HA Perspective 2019

    IHG tops luxury with Six Senses

    InterContinental Hotels Group has paid Pegasus Capital Advisors USD300m for Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. IHG said that it expected to expand Six Senses from 16 sites to 60, through management contracts, including moving into urban destinations. Keith Barr, IHG CEO, said: “Six Senses is an outstanding brand in the top-tier of luxury and one [...]

    Whitbread to return GBP2.5bn

    Whitbread CEO Alison Brittain told analysts that the company’s mission was “to be the world’s best budget hotel business”. The CEO confirmed that the group would return “at least” GBP2.5bn to shareholders, subject “to any other more value-creating alternatives”. Brittain said: “Scale is fundamentally important. There are attractive long-term structural growth opportunities in UK & [...]

    Hilton lusts after luxury

    Hilton used its fourth-quarter results to reiterate its focus on the luxury market, with the launch of luxury collection brand LXR Hotels & Resorts aiding growth in conversions. The group saw a quarter-on-quarter decline in development pipeline, which CEO Chris Nassetta attributed in part to an end-of-year “clean up”. Nassetta said: “At the end of [...]

    New entrants support investment

    New investors targeting the hotel sector will help to maintain transactions volumes in EMEA, according to JLL. The broker said that yield-driven investors were likely to look to secondary markets, with “a record level of dry powder” targeting hotels. JLL said that overall investment volumes across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, were expected to [...]

    OTAs look to hotel growth

    Expedia Group said that it would continue to pursue a more targeted global growth strategy after seeing a slowdown in international room night growth. At Trivago, the company said that it had seen a recovery after its reorganisation last year and was looking to drive more direct business with hotels. Expedia Group reported 12% year-on-year [...]

    CMA pulls up OTAs

    The Competitions and Markets Authority has the agreement of Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and Trivago that they will not engage in practices including pressure selling. Expedia Group welcomed the new standards, highlighting the importance of them being applied across the sector, not only by the OTAs. In July last year the CMA identified a [...]

    UK deal flow set to continue

    There is GBP3bn of hotel property on the market in the UK at present with half of this amount on offer or close to selling, said Paul Collins, CBRE’s head of hotel investment properties UK & Ireland. But he warned that it would be a case of “quarter-by-quarter” with three portfolios accounting for the value [...]

    Consumers crave experience 

    Food, beverage and experience were the essentials for any lifestyle hotel, attendees at the Hotel Alternatives Event 2019, hosted last week by Hotel Analyst, were told. Experiences were increasingly being demanded by guests and were seen as key to creating lasting loyalty, heard delegates at the conference held in the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London. [...]

    Investors hunt for alternatives 

    Alternative hospitality products could offer higher returns, although lack of available stock remained an issue for those wanting to invest, heard attendees at Hotel Analyst’s Hotel Alternatives Event held last week in London. An increased enthusiasm for the sector from both investors and lenders meant that platforms were expanding, as alternatives moved closer to the [...]

    Brands flex to meet market demands

    Big hotel brands were reacting to changing consumer demands, to shifting operational needs and to the challenge of social marketing. Delegates at the Hotel Alternatives Event heard how groups including Hilton, Accor and Whitbread are all responding to the evolving marketplace. Patrick Fitzgibbon, SVP for development in EMEA at Hilton, revealed that the group’s new [...]