Briefs: Travel volume to, from US surges; edyn grows in London

Travel volume to and from US surges: Non-U.S. international visitor volume to the U.S. surged 134.9% to 4,062,569 compared to June 2021, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. This represented 64.2% of the pre-COVID visitor volume of June 2019 and was down marginally from the last month’s 64.4%. Overseas visitor volume to the U.S. jumped 162.7% to stand at 2,065,607 from June 2021. June 2022 was the 15th consecutive month that total non-U.S. resident international arrivals to the U.S. rose on YOY basis. In the first half of 2022, international arrivals soared 170.7% YOY to 20,732,271, which was 93.8% of arrivals in 2021. International outbound travel volume from the country increased 82% YOY to 8,680,304 and reached 83% of June 2019 departures. June 2022 was the 16th consecutive month when total U.S. citizen international visitor departures increased on a YOY basis.

Rendering of the interiors of the new Locke hotel in London

edyn grows in London: edyn, the London-based hybrid hospitality company, has expanded Locke, its lifestyle brand, with the acquisition of the NH Kensington in London. The purchase marks edyn’s sixth Locke property in London and the latest chapter in the brand’s pan-European growth, with more properties under development in Berlin, Lisbon, Zurich and the recent opening in Munich. Scheduled to finish conversion and open in June 2023, the aparthotel will feature 121 apartments, ranging from studio to one- and two-bedroom open-plan living spaces, a bar, restaurant, co-working space, private gardens and meeting areas. The property is being designed by Atelier Ochre along with interior design firm House of Dre.

US performance slips: Hotel performance in the U.S. was lower than the week prior and showed mixed comparisons with 2019, as per latest data through August 27 by STR.

  • Occupancy: 65% (-2.5%)
  • ADR: US$147.16 (+15%)
  • RevPAR: US$95.62 (+12.1%)

Among the top 25 markets, Orlando posted the largest occupancy increase over 2019 (+21.1% to 63.8%). Miami reported the highest ADR gain over 2019 (+32.2% to US$180.17). The steepest RevPAR deficits were in San Francisco (-39.2% to US$143.37) and New Orleans (23.1% to US$54.57).

National Hotel Employee Day: The American Hotel & Lodging Association has established September 1 as the National Hotel Employee Day in the National Day Calendar. National Hotel Employee Day will be celebrated annually to thank around 2 million hotel employees for their dedication and hard work and acknowledge the role they play in the country’s hotel and travel and tourism industries. On the inaugural National Hotel Employee Day, hotels across the U.S. are working to fill over 120,000 open jobs and are offering prospective and current staff higher wages with improved benefits and more flexibility. According to the AHLA, most hotels face staffing shortages and half are severely understaffed, with the most critical staffing need being housekeeping.

US airlines update customer service plans: Major U.S. airlines told the U.S. Transportation Department that they would provide hotel rooms for stranded passengers and meals for travelers delayed by three hours if prompted by issues under the airlines’ control. Many airlines have offered vouchers or hotel rooms for delays they caused but did not clarify commitments in customer service plans. American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines and others specified commitments in customer service plans which they updated this week after being prompted by the Transportation Department. In updated customer service plans, some airlines said if they did not find a hotel room, they would offer a voucher or reimburse a stranded customer if they find a reasonably priced room by themselves and would also reimburse them for transportation.

Lemon Tree signs in India: Lemon Tree Hotels, New Delhi, India, has signed a new hotel in Rajkot, Gujarat. The 45-room hotel, Lemon Tree Hotel, Rajkot, is slated to open in March 2023 and will be managed by the subsidiary and management arm of Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd., Carnation Hotels Pvt. Ltd. The hotel marks Lemon Tree’s sixth one in Gujarat. The company currently operates around 8,300 rooms in 85 hotels across 52 destinations. Once its current pipeline becomes operational, Lemon Tree will operate about 10,850 rooms in 113 hotels across 68 destinations globally.

Hong Kong to end hotel quarantine?: Hong Kong is reportedly aiming to end hotel quarantine in November, even as a surge in COVID-19 cases is forcing health officials to delay the plan. The decision to scrap hotel quarantine comes ahead of a summit of global bankers and an international rugby competition. Although many in the government favor opening the international borders to uplift the economy, the final decision will be taken based on the daily count of COVID cases, the number of deaths and public sentiment. Hong Kong has been easing travel restrictions despite a surge of CIVID cases and fatalities in March, while mainland China continues to enforce strict lockdowns and prolonged quarantines to keep cases next to zero. Although Hong Kong has reduced hotel quarantine from 21 days to three days, the administration is yet to open up fully as rival Asian cities, like Singapore, have scrapped all restrictions.