Hilton Worldwide Holdings reported a second-quarter profit Thursday as rising vaccination rates, leisure travel demand and overall economic recovery carried US hotel occupancy to its highest level since October 2019. Major chains are expected to approach pre-pandemic occupancy marks as the year progresses and lagging business travel ramps up.
Microsoft reportedly is negotiating to invest in Indian hotel startup Oyo, whose leaders say they're aiming toward a public listing. Sources say the SoftBank-backed Oyo may use Microsoft's cloud services under the proposed deal.
The late Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson will be memorialized in a national award to be presented annually to a hospitality executive of civic influence. The Arne Sorenson Social Impact Leadership Award was announced by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, American Hotel & Lodging Foundation and BHN Group.
Texas hotel and motel workers have begun training on how to spot and report human trafficking as the industry prepares to implement a state law that will take effect in January. San Antonio employees were told in a session this week that city police investigate about 120 cases annually of trafficking for such purposes as prostitution and forced labor.
A five-story, 123-room hotel will be part of a 135,000-square-foot expansion of Derby City Gaming in Louisville, Ky., Churchill Downs Inc. announced Thursday. The $76 million upgrade needs city approval.
Citigroup Inc. is set to replace Janney Montgomery Scott as the underwriter of the $95 million municipal bond sale that will fund the development of a new water park at Showboat Atlantic City hotel in New Jersey. Work on the project is scheduled to start this fall.
Tight money and pandemic exhaustion may seem to favor conversions as the path to hotel growth, but IHG Hotels & Resorts CEO Keith Barr touts new builds for both upper and middle strata. He acknowledges that conversions remain prominent as large firms such as his persuade struggling smaller chains and independents of their advantages of scale.
About 30 hotels in Tulsa, Okla., will begin paying a 3% room tax on Sunday thanks to a vote this week by the City Council to reinstate a Tourism Improvement District that had been suspended by a court order nearly two years. The assessment was expected to raise $2 million to $3 million a year for tourism marketing when it was passed in 2018.
Many of the pandemic-spurred adaptations hotels have made in food and beverage service, such as sanitation stations and pre-packaged to-go meals, may remain in place for a long while, industry leaders say. "Even though the 'all clear' was given on June 15, not all clients and guest were comfortable with throwing masks, gloves and shields to the wind," says executive chef Manfred Lassahn of the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, Calif., Resort and Spa.
Hyatt Hotels says it will open more than 35 luxury and lifestyle properties through 2022, and several already have made their debut in locations as widespread as Oman and California's Napa Valley. The list of brands includes the Alila, with openings scheduled for Malaysia, China and the Maldives; and the Andaz, with two hotels coming to China, one to Prague and one to Toronto.
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