Four Seasons's new marketing effort uses the catchphrase "luxury is our love language." At Skift, news is our love language, so dive into this roundup of news items on hotel deals and development.
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.
Sunday, August 28
Hoteliers in the U.S. did not seem very pleased with the U.S. General Services Administration’s increase in lodging per diems for 2023. Hotel News Now reported that hotels might end up abandoning negotiated rates for government employees in favor of higher-paying demand segments. This follows the news the increase will only be to $98 from $96. While better than two years of flat rates, the 2 percent increase does not even come close to keeping up with inflation or the increase in room rates in the US that has been in the high teens.
Hotel Equities announced the launch of its new Lifestyle division. HE’s alliance with Greenwood Hospitality combines Greenwood’s extensive collection of lifestyle and luxury hotels with HE’s portfolio of award-winning focused and full-service hotels. The lifestyle division now includes over 30 assets, including hotels such as The Farnam in Omaha, NE, and The Henry in Dearborn, MI, both Autograph Collection by Marriott hotels, as well as the Tulsa Club, a Curio Collection by Hilton, located in Tulsa, OK.
Proponents of redeveloping 848 Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver into a major hotel are making it clear they would like to build their project in time for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. A new rezoning application outlines the plan to turn the mid-block surface parking lot into a 30-story hotel tower with 393 guest rooms. The project is being spearheaded by Paul Y. Construction with Forme Development as the local development manager.
Skift Note: Something’s got to give. The U.S. federal government wants its workers to stay in hotels at approved rates, but many hoteliers say that will be difficult if the government doesn’t hike travel allowances.
Monday, August 29
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts unveiled its new brand creative platform, Luxury Is Our Love Language, celebrating the brand’s unique and energetic perspective on the definition of luxury. Developed by Publicis Groupe’s NYC-based creative collection, Le Truc, the work highlights the exceptional experiences delivered by Four Seasons through the deep understanding of their guests and the genuine care of their people. The collective approach between Four Seasons, Le Truc, Starcom, Publicis Canada, and Four Seasons CRM Agency of Record, Hawkeye Canada, was designed to deliver a full 360 platform for the brand’s creative re-launch.
In India, mid-sized hotel brands have embarked on aggressive plans and are signing up hotels at a record pace, reported The Business Standard. Recently active players in this space include Noesis Capital & Advisors, ITC Hotel Group’s Fortune brand, InterGlobe Hotels’s Ibis brand, Lemon Tree Hotels, and Indian Hotel Company’s lean luxe brand Ginger.
Skift Note: Four Seasons is investing heavily in its brand refresh, and other luxury players may look at its move with admiration and jealousy.
Tuesday, August 30
STR’s consumer research in July 2022 produced telling insights into the state of business travel worldwide. Roughly 400 global business travelers were asked to think about their likelihood to travel for business. The results remained in negative territory, with 55% of respondents are less likely to travel overnight for business now compared with pre-pandemic time, while 40% are more likely to travel for overnight business when the pandemic ends.
Indian Hotels Company Limited plans to have 300 hotels by 2025. They expect their flagship Taj will have 100 hotels by 2025, up from the current 89. The Vivanta and SeleQtions brands will increase to a portfolio of 75 hotels from the current 64. Ginger will see the number increase to 125 hotels during the period from 89 at present.
Skift Note: Hear STR President Amanda Hite speak at Skift Global Forum in New York in September with more data on hotel demand. For more on IHCL, read this week’s Skift interview with CEO and managing director Puneet Chhatwal.
Wednesday, August 31
IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of its 600th hotel in Greater China, with the debut of Kimpton Bamboo Grove Suzhou.
Speaking during a session at the Hotel Data Conference, AirDNA Director of Product Max Bernstein said as of June 2022, demand for short-term rentals is up 21% indexed to 2019, while hotel demand is down -3.4%. STR’s June 2022 year-to-date data indexed to 2019 also shows that for everyone one home rental sold across all locations and market types in 2019, nine hotel rooms were sold, whereas in 2022 the ratio dropped to seven rooms.
BM5 Hospitality LLC is proposing the construction of a four-story, 91-room TownePlace Suites hotel in Turlock, CA. A total of 88 onsite parking spaces would also be built.
Skift Note: Out of the Western hotel groups, IHG has bet the most on domestic China, but Accor, Marriott, and others intend to catch up.
Thursday, September 1
It never is good for the hotel space when a city of 21 million people is locked down. Chengdu reported 1,000 Covid cases and the Southwestern city in China has pretty much been sealed off. About 70% of the flights have been suspended to and from the city. The problem for the rest of China is that Chengdu is a major transit hub in Sichuan province and a governmental and economic center. Once again we ask you how people are going to travel for the October Golden Week knowing quite well the odds of Covid cases being reported where they are during a holiday week is high as are the chances they will be locked down?
Hilton announced the opening of Hilton Hiroshima, marking Hilton’s first flagship branded hotel there. The hotel is managed by Hilton under an agreement with Fujimi-cho Development G.K., a special purpose vehicle set up by Setouchi Brand Corporation.
Radisson Hotel Group announced significant expansion plans for Australasia with a newly expanded brand portfolio, strategic partnerships and diverse business models that will enable the group to achieve exponential growth across the region by 2025. The group said its plans would be driven through a combination of growth models such as strategic alliances and master license agreements with its partners. RHG will also seek opportunities to make tactical mergers & acquisitions and will offer owners attractive, cost-effective options for property conversions, all powered by a new business unit located in Sydney.
Skift Note: Many observers are wondering how long China will be able to maintain its zero-Covid approach while balancing the needs of its tourism industry and the broader economy.