Print

MCLEAN, Va. - In a year when the travel industry faced challenges like never before, Hilton (NYSE: HLT) weathered the storm by staying true to its founding purpose – to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality. As the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for the travel and tourism industry, Hilton developed industry-leading guest innovations, reached significant growth milestones and continued to positively impact communities around the world.

Even as the company faced the biggest test in its 101-year history, Hilton’s resilient, capital-light business model enabled it to organically reach its 1 million room milestone in the fourth quarter. 

Three of the hotels that helped the company cross this important threshold paint a picture of Hilton’s global growth story: Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch in South Africa, illustrating the company’s expansion into Africa; Tru by Hilton Savannah Airport, showcasing the power of the fastest-growing new brand in Hilton’s portfolio; and the Hilton Garden Inn Guizhou Maotai Town in China, helping deliver on the company’s ambitious growth goals in the APAC market.

Meanwhile, Hilton’s overall development pipeline remains strong, with 2,640 hotels and more than 408,000 rooms globally*. 

“It’s been a year unlike any other, but even in the face of incredible challenges, our Team Members and owners have proven that travel is an unstoppable force for good,” said Chris Nassetta, president & CEO, Hilton. “Thanks to their grit and determination, Hilton has made a difference in the lives of so many and positively impacted communities at a time when our hospitality is needed more than ever – and together we look forward to creating even more meaningful memories in the year ahead.”

Throughout 2020, Hilton, in partnership with its hotel ownership community, has found innovative and meaningful ways to adapt to the changing needs of its guests, Team Members and communities:

Guest Experience

The pandemic rapidly changed guest behavior, priorities and concerns. Hilton responded with start-up style speed, grounded in more than a century of hospitality know-how to provide reassurance to travelers.

Among the innovations:

  • Launched Hilton CleanStay™, an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection in collaboration with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol and in consultation with Mayo Clinic
  • Redesigned meeting and event experiences and set new standards for event cleanliness and customer service with the launch of Hilton EventReady with CleanStay™ 
  • Modified cancellation policies and took a number of steps to provide even more flexibility for Hilton Honors members including status and Points extensions
  • Created opportunities for Hilton Honors members to respond to the global pandemic by donating their Points to convert into cash and send directly to organizations including World Central KitchenClean the WorldProject Hope or Direct Relief
  • Provided alternative remote working options through the launch of WorkSpaces by Hilton in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom
  • Continued to provide contactless guest experience options through the free Hilton Honors app, enabling guests to personalize their experience with the ability to choose their rooms, check-in and out digitally and use their phones as digital keys. Guests have now used Hilton’s Digital Key to open more than 100 million doors worldwide
  • Inspired travelers to make new memories with the global launch of our insights-driven marketing campaign, “To New Memories
  • Revealed, for the first time ever, DoubleTree by Hilton’s official chocolate chip cookie recipe so guests could create an at-home version of this iconic travel treat

Response to Communities

Hilton continued to find inventive ways to address some of the most critical, immediate needs of the communities where it operates.

  • Partnered with American Express to donate up to 1 million hotel room nights across the U.S. for frontline medical professionals leading the fight against COVID-19
  • Expanded partnership with American Express through a $1 million contribution from American Express to World Central Kitchen, to provide healthy, freshly prepared meals to the frontline healthcare professionals who stayed at Hilton properties in cities across the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Revealed 2020 Hilton Effect Foundation Grants and reached more than $1 million in global COVID-19 community response efforts
  • Extended Hilton’s hospitality to help the travel industry come together to overcome the global pandemic including sharing countless stories of teams around the world supporting each other and helping their communities
  • Supported Hilton Team Members searching for virtual and remote volunteer opportunities, including during its annual Hilton Effect Week volunteer event and through innovative partnerships with groups including Clean the World, Meals on Wheels and more
  • Remained committed to the company’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to cut the company’s environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investments worldwide. These efforts led to Hilton being named the global industry leader in sustainability for the second consecutive year on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices 

Continued Global Growth and Expansion

Hilton kept dreams of traveling alive by opening exciting new properties around the world. All the while, the company advocated on behalf of owners, many of whom are small businesses, who struggled with the travel decline.

Response to Team Members

2020 saw Hilton go from being named the #1 Best Company to Work for in the U.S. to, weeks later, having to furlough thousands of Team Members due to the impact of COVID-19 on travel and tourism. At every turn, the company leaned into its values to navigate these tough decisions.

  • Activated Hilton’s Team Member Assistance Fund to support Hilton Team Members who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 or have a family member impacted by the virus
  • Reversed its recruitment engine to connect Team Members impacted by furloughs and layoffs with access to more than a million job opportunities through the Hilton Workforce Resource Center
  • Launched a new Hilton Alumni Network portal with access to relevant career opportunities, resources, news and information
  • Committed to an expedited recruitment process for Team Members who reapply for future roles when conditions allow
  • Extended Team Member Hilton Honors status and access to Go Hilton, Hilton’s industry-leading Team Member travel program, for departing Team Members, and offered improved Honors status to current Team Members
  • Continued to earn recognition as a top workplace, even as the pandemic continued, including being named to the top spot on the 2020 list of Best Workplaces in Greater China
  • Recognized the heroic actions of frontline Team Members with the creation of a new Hospitality Heroes Award
  • Listened to Team Members and relaunched the network of eight Team Member Resource Groups committed to building communities across the organization, and introduced a Courageous Conversation series to foster meaningful dialogue to bring about lasting change in the midst of an evolving social justice landscape 

To learn more about Hilton, please visit: newsroom.hilton.com.

 
Print

Increased privacy and flexibility are two of the stand-out trends that leading data and analytics company GlobalData notes will shape the lodging industry in 2021, alongside longer stays, improved hygiene procedures and more no-touch technology. As 2020 draws to a close, Travel & Tourism Analyst Ralph Hollister offers his view on these trends.

Hollister notes: “Hotels that cannot provide more secluded spots or offer increased booking flexibility could be at risk of losing out even further in 2021. Rate plans to accommodate longer stays need to be offered, whilst the marketing of no-touch technology and increased hygiene procedures needs to be increasingly visible.

Longer Stays

“We have come to the realization that 2021 will not be free from the effects of COVID-19. Travelers will be looking to take fewer trips – if not forced to due to ongoing travel restrictions - but those that do travel are expected to also stay for longer to grab what they can when they can. Uncertainty is strife and it may lead to people going ‘all out’ on one big trip, rather than risking several smaller ones that could be canceled.

“Lodging providers need to prepare by creating rate plans for extended stays in order to offer increased value. In fact, this is one method already being explored by major players such as Booking.com, which introduced two new rate plans to satisfy this need. The weekly rate plan requires a minimum length of stay of seven nights, and for the monthly rate plan, a length of stay of 28 nights is the minimum requirement.

“Long stays will be particularly popular with digital nomads, students and business travelers.”

Increased Privacy

The need for more private forms of accommodation has surged during the pandemic, which is understandable given that 79% of global respondents to a survey* by GlobalData noted they are still concerned about the outbreak. The privacy trend has benefited companies such as Airbnb, which posted a surprise profit for Q3 2020. However, many traditional hotels that naturally cannot offer the same levels of privacy have not witnessed similar growth.

Hollister notes: “The likes of Vrbo and Airbnb can offer an abundance of accommodation types in more secluded areas, while many major hotels are stuck with city-center properties. In the short term, travelers may feel there is little sense in risking a city-center location when the main attractions are closed. Demand for city breaks will slowly return in the coming years as the dust settles, but domestic breaks in rural locations are likely to be the preference and return at a much quicker rate.”

Improved Hygiene Procedures

Improved levels of hygiene and sanitation will continue to be required by guests in the coming years. According to a GlobalData survey*, 59% of global respondents are concerned about their physical fitness and health during COVID-19. This significant level of concern has meant that lodging providers have had to dramatically improve hygiene and sanitation procedures. However, it is not enough to just have these in place – they have also had to effectively market these changes to gain customer confidence.

Hollister notes: “All major players in the lodging industry have been implementing and showcasing their new hygiene procedures this year - for example, Hilton’s partnership with healthcare professionals Mayo Clinic, which has helped increase consumer confidence. These procedures will continue to be refined in 2021 as the pandemic continues.”

More No-Touch Technology

Technology in lodging that reduces customer contact with frequently touched surfaces and other humans will be positively received – especially considering a total 60% of global respondents are ‘somewhat’ ‘often’ or ‘always’ influenced by how digitally advanced or ‘smart’ a service is, according to a GlobalData survey**.

Hollister continues: “In 2021, hotels will increase their adoption of technology that reduces the number of touchpoints. Abilities such as online check-ins and check-outs, mobile keys and room settings controlled by Internet of Things (IoT) technology will become much more commonplace.

“Using IoT to control room settings also allows hotels to gather more data on guests, creating a more personalized experience when they next return. According to GlobalData’s lodging scorecard, Marriott is one of leaders in the adoption of IoT, scoring the maximum of ‘5’ for the adoption of this technology.The company recently revealed an IoT focused hotel room, in partnership with Samsung and Legrand, personalized by the needs and interests of the individual guest.”

Enhanced Flexibility

There has been significant uncertainty for travelers in 2020, which has deterred them from booking accommodation in case they cannot later get refunded. According to the GlobalData survey*, 56% of global respondents are concerned about domestic travel restrictions, and 52% echo the same sentiment for international travel.

Hollister adds: “Having a flexible cancelation policy on a hotel website will be vital in ensuring direct bookings, and these relaxed policies will continue in 2021. For example, Marriott International has just extended its 24-hour global cancelation policy through March 31, 2021. This extension into next year will be emulated by its rivals in order to remain competitive.”

 
Print

PLAINFIELD, IL, DECEMBER 30, 2020 -- Predicting design trends for the commercial building industry can be difficult in the most reliable of times, but following 2020, a year of widespread uncertainty, planning ahead has become more complicated than ever before.

Despite this uncertainty, Cicero Construction Group has gathered trend insights to assist building owners in their renovation planning for 2021 and beyond. While the word “trend” may imply short-lived, many of these new ideas being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as touchless tech, in-room fitness and enhanced HVAC systems, are likely here to stay.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Social distancing can be facilitated by wider aisles, while multiple points of entry can help ease circulation, and higher ceilings help with ventilation, reducing the amount of shared air among occupants. Faced with the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic, strategically utilizing floor and wall markers can also help direct guest flow and help guests to maintain proper distancing. 

Some offices, hotels and restaurants have gone so far as to remove furniture in lobbies to discourage groups from gathering, although this is not a viable long-term business model. A better solution might be to revamp lobbies with multiple, intimate gathering spaces where guests could socially distance with companions, instead of one large area. Rather than bulky plexiglass dividers, textural or color demarcation between areas can define lobby zones and allow people to know where they need to be, which can make them feel safer.

TOUCHLESS TECH: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in touchless automation throughout the commercial building industry. Although automatic doors have long been commonplace, in 2021 there will an increase in the use of automatic interior doors to prevent handling of doorknobs. Other touchless tech on the horizon include using mobile devices for digital concierge services, room locks, motion-activated doors, voice control commands, and virtual access to staff.

SAFER MATERIALS: Renovationsin 2021 will likely incorporate materials that inherently eliminate germs in high-traffic areas prone to exposure. Viruses may survive for up to three days on plastic or stainless-steel surfaces, yet die within four hours on copper, brass or bronze. Cork is another antibacterial material used as a material finish. Hard flooring rather than carpeting, simple bedding materials in hotels without absorptive items, anti-bacterial materials, seamless and non-porous bathroom surfaces, and limited furniture can promote a safer environment. Done correctly, simple design promotes the reset of a new aesthetic of cleanliness. 

MULTI-PURPOSE HOTEL ROOMS: In 2021 the guest room may be the most important re-imagined hotel space to consider. Guests will want to realize multiple activities within the room, such as working, eating, exercising, or gathering with business associates and family. With gyms a no-go, in-room fitness will be popular. Sanitized exercise equipment can be brought in at the request of guests, and guided workouts or yoga classes can be streamed on TVs or mobile devices.

KIOSKS: Long before the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses were implementing kiosks to provide customers with self check-in to order food, reduce wait times, pay electronically, or notify hotel when they have checked-out, all without any close physical contact. As many businesses have begun reopening, some owners are financially unable to bring back their full staff and are relying more on kiosks to facilitate operations while complying with social-distancing mandates.

AIR FILTRATION SYSTEMS: Higher caliber air filtration systems are becoming a new health and well-being feature that tenants and guests will be willing to pay up for. In luxury hotels, for example, overhauled HVAC systems complete with HEPA or MERV 16 filters are now seen as a new hallmark for safety. Mechanical engineers will be challenged to find new ways to deliver heating and cooling that limit the amount of shared air. Buildings more than five years old should certainly consider a full review of HVAC systems. Any upgrades can pay for themselves through significant improvements in customer satisfaction.

In 2021, building owners will continue to step up to find ways to make their properties as safe as possible and welcome back customers in a post-coronavirus world. 

To learn more, please visit www.cicero-construction.com

 
Print

PENTICTON, BC (DECEMBER 22, 2020) – With the ski season upon us, Days Inn by Wyndham Penticton Conference Centre is calling on all travel enthusiasts to start creating memories and explore the city’s local beauty, ski slopes and entertainment.

For the 2020/2021 ski season, guests can take advantage of the Ski and Stay package. The hotel has partnered with Apex Mountain Resort offering one-night accommodation and two adult lift passes starting at $220 all-inclusive. The deal also allows guests to purchase child lift passes at the mountain for a 15% discount.

Apex Mountain Resort offers 2,000 vertical feet, 1,112 skiable acres with 80 trails of which 33 are groomed; dry Okanagan “Champagne” powder with an average of 600cm per year with an average temperature of -4C; NHL sized outdoor rink with a 1km skating look through the trees; and four terrain parks and a skier/boarder cross run.

Conveniently located at 152 Riverside Drive in the Heart of the Okanagan Wine Region, guests will enjoy easy access to entertainment, wineries and area attractions. Days Inn by Wyndham Penticton Conference Centre features spacious guest rooms and suites, each appointed with flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi and plush bedding. Additional onsite amenities include an indoor pool and complimentary parking.

To book the Ski and Stay package, contact the hotel directly at (250) 493-6616.

 
Print

TORONTO, ON (December 10, 2020) – Realstar Hospitality is proud to announce the opening of the newest Motel 6 in Canada.  Conveniently located in the heart of Surrey, British Columbia, the 54 room hotel is a perfect new addition to the brand.  

Minutes from Newton Athletic Park and the Bell Performing Arts Centre, Motel 6 - Surrey is within close proximity to top tourist sights such as Crescent Beach, Peace Arch Provincial Park and only a short drive to Vancouver International Airport and downtown Vancouver.

“We are excited to open our doors as a Motel 6 and look forward to providing travellers with excellent value while they explore the city’s many offerings,” said owner, Robin Gill.

Completely renovated, each guestroom features a flat-screen TV and mini-fridge. Guests will enjoy free Wi-Fi and complimentary morning coffee in the lobby. At Motel 6, travellers over 60 years of age receive a special ‘60Plus’ discount, kids 17 and under stay free when occupying the same room as an adult family member and pets always stay free.

“We are thrilled to close out 2020 by welcoming Motel 6 - Surrey to the brand,” said Irwin Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality. “With the Clean@6 Program in place at all Motel 6 locations, we look forward to continuing to provide the travelling public with a clean, comfortable stay and great service.”

Reservations for Motel 6 - Surrey can be made by visiting motel6.com or by calling 1.800.899.9841.

 

Page 4 of 21

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>