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.

Ryanair enters new partnership with SiteMinder for hotel distribution

After closing its Ryanair Holidays package holiday business late last year after just two years of operation, budget airline Ryanair has now teamed-up with guest acquisition platform SiteMinder to use its Ryanair Rooms website as a distribution channel for its 30,000+ hotel customers across Europe and globally.

The agreement will allow SiteMinder’s customers to offer guests a new alternative to ‘go direct’ and take advantage of the ‘cash-back’ option provided by Ryanair Rooms. The platform provides hotel guests with a 10% return on the hotel booking in flight credit to use against Ryanair flights.

Ryanair Rooms leverages upon the significant Ryanair passenger traffic and its even greater website exposure which it says attracts over one billion visits per annum. The airline’s head of hotel supply, Matt Sherlock, says SiteMinder’s “deep footprint across Europe” will provide “an incredible opportunity to further expand our inventory throughout the region”.

“Ryanair Rooms has experienced rapid growth since its launch and we are delighted with the volume of bookings on the system,” he adds.

Brussels Airport takes control of Airhotel Belgium and ownership of airport Sheraton Hotel

Brussels Airport Company has signed an agreement to acquire Airhotel Belgium bvba (ltd), the company owning the Sheraton Hotel at Brussels Airport. The closing of the transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions including the approval by the European Commission. The hotel will continue to be run under the Sheraton brand.

Situated strategically right in front of the terminal building, the hotel offers 294 rooms, 21 conference rooms with a maximum capacity of 1,500 people, a restaurant, a fitness centre and its own parking garage.

It is this convenient location that has influenced the airport operator to make this investment, the scale of which remains undisclosed. “It allows us to fully integrate the hotel in our future development plans in this strategic area,” explains CEO, Arnaud Feist.

Corporate budgets will generally rise again in 2019, but ‘uncertainty and dent in confidence’ will impact performance

One third of buyers will have bigger corporate travel budgets in 2019, according to research by the Business Travel Show. This is on par with the 2017 performance, but down from 40% last year. The poll of 134 European buyers also showed a slight increase in the number of budgets on the downturn – from 13% in 2018 to 15% this year.

The show’s annual survey also showed fewer buyers will see a reduction in their accommodation budgets – 14% compared to 24% year-on-year, although there is a slight rise in buyers with less to spend on air travel – 16% compared to 11%.

One third of buyers will have more trips to manage, significantly fewer than the 45% last year. And there was a drop in the number who forecast an increase in travel costs – from 47% last year to 43%.

“The wobble shown by these results may reflect the uncertainty and dent in confidence the industry is currently experiencing in the light of Brexit,” says David Chapple, group event director, Business Travel Show.

News Briefs

  • Premier Inn will open a second German property in Feb-2019 as part of a phased growth in the country. The new Hamburg City (Zentrum) property is close to the city’s old town on Willy-Brandt Strasse. The first Premier Inn opened close to the Messe Frankfurt exhibition complex in 2016 and parent Whitbread has a pipeline of 34 hotels in Germany totalling over 6,000 rooms.
  • Pearl Hotels has revealed plans to invest GBP20.5m towards expanding its Holiday Inn Hotel at London Gatwick Airport. The hotel will receive 40 extra bedrooms and new conference facilities. Pearl Hotels was founded by Zahir Somani initially with the development of the Holiday Inn Express in Slough in 2005, followed by the acquisition of the Best Western Gatwick Worth hotel, now operating as the Holiday Inn London Gatwick Airport.
  • Munich Airport, in a submission via TED Europa, has awarded a contract for engineering and architectural services related to refurbishment and modernisation of the Hilton hotel at the Bavarian hub. The five star hotel features 389 rooms with suites, spa, conference and restaurant areas. The successful bidder remained anonymous.
  • Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB) predicts the Turkish tourism industry will achieve record growth in arrival numbers from Germany in 2019. According to data announced by the German Travel Association, early booking sales increased by 123% and revenue by 140% in the first two weeks of 2019.

And finally..

We may be concerned in Europe about the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit and what it could mean for business and travel, had how will impact future economic stability. But, it is the same in many other parts of the world… a recent survey from AARP and the Ad Council revealed that nearly one in three people approaching retirement age (28%) think they’re more likely to learn Bigfoot is real than to save enough to retire comfortably!