Credit Suisse will sell Zurich Mandarin: Credit Suisse Group plans to sell the Mandarin Oriental Savoy Zurich. The beleaguered Swiss bank is reportedly working with an adviser to solicit interest in the hotel, which was previously known as the Savoy Hotel Baur en Ville. The nearly 200-year-old hotel is expected to be worth 400 million Swiss francs (407.08 million US dollars). In 2020, Credit Suisse announced that the hotel would close in early 2022 and open in mid-2024, during which time it would undergo renovations. The number of keys was expected to be reduced from 104 to 80 to create more spacious rooms. The sale of the hotel is reportedly not linked to a strategic review scheduled for October 27.
The Livingstone brothers buy a stake in Whitbread: British billionaire brother and property tycoons Ian and Richard Livingstone have taken a £165 million ($187.52 million) stake in Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn. The brothers bought 3.5% of Whitbread in September through L&R Ventures Ltd. L&R’s portfolio consists of Atlas Hotels and Iconic Luxury Hotels, which includes Cliveden House in Berkshire and Fairmont Monte Carlo. There has been no indication that Livingstone plans to acquire Whitbread, which owns more than 800 Premier Inn hotels across the UK, along with the Beefeater and Thyme Bar & Grill brands, and dozens of hotels in Germany.
Hyatt collaborates with Lindner Hotels: Hyatt Hotels Corp. has signed an exclusive collaboration agreement with Lindner Hotels AG, a German family-run hotel company, where more than 30 hotels in seven European countries will join the Hyatt brand portfolio and be integrated into the loyalty program World of Hyatt. Most of the properties will move to the JdV by Hyatt brand. The agreement will increase Hyatt’s presence in 15 new markets and expand distribution in major destinations such as Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Frankfurt. Founded in 1973 by architect Otto Lindner, Lindner Hotels operates properties under Lindner Hotels & Resorts throughout Germany and in Central and Eastern Europe. Lindner’s portfolio will increase Hyatt’s lifestyle footprint with the addition of 5,500 rooms.
PwC Holiday Forecast: PwC has issued a holiday outlook for 2022, suggesting a surge in travel is on the way. He said that 47% of those who responded to his survey plan to travel this holiday season, a big increase from about a third who were traveling before the pandemic. Fewer plan to stay with family and friends (42% vs. 46% year over year); more plan to stay in independent hotels (26% vs. 20%), short-term rentals (21% vs. 18%), and all-inclusives (19% vs. 13%). Brand hotels have held steady with a 45% chance of staying in one both last year and this year. Rising hotel costs are the third biggest travel concern (58%), led only by gas prices (74%) and rising travel costs (58%). Despite their heightened concerns about COVID-19, millennials (ages 26-40) are more likely to travel this holiday season: 63% vs. 47% across all age groups. He said online booking sites are the most popular way to book travel, with 45% of travellers, and almost 60% of traveling millennials, using them for vacation trips.
US yield falls: Hotel performance in the US fell from last week and showed mixed comparisons with 2019, as expected with the Rosh Hashanah holiday, according to the latest data from STR.
- Occupation: 66.4% (-2.4%)
- ADRs: $149.71 (+15.7%)
- RevPAR: $99.36 (+12.9%)
Along with the impact of Rosh Hashanah on business and group travel in key markets, there were shifts in demand in the Southeast region caused by Hurricane Ian. Among the top 25 markets, Phoenix experienced the highest occupancy increase during 2019 (+7.5% to 69.7%). San Diego reported the highest ADR gain (+29.8% to US$203.71), while San Francisco it was the only market to witness a drop in ADR (-2.8% to US$234.73). The steepest drops in RevPAR were in San Francisco (-14.1% to $176.63) and Minneapolis (-10% to US$79.76).
Travel volume to the US increases: The total volume of international travel to the US increased 160.8% to 5,210,752 in July 2022 compared to July 2021, according to data from the National Office of Travel and Tourism. The volume of foreign visitors to the US jumped 199.7% to 2,589,898. This July was the 16the month in a row that total non-US international arrivals to the country increased on a year-over-year basis. The largest international visitor arrivals were from Canada (1,467,348), Mexico (1,153,506), the United Kingdom (361,313), France (169,994), and Germany (163,675). Combined, these top five source markets account for 63.6% of total international arrivals. International outbound travel volume from the US saw a 63% year-over-year increase to 9,177,301 and reached 85% of July 2019 departures.
Lodging Dynamics adds to the portfolio: Lodging Dynamics Hospitality Group, Provo, Utah, will assume management of the Park City Peaks Hotel in Park City, Utah. The boutique hotel offers 123 rooms, a restaurant and a bar. Lodging Dynamics Hospitality Group also announced the appointment of Ezequiel Guzmán as general manager.
Inflation affects Americans’ travel plans: Americans have been adjusting their vacation plans to avoid breaking their budgets amid high inflation, the latest Bankrate survey revealed. Some 42% of U.S. adults plan to take overnight leisure trips between Thanksgiving and the New Year, of which 79% are adjusting to rising travel prices in various ways. For example, 26% reduce the length of their trips, 25% opt for cheaper destinations or accommodations, 24% take fewer trips, 23% travel shorter distances, and 23% plan to drive. The price increase appears to disproportionately affect lower-income travelers. Some 86% of households with annual incomes below $50,000 are adjusting their travel plans compared to 70% of those earning $100,000.
Restaurant Operators at St. Regis Chicago: Magellan Development Group, Chicago, Illinois, has named Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants as the food and beverage operator for two restaurants at the 192-room St. Regis Chicago, expected to open in spring 2023. The first restaurant will be an all-day eatery from chef Hisanobu Osaka (formerly of Morimoto, Daniel), opening in spring 2023. The second restaurant will feature two-time James Beard-nominated chef Evan Funke ( Felix, Mother Wolf). Designed by architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang, the 101-story hotel will be the third tallest building in Chicago and will include The Residences at The St. Regis Chicago, comprising 393 condominiums.
Hope for Japan tourism: Japan’s tourism is set to experience a recovery as service sector activity posted growth in September amid recovering demand with fewer COVID cases and the prospect of easing travel restrictions. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said inbound tourism spending would rise to more than 5 trillion yen (US$34.62 billion) a year, anticipating benefiting from windfall gains from the yen’s recent plunge to a 24-year low against to the dollar. Japan is set to scrap its border policies next week, including removing a cap on daily arrivals, as the government hopes the local currency’s sharp decline against the dollar and other major currencies will attract tourists.
GBTA Business Travel Recovery Survey: US business travel volume continues to rebound from 2019 levels, with travel managers estimating their company’s domestic business travel volume is back at 63% and business travel internationals at 50%, the October GBTA Business Travel Recovery survey revealed. Some 26% of respondents said their international business travel volume has recovered more than 70% from their company’s pre-pandemic levels. Some 75% of travel buyers said their company had no immediate plans to restrict business travel due to financial concerns. Domestic travel continues to lead the recovery, with 86% stating that non-essential domestic business travel was sometimes or usually allowed.