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Roomer announces partnership with Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA)
Roomer, the travel website that provides a solution for nonrefundable hotel rooms, announced its partnership with The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA), the alliance dedicated to uniting the world's independent boutique and lifestyle hotels and small brands.
The value Roomer will provide to BLLA will be to fill nonrefundable room cancelations at all of its properties, and provide guests who need to cancel their reservation, with an alternative option. The partnership will essentially allow the hotels to keep their inventory at a steady level, as well as generate additional revenue with new customers who book a room at one of BLLA's properties, through Roomer.
"Roomer has long admired and respected boutique and lifestyle hotels as a distinctive subset of the travel industry," said Richie Karaburun, Managing Director of Roomer USA. "Through our collaboration with BLLA, Roomer will be able to provide consumers with more boutique hotel options to select through our website, while granting the company a new online platform to market themselves and compete for reservations from larger chain hotels."
"BLLA's mission is to help small brand and independent boutique and lifestyle hotels successfully compete on a level playing field with major hotel companies and adding Roomer to the strategy is an element that will increase our hotel member's customer satisfaction by converting guest cancellations into direct business while helping the hotels show diminishing numbers of annual cancellations and no-shows," said Frances Kiradjian, BLLA Founder and Chairwoman.
"We believe that BLLA hotels will greatly benefit from a partnership with the Roomer marketplace, specifically through increased consumer awareness and visibility within the online universe of available hotel rooms," continued Ms. Kiradjian. "We are very excited to be an early adopter of the Roomer platform and booking site in order to provide thousands of independent boutique and lifestyle hotels, an opportunity to increase their occupancy rates by utilizing a platform that requires no distribution costs to BLLA and its hotel rooms in the marketplace."
Hilton HHonors to reward weekenders with bonus points
Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide's 10 distinct hotel brands, is now offering members the opportunity to earn Bonus Points February 1, 2014 through April 30, 2014.
Through the Weekend Rewards promotion, registered Hilton HHonors members will earn 1,000 Bonus Points for each night they stay and can earn an additional 5,000 Bonus Points for any weekend stay of at least two nights (defined Thursday - Sunday) at participating Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations properties worldwide.
"Regardless of whether they're traveling for business or for pleasure, we believe travelers should be rewarded," said Mark Weinstein, vice president, Hilton HHonors. "In addition to earning 1,000 Bonus Points any day of the week, the Weekend Rewards promotion supports our ‘Be a Weekender' philosophy by offering 5,000 Bonus Points for two-night weekend stays, making weekends even more rewarding for our most loyal guests."
Rezidor signed 32 projects and opened 14 hotels in 2013
Rezidor has ended the year 2013 with a total of 32 project signings (6,400 rooms) and 14 hotel openings (3,300 rooms). In the fourth quarter of 2013 alone, Rezidor has signed 8 projects with 2,150 rooms and opened 4 hotels with 950 rooms.
"We have achieved our signings target, and remained concentrated on asset-light, non-committed growth in Emerging Markets and selected focus countries: 75% of all signings represent projects in our key development regions and destinations, and are well balanced between our core brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson", said Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & CEO of Rezidor. 35% of all signed rooms are located in converted or half-built properties and scheduled to open within the next 18 months to further strengthen Rezidor's operating portfolio within a short timeframe.
Following an in-depth year-end review, Rezidor's current pipeline features 19,500 rooms under development. "We have thoughtfully analysed our full pipeline, and made deliberate adjustments in line with our strategy and commercial approach", commented Elie Younes, Senior Vice President & Head of Group Development at Rezidor. Fee-based growth through a solid pipeline is on track to be a strong enabler of Rezidor's turnaround programme "Route 2015" - with a planned contribution of 2-2.5% to the overall target to increase the EBITDA Margin by 6-8% by the year 2015.
Rezidor's hotel openings slowed down slightly in 2013 due to the focus on Emerging Markets where construction delays occur more often than in Mature Markets. Among the flagship openings were the Radisson Blu Hotel Istanbul Pera, the Radisson Blu Hotel Maputo, and the Radisson Blu Paradise Resort & Spa Sochi.
Starwood to add 30 Hotels to Its North American portfolio in 2014, following 33 openings in 2013
Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced that it expects another year of robust growth in North America with approximately 30 new hotels slated to open by year's end, driven by the proliferation of its Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft brands and a surge in conversions across several of its brands, including Le Méridien.
In 2013, Starwood opened 33 new hotels and signed 52 new hotel deals in North America, up 27% over signings the previous year and the most signed since before the global economic crisis.
"Starwood remains extremely bullish about its growth prospects in North America, which is still our largest market, comprising over 50% of our existing global portfolio," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "We now have a total of 577 hotels in North America and expect record low supply and growing demand to continue driving growth."
"Starwood will open about one-third of its new hotels in North America in 2014, reflecting the continued strength of our brands in this important market," said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North America Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "Owners and developers are showing increased interest in conversions and new builds under one of Starwood's brands in order to tap into Starwood's powerful network, global booking platforms and loyal customer base."
Starwood's "Specialty Select" brands - Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element - are leading Starwood's growth in North America and account for approximately 75% of new hotel openings in the region in 2014. As a group, these brands have grown 80% globally since 2008 and are on track to surpass 200 hotels in North America this year.
Four Points by Sheraton signed nearly twice as many deals over the past five years in North America than any other Starwood brand. Fueled by its successful positioning emphasizing uncomplicated comfort and timeless style, Four Points will open 12 new hotels in North America in 2014, nearly all conversions.
Key 2014 openings include the first Four Points in Charleston, West Virginia; Phoenix, Arizona; and Surrey, British Columbia; as well as its second in Nashville, Tennessee and the fourth in Manhattan. Boasting the second largest global pipeline among all of Starwood brands, Four Points by Sheraton will open its 200th hotel worldwide this year as it nears its 125th milestone in North America.
Starwood's stylish Aloft brand will surpass 60 hotels in North America this year. Aloft signed 16 new hotel deals in North America in 2013 - the most of any Starwood brand in the region and the highest number since 2008. While the majority of Aloft hotels coming online are new builds, the brand is also attracting a growing number of adaptive re-use projects and conversions. This year, Aloft will enter numerous new markets with eight new hotel openings in North America including two more adaptive re-use projects, Aloft Tampa Downtown and Aloft Detroit, and two conversions, Aloft Atlanta Downtown and Aloft Calgary University. Other key openings will include Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown - Bricktown, Aloft Buffalo Airport, Aloft Denver Downtown, and Aloft Manhattan Downtown - Financial District.
Element, Starwood's eco-wise brand, is picking up momentum with three openings planned for North America this year in Harrison, New Jersey; Hanover, New Hampshire; and Fargo, North Dakota, plus its first in Europe in Frankfurt, Germany. Element will open its 15th hotel in North America in 2015 including its first in Orlando, second in the Miami metropolitan area, and second in Canada - Element Vancouver Metrotown. In 2016, the brand will add two more hotels in Canada.
Starwood's portfolio of upper-upscale hotels under its Le Méridien, Westin and Sheraton flags are poised for another year of robust growth. In 2013, Le Méridien signed more hotels worldwide in one year since Starwood acquired the brand in 2005, driven by accelerating demand in North America.
In 2014, the brand expects to open more hotels worldwide in one year since the brand was acquired, including five openings in the United States with two adaptive re-use projects, Le Méridien Tampa and Le Méridien Chicago-Oakbrook Center. Le Méridien will also launch a brand-new lifestyle development in Columbus, Ohio and open two conversions this year: Le Méridien Indianapolis, which has transformed a historic downtown hotel, and Le Méridien Charlotte, part of a dual-hotel development along with the already opened Sheraton Charlotte Hotel.
Starwood's Westin brand, known for its wellness positioning, will reach its 200th milestone worldwide in 2014. Westin will open two new hotels this year in the United States: The Westin Wilmington on the city's revitalized waterfront, and The Westin Cleveland Downtown. In 2015, the brand will reach the 125th hotel milestone in North America with openings planned for Denver, CO; Bethesda, MD; Austin, TX; San Jose, CA; Jackson, MS; and Jekyll Island, GA.
Sheraton, Starwood's largest brand, will return to the Dominican Republic this year with the opening of Sheraton Santo Domingo. The global hotel icon opened five conversion properties and signed seven deals in North America in 2013. Of those deals, four were conversion properties that opened within the year.
Starwood boasts one of the strongest North American luxury portfolios in the industry under its St. Regis, W Hotels and Luxury Collection brands. This year, Starwood will open The St. Anthony, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio, an external conversion and the company's fourth luxury property and first Luxury Collection property in Texas. In 2013, St. Regis Hotels unveiled its newly refurbished brand flagship, The St. Regis New York, while W Hotels completed renovations at W New York - Union Square and W Dallas.
Marriott begins 2014 with fast-growing new-construction pipeline
Marriott International, Inc. announced that it had the fastest-growing new-construction pipeline in the industry, worldwide, in 2013, based on information published by Smith Travel Research. In addition, Marriott reported that it signed more than one hotel project per day in 2013, totaling a record 387 hotels and 67,000 rooms. The company opened nearly 26,000 new rooms in 2013 and, given its strong pipeline, expects new hotel openings to accelerate in 2014 and 2015.
Fueling this success is Marriott's lineup of 18 brands,mincluding its luxury and lifestyle portfolio, which accounts for nearly 25 percent of the company's overall pipeline.
"Our luxury and lifestyle portfolio of 438 hotels across nine brands is robust," said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. "The Ritz-Carlton is recognized as one of the world's most iconic luxury brands and is expanding outside the U.S. At the same time, we are rapidly growing new brands such as EDITION, Moxy Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott and Autograph Collection, all brand innovations that position us well with customers looking for a different type of experience."
EDITION, a full-service, luxury/ lifestyle brand conceived in collaboration with legendary hotelier Ian Schrager, continues to receive rave reviews following the opening of The London EDITION in 2013. EDITION is gaining ground, with 10 hotels open or in the signed pipeline, including The Miami Beach EDITION, scheduled to open later this year. Future hotels are planned for Abu Dhabi (2015), Gurgaon, India (2015), Manhattan Madison Avenue/NYC (2015), Sanya, China (2015), Bangkok (2016) and West Hollywood (2017), as well as the just announced Times Square EDITION in New York (2017).
Moxy Hotels is on track to open its first hotel in Milan, Italy, in August, and additional properties are expected to open in six other European markets in 2015. Combining contemporary design and approachable service at an affordable price, Moxy is projected to reach 150 hotels in the next 10 years.
The fastest hotel brand launch in the industry, the Autograph Collection has added nearly 60 hotels since its 2010 introduction at ALIS. A unique business venture, the Autograph Collection harnesses the power of Marriott's global sales, marketing and revenue engines for independent hotel owners.
"Marriott's determined focus on powerful brands and global growth has delivered unparalleled results," said Tony Capuano, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Marriott International. "In 2013, we completed the largest number of new hotel deals in our company's history, a pace of more than one new hotel project every day, benefitting from our partners' improved access to capital, rising consumer demand in major markets, the impact of the growing middle classes in Asia and Africa, and greater international travel than ever before."
In Africa, Marriott expects to complete the acquisition of the Protea Hospitality Holdings' brands and its management business in April 2014. With Protea, Marriott will nearly double its distribution in the Middle East and Africa to 23,000 rooms and become the largest hotelier on the African continent.
In its Asia Pacific region, Marriott expects to open a hotel every week across 10 different brands, doubling in size, reaching 330 hotels with more than 96,000 rooms across 16 countries by 2016. In 2013, Marriott signed agreements to add 78 new hotels and more than 22,000 rooms in the Asia Pacific region, an industry-leading pace.
In the United States, Marriott ended 2013 with more than 22,000 hotel rooms under construction, representing the largest hotel construction pipeline in the industry, according to data from Smith Travel Research. In fact, Marriott operates or franchises one of every five new hotel rooms that opened in the U.S. in 2013. Driving these results is Marriott's broad brand lineup, including the company's newest brand in the U.S., AC by Marriott. Inspired by the fashion houses of Milan and already successful in Europe, AC by Marriott will open its first hotel in the U.S. in Miami this year, with 16 other projects under contract (totaling 3,215 rooms) around the globe.
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