Check in! – latest hotel highlights from across EMEA

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

  • IHG adds 13 luxury and upscale hotels in the UK in deal with Foncière des Régions
  • Nobu Hospitality to open Tel Aviv property
  • Thomas Cook’s new hotel brand takes to the air on its aircraft fleet
  • Turkish hotel association anticipates growth in Chinese arrivals

IHG adds 13 luxury and upscale hotels in the UK in deal with Foncière des Régions

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has entered into a conditional agreement with Foncière des Régions, to rebrand and operate 12 high quality open hotels (2,200 rooms) and one pipeline hotel (185 rooms) into its portfolio across the UK. The arrangement follows a reported GBP800 million deal which will see Foncière des Régions acquire the properties from investment firm Starwood Capital Group. This deal will boost IHG’s luxury portfolio by expanding the InterContinental brand and launch its luxury boutique brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the UK, adding multiple hotels for the brand in prime locations in major city centres, including London, Manchester and Edinburgh. The deal covers hotels currently under the Principal Hotels and De Vere brands, which will all be rebranded “in the one to two years following completion” of the deal (expected in the third quarter of 2018) with IHG operating the hotels under long-term “managed leases” as part of its luxury and upscale portfolio. It is expected that in the remainder of 2018, these properties will generate total revenues of circa GBP75 million and will be operationally breakeven from an operating profit perspective during this transition period, says IHG. By 2023 it expects these properties to generate over GBP200 million of revenue and mid-single digit operating profit.

Nobu Hospitality to open Tel Aviv property

Global lifestyle brand Nobu Hospitality continues to grow its hotel portfolio with the launch of its first property in Tel Aviv, Israel. The company, founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper opened its first hotel in Las Vegas in 2013 and has added to its inventory on an annual basis opening the Nobu Hotel Marbella earlier this year. New properties are also under development in Barcelona, Riyadh, Los Cabos, Chicago, Toronto, São Paulo and Atlanta. The new Nobu Hotel Tel Aviv will be the 17th hotel in the brand’s expanding portfolio and will be located at 55 Rothschild Boulevard and 66 Ahad Ha’am Street; one of Tel Aviv’s original neighbourhoods. The hotel will offer 38 rooms, and include a large garden, fitness centre, pool, outdoor spaces and a private rooftop, ideal for events.

Thomas Cook’s new hotel brand takes to the air on its aircraft fleet

This summer, Thomas Cook Airlines aircraft will fly the flag for two of the Thomas Cook Group’s own-brand hotels as part of the holiday company’s strategy to raise awareness of its hotel portfolio. An Airbus A321 has already entered service displaying the latest addition to its hotel portfolio, Cook’s Club. The brand, which launched earlier this month, is a stripped-back hotel concept with the first opening in Hersonissos in Crete this June. A second A321 will take to the air this month with the livery of SENTIDO Hotels & Resorts – a collection of 4- and 5-star hotels and one of Thomas Cook’s eight own hotel brands. “Our strategy is to strengthen the quality of our own-brand portfolio which now comprises eight brands,” says Ingo Burmester, chief hotels officer, Thomas Cook Hotels & Resorts. “Our new flying ambassadors are a fantastic way to both collaborate and celebrate two key pillars within the Thomas Cook Group.”

Turkish hotel association anticipates growth in Chinese arrivals

Turkey is seeking to increase connectivity from China to reach a more than one million annual Chinese tourist arrival target. Türkiye Otelciler Birliği (Hotel Association of Turkey – TÜROB) says projects are underway to increase the number of flights and while Turkish Airlines operates 34 services per week to China, the lack of Chinese airline services to Turkey is preventing the development of the Chinese tourism market. TÜROB chairman Timur Bayındır said: “If all of China wants to come to Turkey, only 300,000 people can come in a year with the current flight capacity… The number of flights from China to Turkey must increase. The targeted figure of one million Chinese tourists is achievable as long as transportation access is provided”. 247,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey in 2017, an increase from 114,000 in 2012.