Business travel is showing increased levels of resiliency since the immediate aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks. According to new polls from the Global Business Travel Association, more than 90 percent of U.S. and European business travel buyers now report that their company’s travel to and within Europe has remained largely unaffected by the attacks. Business travel buyers are taking steps to improve communication and enhance the safety and security of travelers. Read more here.
According to the Resonance 2016 Luxury Travel Report, wealthy U.S. travelers are more likely to participate in health and fitness activities while on vacation than the average U.S. traveler. The report shows that the top 1 percent participates in health and fitness 78 percent of the time while on vacation, and luxury hotel chains are looking to benefit from this newfound information. Learn more here.
TripAdvisor has Instant Booking partnerships with AccorHotels, Best Western International, Carlson Rezidor, and many other top hotel chains. Skift is reporting that one partner has negotiated protections with TripAdvisor that safeguard the chain’s key performance indicators within TripAdvisor Instant Booking and metasearch. And if one chain has done this, the article suggests that others might have done the same. In some random searches, the author found online travel agencies like Booking.com and Getaroom handling the instant booking for a property even though the hotel is also a TripAdvisor booking partner, too. To read more, click here.
There are plenty of ways that online travel agencies influence where guests’ book their hotel rooms. Sites like Expedia present hotels according to internal formulas of customer ratings through the OTA’s own systems. According to the Wall Street Journal, other factors that sway search results include hotels paying larger commissions than others, and the quality of property images provided. The problem comes when OTAs claim to help consumers comparison shop with information that isn’t entirely objective. Given how much OTAs have been outpacing traditional brand distribution channels in terms of bookings, Best Western CEO David Kong sees parity agreements as necessary, though problematic, especially with the 75 percent online market share that Priceline and Expedia currently possess in North America. Although with the changes happening in Europe, Kong suggests taking a more nuanced approach to parity agreements. Read more here.
When hospitality financial experts met at ALIS at the end of January, many of them were echoing the same sentiments—in order to best manage financial risk, investors should be preparing for the worst-case scenario. While the lodging industry is currently in a good place, hoteliers must be conscious of the fact that the cycle will eventually end, and they should invest in properties that can sustain growth or simply maintain revenue during less flush economic times. To read more, click here.
Turbulent global financial markets, oil price volatility, and a slowdown in job growth last month are fueling concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy, leaving many hoteliers concerned about what the next cycle will bring. Hotel owners will face tighter financing constraints during 2016 as lenders adapt to more challenging debt capital market conditions, according to Fitch Ratings. Lenders can no longer rely on rising hotel fundamentals to offset poor credit decisions, so sponsor quality will distinguish hotel debt capital access for the balance of this upcycle. New regulatory requirements will continue to temper hotel development growth at the margin, but Fitch expects alternative capital sources to step in and fill the void. To read more, click here.