FCM's Hotel Insights: September

Travel News 21 Sep 2017

The hotel and accommodation sector is moving faster than ever, with news of mergers, partnerships, acquisitions and innovations coming thick and fast. Here is our summary of the latest developments to help you understand what is happening in this dynamic industry.

Intercontinental names new Mid-scale, business-focused brand

Intercontinental Hotels Group has announced a name for their new mid-scale hotel brand, deciding on ‘Avid Hotels’. IHG CEO of the Americas Elie Maalouf said in an interview that he sees this new brand as ‘championing the everyday traveler at an everyday price’. All hotels in this line will be newly-built structures designed for 95 to 100 rooms, with complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi service, booking of specific rooms or room-zones, designated work-spaces for each room as well as an emphasis on communal shared spaces throughout. The first properties in the Avid portfolio are expected to begin construction in 2018 to be ready for a 2019 debut.

 

Miami hotels survive Irma

Many hotels and waterfront resorts in and around Miami have stayed closed since Hurricane Irma passed the Florida city. But reports indicate that most have escaped severe damage. The beach has also apparently survived well, with some sand shaping operations being carried out by crews to repair erosion. Damage was more marked in narrow areas of the beach, like behind the Fontainbleau Hotel. The beach will remain closed for entry until roads and powerlines have been cleared of debris. Some hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, just off the beach, experienced power outages and some cosmetic damage. But it is anticipated that this can soon be fixed, allowing Miami’s iconic seafront to resume normal operations.


Hilton Loyalty Program unveils Amazon shopping program

Hilton has announced that the groups loyalty program ‘Hilton Honors’ will now give members the ability to use their accrued points to pay for part or all of a purchase from online retailer Amazon. The program will be open to all members of Hilton Honors, with no restrictions on what may be purchased. Customers must first link their Hilton Honors accounts with their Amazon accounts and then select how many points they wish to use at the check-out page. This new feature which they are calling ‘Amazon Shop with Points’ is the fourth addition to the loyalty program from Hilton Honors this year. It follows Points Pooling, Diamond Status Extension and Points & Money Rewards. Hilton hopes that by offering ways to redeem small numbers of points the program will be more attractive to travelers who don’t qualify for the higher-level rewards status.

 

Marriott International deepens partnership with NFL

Marriott is building on its existing relationship with the National Football League this season. The international hotel giant has announced the return of its ‘Courtyard by Marriott’s Super Bowl Sleepover contest will return this year, giving one winner and their guest the chance to stay overnight in a transformed field-level guestroom at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis before attending Super Bowl LII the next day.  Customers can enter now until November 3 just by sharing their favorite NFL photos on social media using the hashtag #CourtyardSuperBowlContest.  Marriott will also be setting up a VR experience in New York’s Flatiron district on September 28 showing fans that it would be like to win the contest, as well as a competition to win chats with NFL insider Adam Schefter and a host of NFL memorabilia and collectibles.