The city of Austin, Texas, is looking to introduce more stringent rules and regulations for on-demand startups such as Airbnb, HomeAway, Lyft, and Uber. This move is not entirely welcome, as Austin prides itself as being one of the most forward-thinking cities in the United States and these new requirements may limit the growth of startups. For more information, click here.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is looking to expand its portfolio through smaller deals, according to Reuters. At the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, Richard Solomons, chief executive officer, said the company is looking further into deals similar to the $430 million purchase of boutique brand Kimpton. “We can add value quickly, rather than just adding a business because we want to be bigger,” he explained. He added that IHG is also looking to expand in Asia with the addition of one or two more luxury brands. As the third-biggest hotels operator in Asia by number of rooms, the company has 128,000 keys in the Asia-Pacific region. Read more about the company’s expansion plans here.
It’s been a month since the Wall Street Journal reported that Carlson was exploring strategic alternatives for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, and now Bloomberg has word on two companies looking to buy some or all of it. Both Accor Hotels and HNA Group, the Chinese parent company of Hainan Airlines, have separately emerged as potential bidders, though Accor was quick to deny the Bloomberg report. To read more, click here.
Job creation continued at a robust pace in February, with the unemployment rate holding at an eight-year low of 4.9 percent and labor force participation on the rise. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 242,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said. The economy also added 30,000 more jobs in December and January than previously reported. Although manufacturing and mining employment fell, demand for hospitality and service workers has been helping drive total job growth. And if Fortune magazine’s latest “100 Best Companies to Work For” list is any indication, overall job satisfaction appears strong in the hospitality industry. Five hotel companies earned a spot on the list this year. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the highest ranked hospitality brand at No. 20, while Hyatt jumped 31 spots over 2015 to reach 47th place. New to the list this year is Hilton Worldwide, coming in 56th. Four Seasons and Marriott, ranking at No. 70 and No. 83, respectively, have been named to the list every year since its inception in 1998. To read more, click here.
The latest developments from Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index reveals positive news for U.S. travelers, with average prices paid per night for hotel accommodation up only 1 percent globally in 2015 as compared to 2014. The global index sat at 114 for 2015 and is bridging the gap on the previous peak seen in 2007, the year prior to the global economic crisis. To read more, click here.
Unsure of how far the Zika virus has spread, some guests are canceling hotel reservations across the Caribbean islands, whether they have been impacted or not. Properties have responded by offering deals during peak season, encouraging guests to not write off the area completely. According to Bloomberg, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and other companies have added disruption from Zika to the risk factors disclosed to investors in company filings. To read more, click here.