were higher. Occupancy was -16.1% below July 2019. For the month there were only two days that occupancy dipped below 50%.

The Business Times reported business has picked up so much in Singapore that hotels are frantically looking for employees as staffing levels have yet to match the tourism pickup. The Singapore Hotel Association said Singapore’s hotel workforce shrunk by 25% to 30% over the past two years. In June, Changi Airport passenger volumes exceeded 50% of pre-pandemic levels, achieving the year-end target earlier than expected. Hospitality staffing levels have lagged behind. Resorts World Sentosa is looking to fill more than 1,500 positions across all areas of the integrated resort, while Marina Bay Sands is seeking to fill 1,750 positions. In June, Singapore hotels recorded the highest RevPAR since the beginning of the pandemic with average room rates hitting a 6-year high and average occupancy at a 6 month high of 76.9%.

Choice Hotels Asia Pacific said corporate travel has returned to a new normal. Capital and regional cities are experiencing a major surge in corporate bookings as business travelers opt for longer stays. Choice even said their first half 2022 figures are showing this segment eclipsing 2019 figures.

Skift Note: Asia Pacific’s uneven recovery, with some places, such as Singapore, booming, while others, such as China, are underperforming, may have enduring effects on hotel capital expenditure, business traveler habits, and planning decisions by companies.

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