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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 booktake 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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 VANCOUVER, BC - September 27, 2019-

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, an architectural landmark in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, completed the final phase of a five-year $75M renovation project with the unveiling of its newly redesigned Fairmont Gold, the brand’s exclusive ‘hotel within a hotel’ experience. Located on the ninth and fourteenth floors of the heritage building with a private lounge that features dedicated concierge service, Fairmont Gold is designed to fulfill the needs of discerning travelers, ensuring their stay is nothing short of unforgettable. “There is much to celebrate in 2019 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver,” said Adam Laker, General Manager, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. “We marked our 80th anniversary in May, followed by the launch of our redesigned Fairmont Gold offering and the completion of the hotel’s renovation project. We are elated to be able to provide our guests with elevated personalized service in a space that honours the grandeur and original architecture of the hotel, while featuring modern touches and amenities. We feel a sense of duty to ensure that the history of the hotel is not just preserved but highlighted throughout, and with this new Fairmont Gold I believe we have accomplished that.”  

Contemporary Design Married with Traditional Heritage

After delivering the award-winning restoration of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Fourteenth Floor Heritage Suites, CHIL Interior Design was commissioned to reimagine the Fairmont Gold experience showcasing a contemporary design that would seamlessly blend with the hotel’s heritage. Included in the redesign project was the ninth floor private lounge, and 50 guest rooms, including three-bedroom suites featuring a living room, kitchen, and dining room which can seat up to 10 guests. The guest rooms utilize a palette of deep navy blues, heather gray, gold metals and marbles, and feature luxurious axminster wool custom carpets with large scale patterns. Special attention was paid to existing architectural elements such as the original plaster crown mouldings, woodwork, decorative built-in fireplaces and shelving. Where inconsistencies appeared, artisans were brought in to replicate and repair the old world details. The guest rooms also feature modern amenities, and multifunctional pieces that can be used for dining, conversational seating and relaxing.

 “We were inspired by the hotel’s Royal Visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939, and wanted the design concept to celebrate the historical significance and prominence while selectively updating elements to their original grandeur,” says Adele Rankin, Principal and Design Lead, CHIL Interior Design. “Our goal was to honour the important events that have taken place under the hotel’s magnificent copper roof, reflecting opulence but in a contemporary fashion to give a unique personality. It’s a project that we all fell in love with.”  

Boutique Experience

The Fairmont Gold experience begins with private check-in, located on the hotel’s ninth floor at the entrance to the private Fairmont Gold Lounge, which provides a warm relaxing atmosphere and feeling of home for guests to unwind. The dedicated concierge team is on hand to assist in creating a truly unforgettable stay, from securing reservations at Vancouver’s best restaurants, to itinerary planning and even delivering coffee with a morning wake up call, if a guest so desires. In addition, Fairmont Gold amenities include a pillow concierge to ensure the perfect slumber, complimentary shoe shine services, and a complimentary piece of pressing.

Vancouver-Inspired Culinary Offerings for Lounge

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Executive Chef Colin Burslem carefully curated rotating culinary offerings that give guests of Fairmont Gold an opportunity to sample locally sourced and produced fare. With a selection of dishes representing Vancouver’s diverse culture such as dim sum and sushi, others represent the hotel’s own culinary history showcasing beloved classics like prime rib stuffed Yorkshire pudding and French onion soup.  Served in the Fairmont Gold Lounge, the all-day culinary experience is complimentary and includes deluxe European breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres, and mid-afternoon and late-night snacks, along with refreshments and an honour bar.   

What’s Gold Is New Again Stay Package

Guest can be among the first to experience the newly redesigned Fairmont Gold, and enjoy 20% off when booking before December 31, 2019, for stays until April 30, 2020. For more information or reservations, please visit https://www.fairmont.com/hotel-vancouver/special-offers/hotel-offers/promotions/fairmont-gold-signature/ or call 1 866 540 4452.

 
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CALGARY – September 24, 2019 – Fairmont Hot Springs Resort has invested in new snowmaking technology that will significantly extend the upcoming 2019/2020 ski season at the Resort. The major investment will allow the Resort to open its runs earlier and to remain operational later into the spring.

“Our new snowmaking equipment doubles Fairmont Hot Springs Resort’s capacity to create first-class snow,” said Vivek Sharma, CEO, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. “With this new technology, which is used for major events like the Olympic Games, we will be able to make snow in warmer conditions to open the hill earlier, keep the hill open later and deliver more consistent snow conditions for years to come.”

Ski Area Manager Peter Harding, who has been with the Resort for more than three decades in various capacities, remembers when the original snowmaking system was installed in 1979. Forty years later, the latest in snowmaking technology will open exciting possibilities for the Resort, including the potential to offer more pre-season training to junior ski and snowboard teams.

“Fairmont Hot Springs Resort’s ski area is perfect for all ages and abilities. I often see kids I used to teach on this hill coming back as adults with children of their own,” shared Harding. “I am thrilled that with this new snowmaking equipment, we can continue welcoming generations back to the Resort and provide even more kids with an incredible ski and guest experience.”

Above and beyond great snow and an extended ski season, the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Ski Area offers an equipment rentals and ski shop, tube and terrain parks, a snow school, delicious slope-side dining, and striking views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains and Columbia Valley. Ski tickets and passes also include complimentary access to the Resort’s natural mineral hot springs pools. With three ski lifts and 14 runs ranging from green to black diamond, the Resort offers something for everyone.

Early bird pricing on ski season passes is available now until October 31, 2019. For more information, please visit www.fairmonthotsprings.com.

 

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