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WASHINGTON (October 4, 2019) The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released new research that reveals online booking scams and dishonest marketing practices by fraudulent and misleading travel websites continue to deceive and confuse consumers. In fact, 23 percent of consumers report being misled by third-party traveler resellers on the phone or online, which amounted to $5.7 billion in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions in 2018 alone.

“The numbers we saw in this research are completely unacceptable. Consumers are being robbed of billions of dollars every year by bad actors,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “In addition to third-party websites that mimic hotel websites and call centers, but are not actually affiliated with a hotel, costing consumers time and money, this new research shows just how big of a problem deceptive advertising is on some online travel agency websites.”

According to the research:

  • When booking a hotel reservation through a third party, 1 out of 4 consumers experienced a problem with their reservation
  • Over 40% of consumers were upset to learn that when they comparison shop among these “digital middle men” – Trivago, Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, and others – they’re usually just comparing the same two companies: Expedia and Priceline, which together control 95 percent of the online travel market.
  • Consumers almost universally (94%) believe they should know who they are doing business with online when booking a hotel room.
  • An overwhelming majority (77%) of consumers agree the government should make it a higher priority to enforce consumer protection laws against third party hotel resellers.

AHLA encourages consumers to Search Smarter, a campaign aimed at helping travelers avoid lost reservations, additional fees, and potentially ruined vacations. The transparency campaign encourages consumers to book smart by booking directly with hotels or trusted travel agents.

“Given the continued fraudulent issues we’re seeing, AHLA reminds consumers to Search Smarter, a campaign to educate consumers about these problems and encourage consumers to slow down when booking a hotel and not be pressured by misleading advertising or deceived by fraudulent websites. Our focus in the hospitality industry is to make sure guests have a smooth, stress-free experience, from booking the room to checking out after their stay. We recommend consumers look before they book, take advantage of loyalty programs and book directly with the hotel or a trusted travel agent” continued Rogers.

With so many ways to book a reservation, it’s more important than ever to make sure consumers understand how to search smarter and make the best decisions throughout the hotel booking process. AHLA will continue to provide travel booking tips as well as advocate for Congressional passage of the Stop Online Booking Scams Act. Together, both efforts will heighten consumer protection and ensure guest satisfaction.

To learn more about the campaign and how you can Book Smart, Book Direct, visit SearchSmarter.org.

 
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October 4, 2019

Any concern over a weakening U.S. economy has not yet infiltrated U.S. hotel industry profits.

GOPPAR increased 1.4% year-over year in August, matching RevPAR growth, which also clocked in with a positive 1.4% gain, according to monthly data from HotStats.

August continued a streak of GOPPAR growth in 2019, with the only negative blip coming in April, when GOPPAR was down 4.5% YOY.

Despite a YOY increase, the $76.95 GOPPAR was 24% below the year-to-date average of $101.21.

While RevPAR was up for the month, occupancy was down 0.2 percentage points, but bolstered by a 1.7% gain in average room rate.

Total revenue per available room was up 2.2% for the month. Profit conversion came in at 32.8% of total revenue in August, negatively affected by a 3.4% YOY increase in payroll on a per-available-room basis.

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – U.S. (in USD)

KPI August 2019 v. August 2018
RevPAR +1.4% to $154.89
TRevPAR +2.2% to $234.41
Payroll +3.4% to $90.29
GOPPAR +1.4% to $76.95

“U.S. hoteliers continue to drive profits despite contending with monthly rises in expenses,” said David Eisen, Director of Hotel Intelligence, Americas, HotStats. “With costs including labor and A&G rising in August at a rate higher than RevPAR, it’s become even more critical that costs are flexed in order to maintain profit levels.”

In New York, occupancy, room rate, RevPAR and TRevPAR were all up YOY, but it still translated into a 6.0% drop in GOPPAR, as labor costs jumped a precipitous 10.5% YOY in the month.

While demand for New York hotels consistently translates into some of the highest occupancy rates and room rates in the U.S., the city is invariably besieged by rises in hotel supply. According to Lodging Econometrics, 65 new hotels/9,396 rooms will open in the city in 2019.

With more than 65 million visitors annually, the leisure segment makes a significant contribution to accommodation demand for hotels in New York and comprised more than 43% of total demand in August.

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – New York City (in USD)

KPI August 2019 v. August 2018
RevPAR +3.5% to $263.37
TRevPAR +4.6% to $342.44
Payroll +10.5% to $188.01
GOPPAR -6.0% to $70.53

In contrast to the challenges in the Big Apple, it was a positive month of profit performance for hotels in Houston, which came despite recording a 1.2% YOY decline in RevPAR to $80.99.

Some of the RevPAR losses were recouped by hoteliers recording an increase in ancillary revenues, which were led by a 2.9% increase in food & beverage, and tempered the 0.8% decline in TRevPAR to $116.17. August is historically the lowest TRevPAR month in Houston.

However, cost savings in payroll (down 0.3%) and overheads (down 7.9%) helped hotels in the city record a 16.4% YOY increase in profit per room. 

Profit & Loss Key Performance Indicators – Houston (in USD)

KPI August 2019 v. August 2018
RevPAR -1.2% to $80.99
TRevPAR -0.8% to $116.17
Payroll -0.3% to $46.92
GOPPAR +16.4% to $31.46 
 
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3, October 2019 (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) – IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, celebrates the rebranding and recent opening of the Holiday Inn Ottawa Downtown – Parliament Hill  hotel with a grand opening celebration. The grand opening was celebrated by the owners at Westlight Investments Limited Partnerships, Salim Mukadam of Westmont Hospitality Group, along with notable members of the community, including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. The hotel is expected to become a top choice for travellers visiting the nation’s capital.

Jonathan Lund, Regional Vice President Hotel Operations, Canada said: “With over 50 Holiday Inn properties across Canada, we’re excited to add the Holiday Inn Ottawa Dwtn – Parliament Hill hotel to our growing roster of great hotels. With this rebranding and reopening, we’re helping to service the increasing market need for upper-midscale hotels that cater to both leisure and business travelers.”

There are currently eight IHG brand hotels in the Ottawa region, and the area at large is showing a strong appetite for these types of properties.

The Holiday Inn® Ottawa Dwtn – Parliament Hill hotel, is located at 402 Queen St., is owned by Westlight Investments Limited Partnerships and managed by Westmont Hospitality Group under a license agreement with IHG. The hotel has recently completed a full renovation to the Holiday Inn brand’s new H4 design concept.

Walking distance to Canada’s historic Parliament Hill and offering such business conveniences as onsite meeting rooms and a business centre, Holiday Inn® Ottawa Dwtn – Parliament Hill provides a flawless guest experience.  Amenities include Keurig® brewer in every room, fitness centre, onsite restaurant, Gibson’s on Queen and pets are welcome. The property also features IHG® Connect, providing a seamless Internet experience for guests, with a faster and more reliable Wi-Fi connection. With IHG® Connect, IHG Rewards Club members will be able to walk into any IHG Connect-enabled hotel and access Wi-Fi by entering their Rewards Club credentials and then be automatically recognized in future visits.

Peter K. Wilson, General Manager, Holiday Inn Ottawa Dwtn – Parliament Hill said: “We look forward to offering our guests an enhanced stay experience while we continue to offer exceptional levels of customer service. Our Guest rooms have been renovated and feature a bold, modern look and amenities for today’s traveler.”

The hotel has two meetings rooms totaling 1,000 square feet that can accommodate 80 guests standing. Onsite catering is available for meeting rooms via the hotel’s restaurant, Gibson’s on Queen.

 
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Columbus, OH – September 12, 2019 – Red Roof® has announced that Greg Aden is expanding his role with Red Roof and will be joining the team as Consultant, Franchise Development, West Coast and will be leading franchise development for the Western United States. Greg brings more than 30 years of hospitality experience plus financial services knowledge and leadership coaching to the organization.

Greg is a former Vice President of Franchise Development-Western US with IHG where he led strategic franchise development for five globally recognized brands and provided mentoring and leadership for seven regional directors. At IHG, Greg was recognized as the most prolific franchise development person in company history, setting sales records as he provided top-level client service and created genuine franchisee relationships.

Greg owns Aden Leadership, a coaching and consulting firm focused on guiding top performers and leaders to create a positive impact in the world of development and leadership. Using an authentic language and behavioral approach, Greg’s coaching incorporates transformational methods to help his clients find their true sense of purpose and perform at their highest and best selves. 

Greg is based in Denver, Colorado where he enjoys life with his two boys, Brooks and Jackson. 

 

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