Briefs: Sports Illustrated resorts launched; Club Med to open 17 new resorts

Strong investment demand for UK’s South West: The regional hotel market in the U.K. saw significant investment in 2021, with transactions worth £2.04 billion (US$2.76 billion) and the South West hotel market continuing to be in demand with investment volumes increasing 8.2% to £86.1 million (US$116.75 million) compared to 2020, according to Savills. Some of the important deals included the sale of Treloyhan Manor in St Ives to Manchester-based developers for over £3 million (US$4.06 million) off a guide price of £1.75 million (US$2.37 million); the sale of The Dial House in Bourton on the Water to overseas investors off a guide price of £2.5 million (US$3.39 million); and the sale of the Ibis Swansea and Ibis Budget Newport to an unnamed private buyer off an undisclosed guide price.

Club Med to open 17 new resorts: Club Med, the Paris-based travel operator, aims to solidify its position in the all-inclusive concept market for families and upscale travelers with the planned opening of 17 new resorts and complete 13 renovations or extensions of existing resorts by 2024. Some of the new resorts include the 320-key Club Med Utah in Snowbasin, Utah; 485-room Club Med Magna Marbella in Spain; 430-key Club Med Tignes in Tignes Val Claret, French Alps; 216-key Club Med Val d’Isère in the Tarentaise Valley, French Alps; 200-key Club Med San Sicario, Italian Alps; Club Med Hokkaido, Japan; and Club Med Borneo Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Sports Illustrated announces resorts: ADMI Inc. and Experiential Ventures Hospitality have partnered with owner of Sports Illustrated brand Authentic Brands Group to launch Sports Illustrated Resorts — new premium, lifestyle resort and entertainment destinations. The first property will open in 2022 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Located in Cap Cana, the property and adjacent area will offer several sports activities. There are plans to develop an interactive hotel and resort in Orlando, Florida, and other destinations throughout continental U.S. and Hawaii. The portfolio is slated to include university locations, upscale golf destinations, beach clubs, large format resorts and eco-adventure lodges. Each resort will have attractions like live action sports and entertainment, dining and wellness.

China’s construction pipeline grows 9%: China’s hotel construction pipeline at the end of Q4 grew 9% by projects and rooms YOY and now stands at 3,693 projects/700,567 rooms, according to Lodging Econometrics. Projects under construction in China grew 12% by projects and 13% by rooms YOY and stands at 2,574 projects/466,148 rooms. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 503 projects/95,057 rooms and projects in the early planning stage stand at 616 projects/139,362 rooms, up 40% by projects and 28% by rooms YOY. Projects under construction and those in early planning are both at record high counts. Chengdu leads China’s hotel construction pipeline with an all-time high of 144 projects/29,485 rooms, followed by Shanghai (127 projects/24,279 rooms), Guangzhou (119 projects/24,601 rooms), Hangzhou (98 projects/20,906 rooms) and, Xi’an (94 projects/16,932 rooms). Franchise companies topping China’s construction pipeline are Hilton with 661 projects/122,650 rooms, followed by IHG with 429 projects/88,486 rooms, Marriott International, setting record high project counts, with 397 projects/105,893 rooms, Accor with 193 projects/35,463 rooms and JinJiang Holdings with 190 projects/18,789 rooms.

Expedia Q4 earnings up 148%: Seattle-based Expedia Group, the online travel company, exceeded Wall Street’s expectations to post Q4 revenue of US$2.3 billion, a 148% increase YOY and down 17% from Q4 2019. Gross bookings stood at US$17.5 billion, a 131% YOY rise and 25% dip from Q4 2019. The company’s net income was US$276 million, or adjusted earnings of US$1.06 cents per share, while Wall Street expected 80 cents per share.