News in brief: AH&LA, Cuba, Starwood Hotels

AH&LA opposes Expedia-Orbitz merger: The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) stated that it opposes Expedia’s proposed acquisition of Orbitz. According to AH&LA, the pending US$1.6 billion merger would result in Expedia controlling 75% of the travel agency market and subsequently limit consumer choice. 

Read AH&LA’s full statement


Cuba offers great opportunities, obstacles: Although the U.S. embargo remains in effect, the return of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba presents opportunities for significant expansion of its hospitality and tourism businesses, according to a new report from the Center of Hospitality Research at Cornell University. However, Cuba still remains an “opaque nation” due to its central government. 

Download the full report


Starwood expands in Spain: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide signed an agreement with the Phoenix Enterprises owner of Inversiones Hoteleras La Quinta S.L.U. for The Westin La Quinta Golf & Spa Resort in Spain. The hotel conversion is scheduled to be complete in 2016.

Read more at Starwood’s website


Regent to open first hotel in Harbin: Regent Hotels & Resorts will open its first hotel in the Harbin province of China. Regent Place Harbin will open in 2017 as part of the new Hya Hong International Center. 

Read more at Travel Daily Media


AMResorts grows in Mexico: Apple Leisure Group’s subsidiary, AMResorts, will open Sunscape Puerto Vallarta in December. 

Read more at AMResorts’ website


HDP acquires hotels in Charleston: Hotel Development Partners and funds managed by Ares Management purchased three select-service hotels in Charleston, South Carolina. The hotels include the Residence Inn by Marriott Charleston North/Ashley Phosphate, the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Charleston North/Ashley Phosphate and an undisclosed hotel part of the Choice Hotels portfolio.


THG buys in Kansas City: The Hotel Group acquired the Kansas City Airport Marriott in Missouri. The 384-hotel is the only hotel located on airport grounds.