Seattle’s tourism industry is booming, and driving hotel room rates up along with it. Visitors spent an estimated $6.8 billion last year, a nearly 6 percent jump from 2014. Occupancy jumped above 80 percent last year, with a room rate increase of 8.3 percent. To read more about the Seattle market, click here.
San Francisco has proposed a tougher rule on home-sharing services like Airbnb, and will vote today on legislation to increase requirements for the short-term rentals. New legislation would enforce requirements on development, including a 25 percent affordable housing requirement for new developments with at least 25 homes. Read more here.
Although U.S. hotel occupancy dipped slightly in the first quarter of 2016, the industry experienced healthy gains in both average daily rate and revenue per available room, according to data from STR. Compared with the first quarter of 2015, occupancy fell 0.5 percent to 60.7 percent. Meanwhile, ADR rose 3.2 percent to $120.92 and RevPAR increased 2.7 percent to $73.34. Industry supply was up 1.5 percent, outpacing demand (+1 percent) for the first time in a quarter since the fourth quarter of 2009. The last time the industry recorded a quarterly occupancy decline was Q4 2009; however, the absolute level was the second-highest on record for a first quarter. Factors that contributed to the industry’s slow first-quarter performance include difficult to match comparisons, the Easter calendar shift from April 2015 to March 2016, and harsh weather conditions in some areas of the country. To read more, click here.
As preparations for the upcoming summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, enter the home stretch, questions are being raised about the city’s readiness to host the event. The developers behind Rio’s first Trump-branded hotel are racing to open the property in July, only weeks before the games begin, but Olympic organizers are concerned it won’t be ready on time, according to a report from Bloomberg. A backup hotel has been arranged for several international sports federations who are booked to stay at the property. But the Trump hotel is closer to the finish line than two Holiday Inns, which have delayed their opening until after the games in 2017. While Rio is largely on track to finish competition venues and associated infrastructure in time for the games, which kick off Aug. 5, there are still a lot of details that need to be addressed swiftly to ensure operational readiness. Because Rio will not hit its promised target for hotel expansions, the city will be relying on partners like Airbnb to fill in the gaps. About 90 percent of hotel rooms at three-, four- and five-star hotels have been booked by delegations, the article states. Read more here.
Asian American Hotel Owners Association President and CEO Chip Rogers has joined the Forbes Nonprofit Council, an invitation-only group that selects individuals who are part of a certified 501 (3) organization with a minimum of $1 million in annual donor contributions or annual revenue, as well as serve in an executive role. To read more, click here.
Durham’s 21c Museum Hotel has released a statement and a new artist-designed restroom sign that blends the male and female logos. The sign, which reads “We Don’t Care,” was created in an effort to engage the debate surrounding House Bill 2, which bans people from using bathrooms that do not match their biological sex. Read more here.