Brookfield acquires Hotel Princesa Plaza: Brookfield Asset Management, Toronto, Canada, has acquired Hotel Princesa Plaza complex in Madrid, Spain from Colony Capital, Boca Raton, Florida, for €175 million (US$186.93 million). The 423-room hotel includes three dining venues and around 1,000 square meter of event space. Savills, along with the legal team at Baker McKenzie, advised Brookfield on the sale process.
Cambria deals for new prototype: Cambria Hotels, the upscale brand franchised by Choice Hotels International, has awarded 10 franchise agreements to develop the new Cambria prototype. Launched in 2021, the new prototype builds the right-sized Cambria as per the market, helping to bring down the total cost of development. The prototype will deliver the brand’s signature amenities and the franchise agreements will speed up the growth of the brand’s footprint in secondary markets and leisure destinations like Buckeye, Arizona; Tracy, California; Sacramento, California; and Seekonk, Massachusetts. Cambria has broken ground on four new, custom development projects, including Cambria Hotel Rehoboth Beach in Delaware and Cambria Hotel Spokane, Washington. Currently, there are over 130 Cambria hotels open or under development in the U.S.
Kasada acquires in Rwanda: Kasada, Johannesburg, South Africa, has acquired the Umubano Hotel in Kacyiru, Kigali, Rwanda. Kasada, backed by the Qatar Investment Authority, will redevelop and rebrand the historic hotel into a 100-room Mövenpick, while maintaining the flagship architectural aspects of the hotel. The rebranded hotel will open in 2025 and will include health and spa facilities and co-working spaces. The deal follows Kasada’s acquisition of the Cape Grace in South Africa in March. The company now controls more than 2,400 keys in seven countries.
Tourism’s GDP contribution forecast: The U.S. Travel & Tourism sector is expected to contribute more than US$2.6 billion in GDP to the U.S. economy in the next decade, according to the latest Economic Impact Report from the World Travel & Tourism Council in partnership with Oxford Economics. By 2032, the travel and tourism sector in the U.S. is slated to represent 9.2% of the entire U.S. economy based on average annual growth rate of 3.9%, almost double the projected 2% growth rate of the overall U.S. economy. Between 2022 and 2032, jobs in the travel and tourism sector are expected to rise at an average rate of 3.9% annually, representing a 47% jump from 2022 anticipated job levels. WTTC expects the sector’s GDP contribution in 2022 to grow by over 42% compared to 2021, reaching more than US$1.8 billion by 2022-end and making up 7.6% of the entire country’s economy. By the end of the year, WTTC predicts that employment in the sector will rise by 28%, reaching 13.5 million jobs in the country, from a high of 16.8 million in 2019.
Scandic, Pandox extend agreement: Scandic and Pandox have agreed to extend the lease agreements of 15 hotels and one conference property in the Nordic region with unchanged terms, ensuring good profits and balanced risk for Scandic. Of the 15 hotels, 12 are in Sweden, two in Finland and one in Norway. The agreement, which represents 3,598 rooms, also includes the Marina Congress Center in Helsinki. The revenue-based agreements have a contracted minimum level and will expire in 12 to 20 years. Scandic and Pandox will undertake a joint renovation program of the properties that will add 15 rooms. Pandox has also agreed to invest in ventilation and heat recovery in some of the hotels, which will bring down on energy consumption and operating costs while increasing guest comfort.
Blackstone, Crown deal gets conditional nod from WA: Western Australia has given a conditional approval to the US$6.3 billion buyout of Australia’s biggest casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd. by Blackstone Inc. subject to “tough” conditions, Crown has said. The conditions include additional auditing and a commitment to invest in and maintain Crown’s casino in Perth, Western Australia. The nod comes after clearances from New South Wales and Victoria earlier this week, enabling Blackstone to close its deal for Crown, which is 37% owned by billionaire James Packer. The takeover awaits a clearance from Australia’s federal court at a hearing scheduled for June 15.
Iron Horse Hotel files for bankruptcy: Rider Hotel LLC, the owner of The Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has reportedly filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Rider Hotel is seeking a resolution with a lender. The filing lists the owner’s assets being valued at US$10 million to US$50 million and includes the same range for its present liabilities. The 100-key hotel, its dining venues and event spaces will be operational as usual.
Change of leadership at Venetian: The Venetian Resort Las Vegas and The Venetian Expo have announced that President and CEO George Markantonis is stepping down from his role after seven years. He will be succeeded by Patrick Nichols effective August 1. Markantonis will continue to serve as CEO until that time and will assume the role of special advisor to the board from August 1. Nichols began his career at The Venetian. Having worked in the Las Vegas hospitality industry throughout his career, he most recently served as the general manager and chief strategy officer at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Inspirato launches luxury travel subscription: Inspirato Inc. has launched Inspirato Select, a luxury travel subscription plan designed for both personal and business use. Inspirato Select provides a way to use, buy and share luxury vacations with all nightly rates, fees and taxes included. The subscription program’s main benefit includes the ability to book and share Inspirato Select Trips at no additional cost, allowing subscribers to choose from more than 500,000 trip options in over 150 destinations (including Inspirato residences, luxury hotels, and 5-star resorts). The initial subscription includes three Inspirato Select Trips; subscribers may then purchase packages of additional trips whenever they like. Inspirato Select also provides all the benefits of the company’s Inspirato Club subscription, including access to book a la carte travel within Inspirato’s portfolio at members-only rates with 5-star personalized service on every trip. Inspirato Select Trips are 100% transferrable and may be shared with others at no additional cost.
Americans’ travel intent outlook: With rebounding travel intent clear among American travelers, inflation, rising gas prices and other world events have proved to be no match for travelers, showed the Portrait of American Travelers research by MMGY Global. About 65% of U.S. travelers plan to take a leisure trip in the next six months, the research revealed. While the lower end of the income spectrum showed some signs of reducing travel intent, overall spending intentions were up this quarter. The surge in cost of travel has now emerged as a bigger obstacle, compared to the pandemic. Gas prices will affect travel for around eight in 10 active leisure travelers. However, Americans are not likely to cancel their trips, and are more likely to travel closer to home (48%), lower their spend on entertainment/shopping (35%) or make their own meals instead of eating out (30%). The perception of safety continues to improve, with the perceived safety of domestic travel rising 7 points from last year while international travel was up 12 points YOY. Interest and likelihood to go on an international trip rose, returning to pre-COVID levels. Younger travelers, travelers with children and travelers with incomes of over US$100,000 were most interested in traveling abroad in the next two years, with Europe and the Caribbean emerging as popular destination choices.
Lemon Tree adds to Indian portfolio: Lemon Tree Hotels, New Delhi, India, has announced its latest signing, the 44-room Keys Lite by Lemon Tree Hotels, SreeKanya Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. The hotel, owned by M/s. SreeKanya Combines, is slated to open in March 2023 and will be managed by Carnation Hotels Pvt. Ltd., the management arm and subsidiary of Lemon Tree Hotels. The property marks Lemon Tree’s fourth hotel in Andhra Pradesh. The company currently operates around 8,250 rooms in 84 hotels across 52 destinations in India and abroad. After the pipeline becomes operational, around 10,700 rooms in 110 hotels across 66 destinations will be operational.