Check in! – hotel highlights across EMEA

The Blue Swan Daily brings you a round up of the latest key hotel news from across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • Rezidor Hotel Group delivers solid annual performance in 2017; opens 28 hotels and adds 24 more to its pipeline
  • Marriott Mena House shines in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • AccorHotels’ strong increase in 2017 earnings driven by robust business and very dynamic development
  • Africa hotels start the year in positive fashion
  • Hotel News Briefs…

Rezidor Hotel Group delivers solid annual performance in 2017; opens 28 hotels and adds 24 more to its pipeline
The Rezidor Hotel Group maintained strong portfolio growth throughout 2017, adding 24 new hotels with more than 7,400 rooms to its pipeline as it continued its expansion in emerging markets, notably in Africa and the Middle East, while slowly adjusting its strategy by adding new hotels in key European gateway cities. In the year, Rezidor opened 28 hotels with more than 5,000 rooms. Notable openings of last year included Radisson RED in Cape Town, the Park Inn by Radisson property at Brussels Airport and four new Radisson Blu properties in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. “Our 5-year plan focuses on organic growth that is balanced between emerging and mature markets, the launch of our new brand architecture, a shift from asset-light to asset-right in our business model and a promise to become more relevant to our owners,” says Elie Younes, executive vice president and chief development officer at the Rezidor Hotel Group. The company reported report solid full year results, growing like-for-like revenue EUR 38.3 million (4.0%), supported by a RevPAR growth of +4.8%, driven by the strong performance in Eastern Europe and the good development in Western Europe and the Nordics.

Marriott Mena House shines in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Giza
Marriott has rebranded the famous Mena House hotel, an historic property which has played host to kings, emperors, heads of state and celebrities for over 130 years, under its own brand. The Marriott Mena House is located just steps away from the Great Pyramids of Giza, one of the seven wonders of the world and set amidst 40 acres of verdant gardens. It offers 331 rooms and suites offering spectacular views of the mighty Giza Pyramids and the surrounding lush greenery. Leisure facilities include an outdoor heated pool, a Health Club and a Spa, while the hotel also offers over 1,400 square meters of indoor meeting spaces and over 8,700 square meters of sprawling outdoor venues, ideal for gala receptions, elaborate weddings as well as intimate gatherings. Marriott International currently operates 19 hotels with over 7,000 rooms in Egypt across seven brands including JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Le Meridien, Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Sheraton, and Westin. The company continues to see a robust pipeline of over 1,600 rooms under development over the next three to five years.

AccorHotels’ strong increase in 2017 earnings driven by robust business and very dynamic development
AccorHotels has reported consolidated 2017 revenue amounted to EUR1,937 million, up 7.9% at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates (like-for-like) and 17.7% as reported compared with 2016. The difference between the like-for-like and reported changes stems primarily from the consolidation of FRHI and from the new businesses. Hotel services reported business volume of EUR17.9 billion, up 19% (at constant exchange rates), and revenue of EUR1,746 million, up 14.6% as reported and 5.1% like-for-like. This robust growth, according to the hotel group, reflects sustained business in key regions, namely Asia-Pacific (+7.7%), Europe (+7.2%), France & Switzerland (+2.5%), but also North America, Central America & the Caribbean (+5.2%) and the Middle East & Africa (+2.7%). The only region to post a decline was South America (-3.3%). Across its portfolio revenue per available room (RevPAR) was up +4.7%. Organic development reached new record levels in 2017 during which AccorHotels opened 264 new hotels, representing more than 40,802 rooms: it has a pipeline of 874 hotels and 161,000 rooms. New businesses (concierge services, luxury home rentals, private sales of luxury hotels and stays, and digital services for independent hotels) recorded like-for-like revenue growth of 6.9% to EUR100 million in the 12 months to Dec-2017, compared with EUR44 million in 2016. Revenue derived from the Group’s hotel assets also grew by 7.0% like-for-like. This good performance nevertheless masks a contrasting situation between Central Europe, which remains very buoyant, and Brazil, where the situation is still challenging.

Africa hotels start the year in positive fashion
Hotels in Africa posted growth across the three key performance metrics in Jan-2018, according to data from benchmarking specialist STR. Its insights for the first month of the year shows a +5.7% increase in occupancy to 53.4%, average daily room rates (ADR) growing +2.6% to USD126.55 and revenue per available room (RevPAR) up +8.4% to USD67.54 versus Jan-2017. Highlighting to key markets it illustrates strong performance in Morocco where demand spiked during the month due to the FIA Formula E Championship race in Marrakech as well as Marrakech Marathon. The country witnessed its first year over year rise in RevPAR for the first January since 2014, growing +49.5% to MAD69.90; similarly, occupancy rose +16.3% to 54.1% and ADR was up+28.5% to MAD129.16. Nigeria also witnessed a strong rise in occupancy, up +8.6% to 41.4% and the country’s highest for any January since 2013. However, it still continues to be affected by a poor reputation around security concerns in the country with ADR falling -11.2% to NGN136.09 and RevPAR decreasing -3.6% to NGN56.38.

Hotel News Briefs…

  • Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson believes 4Q2017 was the “icing on the cake of a terrific year.” Mr Sorenson confirmed the company performed beyond expectations, with 2017’s fee revenue compared to combined adjusted amounts in 2016 increased 8% to USD3.3 billion. Mr Sorenson, said: “Occupancy is at record levels with young travellers seeking adventure, retirees exploring exciting places, expanding numbers of international vacationers and for business travellers making connections that drive success.”
  • Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev issued orders to increase the number of hotels in the country to eliminate shortages during the tourism season. The extension of the tourism season and the range of tourist services provided and the improvement of tourism infrastructure was also discussed. The opening of duty free and tax free store in cities visited by tourists was also discussed.
  • UK’s Nine Group opened a Novotel branded hotel at London Heathrow Airport under franchise agreement with AccorHotels. The GBP30 million development features 166 rooms, F&B facilities, fitness centre and conference rooms.
  • Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) Head Oleg Safonov announced  the need to construct new hotels in Crimea to accommodate the additional tourist arrivals expected following the opening of the Kerch Strait bridge. Mr Safonov also noted the importance of ensuring the affordability and competitiveness of Crimean tourism through the pricing hotel services. Crimea Republic Head Sergey Aksenov reported more than RUB2.5 billion (EUR35.9 million) was collected in taxes for the resort and tourism industries in 2017, up 7% year-on-year.
  • HNA Tourism Group plans to rename Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group as Radisson Hotel Group effective 05-Mar-2018. This follows several new leadership appointments and restructuring it has made since completing the purchase of Carlson Hotels in late 2016, and the change in its legal name from Carlson Hotels Inc to Radisson Hospitality Inc in Nov-2017.
  • Cardiff Airport CEO Debra Barber stated the airport is considering unsolicited proposals from hotel operators to construct a four star hotel and a budget hotel at the airport. Ms Barber said: “We are looking at the development of the airport and the surrounding land as part of the masterplan exercise which is under way… We are exploring opportunities to increase our commercial activities of which new hotels will form a key part of the development”. Cardiff Airport has experienced an almost 50% passenger increase over the previous three years.