Hotel reservations for leisure travel will boost industry revenue through early 2022

Skift take

Leisure travel will continue to dominate hotel booking patterns into the new year, although Omicron is only a minor downfall on performance.

Cameron Sperance

Here is a sample of what the Daily Lodging Report provided to its readers last week. If you’re not a subscriber, you should be. Do not wait. Register now here.

Sunday 5 December

Truist said they believed the strength in leisure travel extends beyond upcoming holiday period to 1Q22, leaving them most positive on leisure-focused actions. The mixed news is, following a Delta-related decline in July, August-November booking volumes for future city-wide group / convention events in major markets were well above levels comparables of 2019 with prices up almost 5% compared to 2019. However, the cumulative booking rate for corporate meetings / events in 2022 is -35% compared to 2019, with trends generally much better for hotter / southern locations than for colder / northern locations. They see very limited statistical evidence that individual business travel is set to take off, as some optimistic statements from senior hotel executives at the recent NYU hotel conference.

Skift Note: Management chatter about the roaring return of business travel is the BS industry.

Morgan stanley reported on takeaways from their recent 2021 consumer conference. companies have not seen an impact of omicron on their US operations to date and continues to expect 4T’s RevPAR to improve over 3T. Some have reported a bit of pressure on MEA and Europe bookings. Companies expect strong net unit growth to continue and remain confident to return to their pre-Covid growth rates. The strength in leisure demand continued until the more business-dependent fall, but the return to RevPAR 2019 levels may still depend on the return of business travel and group demand.

Skift Note: Anecdotal evidence first emerged that Omicron may not be as bad as the Delta variant. The data then saved the claim.

Monday 6 December

IHG Hotels and Resorts and MIK Group officially opened the new room of 308 Crowne Plaza Phu Quoc Starbay seaside resort on Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam. Located along Bai Dai Beach, just northwest of the island recognized as UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2006, the resort was a 40-minute drive from Phu Quoc International Airport. The hotel includes the Plaza Workspace, a new take on the traditional hotel lobby space. The 308 rooms include 11 villas and 21 suites, ranging from 40 square meters to 411, each with a large balcony. There are two swimming pools, the Hoa Sim Spa, two signature restaurants, the Tribe Kids Club and 416 square meters of dedicated meeting space. IHG now has 14 hotels in Vietnam operating under four brands.

Skift Note: Just because IHG is shaking a few bad eggs doesn’t mean Crowne Plaza is in the game.

Tuesday December 7

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced on launch of its La Quinta by Wyndham brand in China with the opening of Wyndham Weifang South Quintascheduled for the end of December. The hotel is located in Weifang, one of the largest cities in Shandong Province. The city is known as the birthplace of kites, surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape perfect for rock climbing or sightseeing. La Quinta by Wyndham Weifang is a new hotel offering 200 guest rooms and suites, all equipped with modern amenities. There’s an Executive Lounge, with private check-in and check-out, dedicated concierge services, and an exclusive meeting room, the Fit Lounge, which includes a 600-square-foot gym and yoga room. There are three restaurants and 3,400 square meters of conference and banquet space.

Skift Note: No matter how badly the recovery has been caused by China’s zero-case coronavirus policy, brands still want to build on it. We have said it before, and we will say it again: real estate is a long game.

Wednesday December 8

Vietnamese Ministry of Transport submitted a proposal resumption of international flights on nine routes across Asia and the United States from December 15 as part of a two-phase reopening plan. The initial phase would launch next week with four weekly flights to and from Los Angeles or San Francisco in the United States, as well as Singapore, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Laos, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei. The ministry expects around 28,000 visitors to Vietnam in the two weeks through the end of 2021 as part of the plan. Phase two of the proposal foresees the addition of additional routes from January 1, 2022, adding Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow and Sydney. The opening phase would see flights to and from two of Vietnam’s airports in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, expanded to include Da Nang City, Cam Ranh, Phu Quoc and Van Don as part of the phase two. The problems include that the US CDC recently ranked Vietnam among 56 countries and territories deemed to be at high risk for Covid-19. Mainland China and Hong Kong continue to apply mandatory quarantine measures to all international arrivals.

Skift Note: Finally. Travel bans at this stage are unworkable and unfair.

Thursday December 9

Courtyard by Marriott announced a modern design and robust renovation strategy for North America. More than 375 of the brand’s first-generation hotels in the United States and Canada are slated for modernization with exterior renovations by 2024, of which more than 60 have already been completed. Courtyard is expanding renovations to include updates to the exterior facade and landscaping. The new façade will feature a redesigned porte-cochere, cropped and repainted exterior surfaces, ambient lighting, new signage and new landscaping. In addition to the renovations, Courtyard introduced its latest generation prototype featuring a sleek exterior and a sophisticated yet comfortable interior designed that will also be adopted by hotels of previous generations. Interior works include a modernized lobby, new fitness center, versatile meeting spaces, and upgraded food and beverage offerings. Room upgrades include digital key technology and new furnishings. Newer and renovated Courtyard hotels include: Courtyard Jacksonville Butler Boulevard; Atlanta court perimeter center; San Diego Miramar Court; Raleigh / Cary junction courtyard; and Courtyard Memphis East / Galleria.

Skift Note: The longtime brand for road warriors is finally getting a facelift – and it will soon be making its way to much of Marriott’s North American Courtyard portfolio.

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