Earlier this week, research firm STR released data claiming that Airbnb has no real impact on hotel room demand in Manhattan. Now, hospitality industry advocates are speaking out, claiming that this conclusion cannot be true, as New York room rates have recently declined, even though visitor numbers continue to increase. The American Hotel & Lodging Association, among those questioning the report, says that the study did not explore whole rental units available full time, or multi-units operated by landlords. Regardless of how much Airbnb is impacting New York, however, a new study from Travelex says that only 4 percent of the 2,000 American leisure travelers surveyed planned to use Airbnb for their next vacation, and that 23 percent plan to stay in a branded property instead. The low number of Airbnb users bodes well for the hotel sector. See below for more news on Airbnb, and for more on this story, click here.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today applauded Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) for their leadership and partnership with the hotel industry introducing bipartisan legislation to ensure 911 direct dial capabilities. The hotel industry and AH&LA, the sole national association representing all segments of the nearly 2 million-employee lodging industry, have been working closely with lawmakers to ensure hotel guests and employees can dial 9-1-1 and directly reach emergency personnel on any phone. Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) have introduced a companion bill in the House.
“The safety and security of our guests and employees is of utmost importance to the hotel industry, which is why AH&LA has worked aggressively to ensure that systems are in place for guests to directly dial 911 from guestrooms,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). “We applaud Senators Klobuchar’s and Fischer’s leadership for introducing this critical legislation that provides a commonsense solution that does not burden small business and property owners, but accomplishes the goal of streamlining communication to emergency personnel. AH&LA has worked closely with our membership to implement 911 direct dial access and we will continue this work to ensure that hotel rooms around the country have this access. We look forward to working with Senators Klobuchar and Fischer to advance this important legislation.”
Speaking before Congress yesterday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled the central bank’s careful approach to future interest-rate increases, pointing to the accumulating risks to the global economy. Yellen acknowledged that the potential for a sustained slowdown in China and other emerging economies, falling stock prices and other financial-market turbulence, and the glut of cheap oil, all could dampen U.S. growth. She also sounded a cautious note on the growing strength of the dollar and rising interest rates for risky borrowers. Still, she said that a slowdown in U.S. growth was more likely than an outright recession. To read more, click here.
Expedia has introduced a new transitional program for its websites Expedia.com and Hotels.com that changes the way hotel properties are listed on its pages. The Accelerator program presents hotels with the opportunity to bid their way to the top of the sort order of Expedia’s search page, and has hotels rivaling one another for the top spot in Expedia’s listings. To read more, click here.
Room Mate Hotels has appointed Felip Boyero managing director of the Americas in an effort to further support its expansion in North America and Latin America. In this newly created role, he will also help develop the brand’s infrastructure in existing destinations, such as New York City and Mexico City. He takes on this position from his previous role as sales management leader, U.S. and South America, at Air Europa.
Here’s a look at more notable comings and goings that took place this week:
M & R Hotel Management has appointed 10-year hospitality veteran Anthony Lugaro general manager of its Holiday Inn Express Staten Island West hotel. Lugaro will oversee all aspects of the hotel’s management, including operations, sales, marketing, security, maintenance, housekeeping, and accounting.
The William Vale, set to open this 2016 in Brooklyn, New York, has selected Abigail Michaels concierge to professionally program the resort destination with its full-equipped services.
Sean Lynch has been appointed as the area director of sales and marketing of Viceroy Central Park New York and Cassa Hotel New York. Lynch will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of sales and marketing for the two properties and will work with both senior management teams to strengthen their strategic visions over the next several years.
Kelly Egan Merryfield has been chosen as director of sales and marketing for Trump International Hotel & Tower New York. Merryfield has previously served as the director of sales and marketing at Trump Central Park, and in her new role will oversee the hotel’s on-site sales and marketing team, including sales, catering, public relations and e-commerce.
Gansevoort Hotel Group has announced the appointment of Gemma Keating as corporate director of sales. Keating will oversee sales and revenue generation, identify new key markets, and reinforce Gansevoort as an innovator within the industry.
Dom Beveridge has been promoted executive vice president of demand generation for The Rainmaker Group, leaving behind his old position as general manager of Rainmaker’s Multifamily Data Exchange.
OpenKey, the industry standard for keyless mobile entry, has announced the addition of two members of the senior management team. Ryan Douglas and Brian Shedd. Douglas will serve as OpenKey’s vice president of operations and Shedd will join the company as vice president of sales and marketing.
Nicole Knapik has been selected catering sales manager at the Courtyard by Marriot in Shelton, Conn. Knapik will be responsible for soliciting new accounts and growing existing client relationships and business as well as managing functions from beginning to end to guarantee guest satisfaction.
Cachet Hotel Group has announced the opening of its new office in Los Angeles as well as the appointment of a new leadership team. Meredith Gelacak has joined CHG as president of hotel operations, Americas, reporting to CEO Alexander Mirza. Yvonne Choi has been promoted to chief development officer, Americas and global head of residential, and Tina Martin has been chosen as managing director of interior design, Americas.
In a recent study of global travelers, Hilton Hotels & Resorts discovered that most use airport hotels out of convenience–for business, or because of a missed flight. The majority of business travelers feel that there is a connection between their hotel stay and their ability to perform their job well, but most also said they would describe airport hotels as boring, expensive, and crowded.
In an effort to create its next generation of airport hotels, Hilton took these comments into consideration, with Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as an example of what’s to come. Their study found that while business travelers are away from home, they still want to feel like they are at home, with amenities that will help them relax. The majority also said they always try to use hotel amenities like bars and spas as a way to unwind when traveling for work.
After seeing images of what Hilton has in store for the new hotel, travelers’ attitudes about airport hotels shifted. In the U.S., 72 percent of those surveyed changed their viewpoint from “boring” to “modern,” and 74 percent who were unlikely to stay at an airport hotel are now likely.
For the full study, click here.