Briefs: Nobu Hospitality to Thailand; Sentral, OliverBuchananGroup partner

Nobu Hospitality to Thailand: Nobu Hospitality, Miami Beach, Florida, and Bangkok, Thailand-based Asset World Corp Public Co. Ltd. have announced a development agreement to develop several Nobu hotels and restaurants across Thailand and the commencement of two projects in Bangkok. The Nobu restaurant will occupy the rooftop and top floor of the Empire Tower, the mixed-use development in Bangkok, and will offer panoramic views of the city and views of the Chao Phraya River. The location of the signed Nobu Hotel in Bangkok will be announced soon, with the two partners planning a new program and experience.

Rendering of Sentral Denver Union Station

Sentral, OliverBuchananGroup partner: Sentral and OliverBuchananGroup, both based in Denver, Colorado, have announced a partnership to develop new urban, multi-family communities and mixed-use projects in high-growth markets across the U.S. Sentral will serve as the exclusive property management group for residential properties and the partnership will initially be focused on projects in San Diego, Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Nashville and Austin. Sentral’s first collaboration with OliverBuchananGroup is located in Denver’s River North District. The partners have engaged local and global design companies to plan a community that will include over 300 residence units, along with retail, event and office space. Construction will start in 2023.

Pebblebrook closes sale of Hotel Spero: Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Bethesda, Maryland, has closed on the sale of the 236-key Hotel Spero in San Francisco, California, for US$71 million to a third party. Proceeds from the sale of the hotel will be used for general corporate purposes and will help reduce the company’s debt borrowings associated with recent hotel purchases, as per the company’s investment strategy. For the trailing 12 months ended June 30, 2022, the hotel’s net operating loss was US$1.6 million and its hotel EBITDA was US$1.4 million. Based on the hotel’s operating performance for 2019, the sales price reflects a 9.1x EBITDA multiple and a 9.8% net operating income capitalization rate. The net operating income (loss) for both periods mentioned above is after an assumed annual capital reserve of 4% of total hotel revenue. Pebblebrook owns 52 properties totaling 12,900 guestrooms in 15 urban and resort markets across the U.S.

Hotel Equities launches lifestyle division: Hotel Equities, Alpharetta, Georgia, has launched a new lifestyle division through its strategic partnership with Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Greenwood Hospitality. The new division now features more than 30 assets, including hotels like The Farnam in Omaha, Nebraska, and The Henry in Dearborn, Michigan, both Autograph Collection by Marriott hotels; along with the Tulsa Club, a Curio Collection by Hilton, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bill Kohl, principal at Greenwood Hospitality will lead an enterprise-wide food & beverage team, with SVP of Operations Peter Tziahanas joining the lifestyle team. Tom Conran, also a principal with Greenwood Hospitality, will further grow the new lifestyle unit in the U.S. and Canada. All disciplines will be supported by Hotel Equities’ President of Hotel Operations, Albert Smith.

Australia’s key market outlook: The reopening of Australia’s international borders earlier this year has helped international migration to begin its recovery path data from March 2022, suggesting a slow short-term recovery with forecasts to return to the 2019 level around June 2024, as per a report by Horwath HTL on Australia’s capital city and key markets. Considering the lengthy pre-departure norms and expensive travel costs, the tourism sector is likely to need a longer period of certainty before more people feel comfortable taking longer and more expensive trips. The Australian business outlook is projected to grow in 2022-23, with the rate of unemployment likely to moderate to an average of 3.8%. The overall long-term outlook is similar to the March 2022 edition of the economic outlook. Overall, with the removal of vaccine requirements and travel exemptions for international travelers, it will be easier for new arrivals to enter Australia. The latest Domestic Tourism Forecasts have predicted that domestic tourism is likely to return to close its pre-pandemic level in 2022-23 and surpass the previous peak in 2023-24. Domestic tourism in Victoria is projected to take longer than in other states to return to the pre-COVID volumes, reflecting prolonged lockdowns in the past two years. New South Wales and the other territories also follow a marginally slower path in the short-term due to recent lockdowns.

Cygnett Hotels signs first resort: Cygnett Hotels & Resorts, Gurgaon, India, has announced its first resort in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, with an opening scheduled in October. Cygnett has signed a strategic partnership with Bansal Automobiles Pvt. Ltd., which is the resort’s developer and owner. The 64-key Cygnett Resort Bharatpur spans five acres and includes 10,000 square feet of outdoor events space, 20,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event space, a gym, spa, pool and restaurant.

Positive trend study for travel sector:  Despite challenges, like rising inflation, soaring fuel prices and sustained operational and staffing crises impacting the travel and hospitality industry, there have been some positive trends for the travel industry, including a rise in long-haul travel, lower cancelation rates and higher hotel ADRs, showed latest data and research by Expedia Group. Showing strong growth in demand, which resulted in the highest lodging bookings in Expedia Group’s history, Q2 sustained the momentum from Q1 with total gross bookings rising double-digits YOY in Q2. The second quarter also showed a 40% jump in stayed room nights and a 9% rise in stayed ADRs quarter-over-quarter. The demand for long-haul flights surged 50% YOY, with a more than 100% YOY increase in Q2 traveler demand for flights from the U.S. to Europe. London, Paris and Rome were the top three European destinations for U.S. travelers. The second quarter saw higher growth in short- to mid-term planning, as the 0 to 90-day search window grew over 5% quarter-over-quarter and the 61 to 90-day window witnessed the highest growth at 15%. Travelers are mindful of inclusive travel providers and sought accessibility and diversity in their travel options. Around 92% of consumers think it’s important for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all types of travelers. Sustainability has also emerged as a key element to influence travel decisions, with 90% of consumers looking for sustainable travel options. About 65% of consumers said they would opt for environmentally-friendly transport or lodging on their next trip and 50% were willing to pay more for sustainable lodging.