Google has announced its intention to roll out a new user interface and feature set around hotel reviews. Earlier in May, the search engine started testing new review features for hotels, including displaying third-party reviews in a carousel format and separating reviews by type of traveler. Read more and see screenshots here.
Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that upper-midscale hotel projects are currently the most popular in the construction pipeline. With 2,067 projects/205,662 rooms, the category has the largest project count of any chain scale in the total pipeline. The second largest category is upscale, which currently has 1,246 projects/161,229 rooms. Together, these upper-scale categories comprise 66 percent of all projects in the pipeline.
The brands with the most projects in the upper-midscale pipeline are IHG’s Holiday Inn Express (412 projects/38,160 rooms), Hilton’s Home2 Suites (344 projects/36,074 rooms), and Marriott’s Fairfield Inn (285 projects/27,220 rooms). The top upscale brands are Marriott’s Residence Inn (188 projects/23,725 rooms), Marriott’s SpringHill Suites (147 projects/17,293 rooms), and Hilton Garden Inn (135 projects/17,914 rooms).
As would be expected, these two chain scales are forecasted to have the highest guest room growth rates over the next 2 years. Upper-midscale is forecasted to grow its guest room Census by 5.3 percent and upscale by 5.7 percent in 2017, and by 6.3 percent and 5.8 percent in 2018, respectively.
An analysis of Trivago’s 1.4 billion annual searches identified several summer trends that hoteliers can leverage to maximize bookings. Among them are top U.S. and international destinations for American travelers, emerging global hotspots, and increasingly popular national parks. To view the trending destinations, click here.
Guests travel with numerous devices that require a charged battery. Hotels are responding by renovating existing rooms and finding creative ways to add more power and USB outlets to new properties. Hidden charging ports in nightstands, desks, bathroom mirrors, and more answer to the need for more outlets. Read more.
Last week at the InnDependent Lodging Executive Summit, which took place the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, a panel of investors and industry specialists talked about the highs and lows of securing investors for independent hotels. While interest in these properties is at a historic high, lenders are starting to tighten restrictions and require more information before signing any checks. According to the panel, this is because the independent properties are lacking some of the benefits, such as a massive booking engine and corporate support, that branded properties enjoy. Read more here.
According to the recent Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics (LE), the franchise companies with the largest pipelines by rooms in the first quarter of 2017 are Marriott with 163,063 rooms/1,264 projects, Hilton with 146,104 rooms/1,279 projects, and IHG with 82,771 rooms/795 projects. These three franchise companies comprise 65 percent of all rooms in the total pipeline.
While Marriott leads in number of rooms in the pipeline overall, when it comes to each company’s brands, IHG’s Holiday Inn Express tops the group with 412 projects in development (38,160 rooms). The brands with the most projects for Marriott and Hilton respectively are Fairfield Inn with 285 projects (27,220 rooms) and Home2 Suites with 344 projects (36,074 rooms).
The franchise companies that have announced the most new projects by rooms in the first quarter were Hilton (announcing 18,387 rooms in 162 projects), Choice (announcing 8,118 rooms in 117 projects), and Marriott (announcing 7,129 rooms in 55 projects. These companies represent 59 percent of all the new rooms announced in the first quarter.