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Although hotel stocks underperformed the broader economy in June for the fourth straight month, the market cap of the world's largest hotel chains still recovered significantly this year.

According to data presented by StockApps.com, the combined market capitalization of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Marriott International, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and Hilton Worldwide Holdings, as the five largest hotel chains in the world stood at $107.8bn last week, nearly a $12bn increase YTD.

Hilton and Marriot Hotels the Biggest Gainers, Market Cap Jumped by $8.8B in 2021

The year 2020 was probably the most challenging year for the hotel industry in decades. Although hotels worldwide implemented increased safety and sanitation measures and cautiously reopened for the summer travel season, all of them witnessed colossal revenue and market cap drops.

The first half of 2021 brought a long-expected recovery, with hotel stocks surpassing their pre-pandemic values. However, in June, the COVID-19 Delta variant brought fears of new restrictions and disruptions for the global hotel industry, causing stocks to drop again. Despite that, the market cap of the world's largest hotel chains still recovered significantly.

The YCharts data show the market cap of Wyndham Worldwide, the biggest hotel chain in the world by the number of hotels, stood at $4.4bn in January. By June, the combined value of shares of the US corporation, which owns 8,092 hotels, jumped to nearly $7.2bn. Although this figure slipped to $6.61bn last week, it still represents a $2.2bn increase YTD.

The market cap of the second-largest hotel chain globally, Choice Hotels International, rose by $670 million in this period, rising from $5.9bn in January to $6.57bn last week. Intercontinental Hotels Group follows with a $230 million market cap increase.

Statistics show Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Marriot International were the biggest gainers this year, with their combined market cap rising by $8.8bn in the last seven months. In January, the combined value of shares of Marriot International stood at $42.8bn. After rising to $47.4bn in June, this figure slipped to$46.7bn last week, still almost a $4bn increase YTD. Hilton Worldwide Holdings follows with a $4.9bn market cap increase since the beginning of the year.

Global Hotel Industry Revenues to hit $192.3B in 2021, 47% Below 2019 Levels

Although hotel stocks bounced back in 2021, the entire sector is far from recovery. In fact, Statista data indicate it will take another two years for the global hotel industry to reach pre-pandemic levels.

In 2021, revenues are projected to grow by 33% YoY to $192.3bn, 47% less than in 2019. However, the following year is expected to witness even more significant growth, with hotels worldwide generating over $310bn in revenue, still significantly below pre-COVID-19 levels.

The year 2023 is forecast to witness $370.8bn in sales revenues, slightly above 2019 figures. By the end of 2025, the entire sector is expected to reach a $462.4bn value.

Statistics also show the number of users in the hotel industry plunged by 60% amid the pandemic, falling from 1.1 billion in 2019 to 438.5 million in 2020. Although Statista predicts this figure to rise to 576.5 million in 2021, that is still half the pre-pandemic levels.

 
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The hotel business is not getting simpler any time soon, but independent hotels are still able to compete on a level playing field against properties with support from larger brands. Investing in new technology is often a challenge with operators trying to control margins in an economy that just began to rebound. Fortunately, many of the capabilities that would aid independent hotels most are already baked directly into the hotel’s property-management system.

For example, guests have been calling for a more streamlined check-in process for some time, but only a limited number of hotels are offering a mobile check-in experience. One of the biggest misunderstandings about mobile check-in is that a mobile app is required to facilitate the interaction. While a mobile app is required to meet the hardware requirements of digital door locks, the rest of the digital guest journey can be addressed without downloading any mobile app by using a web app accessed by the guest via direct web links through pre-arrival communications from the hotel PMS. Without directing guests to install an app, which many travelers are reluctant to do, hotels have an opportunity to enhance the guest experience using information already available in the PMS. The key is a Web Browser based mobile application, test messaging and dynamic guest email communications. By directly contacting guests through the technology channels they already use, operators can provide high-touch interactions in a contactless environment.

Using these channels, hotels can quickly provide direct links to any part of the hotel experience, starting at check in. Notifications can be automated or pushed directly through email or text message up to 48 hours prior to the guests arrival. This enables hoteliers to confirm pre-arrival, and whether they have transportation or other needs. Hotels without BLE enabled electronic locks (needed for mobile key) can provide a pre-encoded key for pick up at an electronic kiosk or pre-arranged pick up location to allow for a contactless experience, regardless of door technology.

Talk the Talk

Operators are continuing to be tested by a challenging labor market where demand for rooms is outpacing hotels’ ability to service them. In this environment, communication has become the new focus for hotel technology. Staff-facing technology has taken hold across the industry with fewer hands on deck. Once again, with limited room to experiment with technology these needs can be met through a web app or browser-based operations or text-messaging technology, allowing any hotelier to take advantage of them.

Staff-facing communication tools have impacted every area of hotel operations, from the front desk and concierge to housekeeping and even spa services. Through access links provided via the hotel PMS, housekeepers can quickly check the status of every room on property, which areas of the hotel to prioritize, and even alert them to emergencies, all on their own mobile devices responsive design applications.

Most importantly, text-based communications cut down on time spent communicating with guests or hotel associates. Text-based communications tend to provide more accuracy in less time than direct conversation, and for associates it provides a clear chain of accountability. This is critical if hotels want to meet their goal of providing a high-quality guest experience with fewer employees.

Make it Simple

So much of this process is automated on the hotel’s side, but some aspects of mobile communication have a slight learning curve. Fortunately, email and text messaging are familiar to both guests and hotel associates. This familiarity allows hotels to leverage new technology in a way that embraces existing behaviors without relying on new ones. This makes adoption easy at a time when communication and nimble operations are a priority.

Since this technology is accessible directly from the hotel PMS, the biggest barrier to its implementation is operational. There is a fear of technology that persists in hospitality at a time when it has become a necessity. Implementing new technology can be challenging and initially a distraction from serving guests, however; it is clear from Hoteliers we speak to daily that guests have come to expect a certain level of service and responsiveness that is only possible through technology.

The ability to interface with guests’ devices has grown in popularity due to social distancing requirements, but today it has transformed into a competitive advantage. It could be a way to reach guests in the way that is most familiar to them, or an avenue for operational improvements. The best part is, hoteliers can leverage their existing PMS to make any of this possible, up to any level of digitization they deem important.

If communication is a part of hospitality, it is time to consider the ways discourse has evolved and interact with guests on their terms. Mobile technology has the potential to improve the industry in ways that were 

once considered impossible, and the timing is right for both guests and associates to take advantage of it. The only thing separating hotels from competing in this new digital environment is taking the first steps to bring mobile technology to their guests as part of their competitive advantage.

 
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TORONTO, ON (August 2021) – World Day against Trafficking in Persons  occurs on July 30th each year, an annual event to bring awareness to a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise. 

“Human trafficking is a despicable global reality. As much as we may like to think that modern-day slavery does not occur in Canada, the ugly truth is that it does,” said Irwin Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality. “Hotels can become the unwitting and unwilling venue for this crime. As an industry, we need to be on the lookout for the indicators all the time.”

Realstar Hospitality embraced all efforts to help raise vigilance for the role that human trafficking can play in the travel and tourism industry.  Through collaboration with the Seattle-based non-profit Business Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), every employee at over 145 franchised hotels across the country completed BEST’s Inhospitable to Human Trafficking online training.

The department-specific training is a brand standard for all hotel associates at every Days Inn, Motel 6 and Studio 6 franchised location in Canada. Beyond training, hotel employees received resources to supplement their knowledge further and help prepare them for potential occurrences.

Human trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses, such as hotels, to sustain their operations and infrastructure. Given the transient nature of the hotel industry, with its service-focused culture that respects guest privacy, hotels can be an appealing environment for human traffickers.

“Prevention starts on the front lines, and we are committed to increasing awareness of the signs and the actions necessary to prevent human trafficking. All hotel employees must understand how they can help,” added Prince. 

For more information and training visit https://www.bestalliance.org/testhospitality.html

 
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KINGSTON, ON (August 5, 2021) –Choice Hotels Canada is pleased to announce the opening of its first-ever dual-branded hotel: Quality Inn & Conference Centre and Comfort Suites Kingston Central in Kingston, Ontario.

“We are so excited for the opening of these two properties and look forward to further serving the Kingston area,” said Brian Leon, president of Choice Hotels Canada. “In this instance, having two of our hotel brands side by side was the perfect fit for the community and we are thrilled to welcome the Springer Group of Companies into our extended family.”

The Springer Group of Companies, based in Kingston, is a large commercial developer and experienced hotel franchise owner and developer.

The two hotels will be adjacent to one another, with the shared reception desk and lobby area located in the Quality Inn & Conference Centre. In the future, the properties will also be connected by a planned underground tunnel for guests to travel between both buildings.

The Quality Inn & Conference Centre is the larger of the two properties with 100 guest rooms, several meeting rooms and a large conference space that can accomodate up to 400. There is also onsite guest laundry, a newly renovated indoor swimming pool and fitness centre. The Comfort Suites has 64 guestrooms, including some with balconies, as well as its own indoor swimming pool and business centre.

“We’re thrilled to be expanding our portfolio in Kingston and opening not one, but two hotels under such trusted and reputable banners,”  said Michael Springer, president of Diamond Hotels, an affiliate of Springer Group of Companies.  “We believe they will be well received by guests and locals and we look forward to the future and growing our relationship with Choice Hotels Canada”

Located at 33 Benson Street off Highway 401, the dual-branded property is near downtown Kingston, the St. Lawrence River, and several iconic institutions including Queen’s University and Royal Military College.

For more information or a reservation at Quality Inn & Conference Centre or Comfort Suites Kingston Central, visit www.choicehotels.com.

 

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