News in brief: Hotel Indigo, DoubleTree, Pullman

Hotel Indigo to expand in Chicago:  IHG announced that it signed a franchise agreement with manager First Hospitality Group and owner Crown Series 168 North Michigan LLC to open the 156-room Hotel Indigo Chicago-Millenium Park in the spring of 2014.



DoubleTree to expand in India:  Hilton Worldwide announced that it signed a franchise agreement with Panchshil Hotels Pvt. Ltd. to open the 115-room DoubleTree by Hilton Pune-Chinchwad in June.

Read more at the Hilton Worldwide’s website


Accor to expand in England:  Accor has been awarded the contract to build the £26 million (US$39 million) 200-room Pullman-branded hotel at Liverpool’s upcoming Exhibition Centre Liverpool.

Read more at Conference & Incentive Travel


Invest West/Pacifica sells California hotel:  Invest West Financial/Pacifica Hotel Co. announced the sale of the 73-room Empress Hotel of La Jolla to Greystone Hotels for an undisclosed sum.

Read more at La Jolla Patch


Graham Downes passes away:  Graham Downes, an architect, died earlier this week from injuries sustained in an assault. He was 55.

Read more at NBC 7 San Diego


Trump’s anti-wind farm ad banned for inaccuracy:  A Scotland ad campaign against wind farms by a The Trump Organization Scotland subsidiary has been banned by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority for making misleading claims.

Read more at The Guardian


STR Global releases March performance results:  New data from STR shows Middle East/Africa reported a 3.8% year-on-year increase in occupancy to 67.1%, a 5.4% increase in ADR to US$179.57 and a 9.5% increase in RevPAR to US$120.52 in March. The Asia Pacific region’s occupancy ended the month with a 1% decrease to 70%, its ADR dropped 0.8% to US$129.44 and its RevPAR was down 1.9% to US$90.60 in March. Europe reported a 1.2% increase in occupancy to 58.1%, its ADR fell 1.1%, in euro terms, to €96.30 and its RevPAR rose 0.1% to €55.95 in March. The Americas region reported a slight 0.2% increase in occupancy to 63.7%, a 3.9% rise in ADR to US$113.62 and a 4.1% growth in RevPAR to US$72.33 in March.


New Asia Pacific visitors data from PATA:  New data from the Pacific Asia Travel Association and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management shows visitor arrivals to the Asia Pacific region will continue to grow with an average annual growth rate of 4.1% over the period 2013-2017 and reach 581 million by 2017 and Hong Kong SAR will surpass the USA to be the second largest inbound destination in Asia Pacific in 2015.