Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


Choice Hotels Opens Properties at Faster Pace and Reaffirms Profit Outlook

11 months ago

Choice Hotels, a U.S.-based franchisor, said on Tuesday it had opened an average of more than four hotels a week in the first half of 2023 — a 39% jump year-over-year. The steady onboarding of properties was one reason it reaffirmed its profit forecast for the year despite some industry concerns about leisure demand patterns in the U.S. going into reverse.

Choice Hotels opened 107 hotels in the first half of the year, with an increase in conversion hotel openings of 45% and a rise in new construction hotel openings of 24%. The gains were impressive in a hotel sector where interest rate uncertainty had raised concerns about the willingness of banks to endorse hotel development.

The first-half openings growth was across all segments. Openings in the upscale segment were by 83%, the midscale segment by 42%, the extended stay segment by 50%, and the economy segment by 11%.

“The company remains optimistic about extended stay franchise business growth and expects the number of its extended stay units to increase at an average annual growth rate of more than 15% over the next five years,” it said in a statement.

The positive news helped the company re-commit to its previously provided financial guidance for full-year 2023, where it forecasts net income — a measure of profit — of between $255 and $265 million.

The news is positive at a time when analysts have become more cautious about the hotel sector. For more context, see “Analysts Pare Back Enthusiasm for Hotel Companies.”

Investors closely watch trends in another metric, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). The news on that front was also positive relative to its peers.

“In 2024, Choice Hotels expects to generate more than 10% adjusted EBITDA growth at the midpoint, year-over-year, driven by approximately $20 million in incremental contribution from [the merger with] Radisson Hotels Americas as well as organic growth in more revenue intense segments and markets, strong effective royalty rate growth, and other factors.”

For more, see “Choice Hotels’ Brands, Explained.”

What is Choice Hotels?
Choice Hotels International, Inc. is a hotel operator based in Rockville, Maryland. The company operates nearly 7,500 hotels spanning 22 brands, including its flagship upper-midscale brand Comfort and roadside midscale brand Quality Inn. The company’s strategy consists of expanding its portfolio with hotels that generate higher royalties per unit, meaning higher-end properties. In addition to this, Choice Hotels also has a loyalty program known as Choice Privileges.

These are the most relevant articles I found:

Morgan Stanley Flags Headwinds for Hotel Companies – 06/30/2023

Choice Hotels Explores Buying Wyndham: Report – 05/23/2023

The Wyndham-Choice Merger Skeptics – 05/25/2023


IDEAS: Iglucraft Glamping Pods Seamlessly Blend into Nature

12 months ago

Iglucraft, an Estonia-based company, creates a range of handcrafted timber cabins and saunas that seamlessly blend into their natural surroundings.

Credit: Iglucraft

The nomadic pods – which are fully customizable and come with a range of amenities – are created using natural materials and feature organic forms, helping users to find ‘a more natural way of being than the everyday life in perfectly linear cityscapes’.

With famous clients including David Beckham and Gordon Ramsey, the pods are available to order online.

Credit: Iglucraft

At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for the innovative projects that are defining the future of guest experience.

If you have an exciting project to share, head to the Skift IDEA Awards today and start your submission. The final deadline for entries is June 20, 2023.


IDEAS: El Cosmico to Construct a Martian-esque Retreat Using 3D Printing Technology

1 year ago

Get ready to blast off to a new frontier of luxury glamping, as El Cosmico’s Martian-inspired retreat is coming to Texas.

Source: ICON, BIG for El Cosmico

The concept of ‘glamping’, or glamorous camping, has been gaining popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional camping. And hotelier Liz Lambert, the force behind El-Cosmico, is set to take this concept to an otherworldly level.

Lambert announced the pioneering plans for ‘Sunday Homes’ in March, working in partnership with ICON and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), to expand the current El Cosmico site from 21 to over 60 acres.

Utilizing the opportunity to explore entirely new architectural possibilities, thanks to large-scale 3D printing, the team are certainly pushing the construction boundaries by producing organic structures in the form of domes, sweeping arches, and curved forms.

Source: ICON, BIG for El Cosmico

Designed to “celebrate the convergence of creative culture and the minimalistic natural environment of the Marfa landscape”, the development is set to include a collection of guest units along with a range of new hospitality services, including an infinity pool, spa, and communal facilities.

With groundwork set to start in 2024, this futuristic resort may be available to visit sooner than you think.

Source: ICON, BIG for El Cosmico

“I have had a vision for the evolution of El Cosmico for many years that includes several spaces that add to the experience both for guests and locals…” said Liz Lambert.

“In collaborating with the revolutionary thinkers at BIG and ICON, not only do I get to fulfill this dream, but we get to do it using this incredible 3D printing technology that marries the oldest principles of raw earth-based building with a futuristic technology that works more quickly, sustainably and efficiently than modern construction.” 

This post is a part of Skift Ideas, which highlights exciting new creative projects, campaigns, designs, and future-making ideas across the travel industry. Skift will also feature a number of leading projects across travel at our 5th annual Skift IDEA Awardswhich has become the travel industry’s most coveted achievement for excellence in innovation, design, experience, and now, automation.

Learn more at:


Spending for U.S. Hotel Construction Continues to Strengthen

1 year ago

U.S. hotel construction spending rose 30 percent year-over-year in November, suggesting a sustained rebound is in place based on developers’ confidence.

In November, private U.S. non-residential lodging construction rose to $19.8 billion, adjusted for seasonality but not price changes, according to the U.S. Census bureau’s release of overall monthly construction pending.

The numbers could represent a rebound in hotel construction after supply-chain constraints and labor woes plagued projects in 2021.

But it was unclear if the spending may be a lagging indicator when it comes to the impact of rising interest rates on future hotel deals. Demand to close deals may have dropped for some of future projects that are having trouble getting financing as inflation fears disrupt financial markets. The projects underway may have been approved before the interest rate hikes.

Census Data on Construction