Marriott has lengthened its 24-hour cancellation policy to one that requires guests to cancel their stay 48 hours in advance. According to Marriott’s statement, the move allows the company to better accommodate last-minute bookings. Read more about the cancellation policy shift here.
The Nashville Metropolitan Council—the elected legislative body of Nashville and Davidson County—is considering legislation that would ban hotels from offering discounted rates or rebates to guests checking out of a room after less than 10 hours. The rule is meant to combat crimes like trafficking and drug use. Read more.
FelCor is selling Morgans Hotel NYC for $41 million in its merger with RLJ Lodging Trust. Once sold, the property will be used for residential purposes. The merger, announced late April, will focus on hotels that are full-service and in urban locations with the majority of revenue coming from guest rooms. Read more.
Even though U.S. workers took 5 percent more vacation days in 2016 vs. 2014, they still gave up a total of 662 million days, according to U.S. Travel’s Project: Time Off report. Taking those otherwise lost vacation days could mean an additional $128 billion in direct spending on hotels and other travel brands. Read more.
A new poll commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) details the extent to which online booking scams are impacting consumers. Since 2015, the number of U.S. travelers who reported booking on what they believed was a hotel’s official website, but was really a fraudulent site, nearly quadrupled from 6 percent to 22 percent—translating to $3.9 billion in “bad” bookings. The poll found that 74 percent of travelers have less confidence booking with third party sites after learning more about the prevalence of scams and deceptive marketing tactics. Read more.
Branded full-service hotels in the U.S. recorded a 2.4-percent increase in gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) year-to-date April compared with the same period in 2016, according to HotStats—a monthly hotel profit-and-loss benchmarking service that has recently launched its platform in the United States.
Looking at trend data, GOP conversion has been flat since the 4th quarter of 2015 at around 37 percent, but below the 39 percent to 38 percent margins enjoyed in previous years. Increasing payroll costs continue to be the main profit threat with rolling 12-months to April 2017 levels at 33.7 percent of total revenue, a 0.4-percent increase in the same period in 2016 and 1.3-percent increase versus 2015.
Pablo Alonso, CEO of HotStats, said: “The headwinds of payroll, as well as rooms cost of sales, are putting profits under pressure. However, we believe that with better, comparable, and current data, revenue improvements and cost-saving opportunities can be identified to drive profitability and deliver enhanced value to owners and operators.”