NEWS BRIEFS update Feb. 25, 2020

Accor year-end results

PARIS — Accor is pleased to share the official Accor final year results 2019 press release.  The report highlights Accor’s year of strong results and a successful transformation throughout 2019. I’ve listed some key figures below and also attached the press release which can provide you with more information. 

Key figures are as follows: 

—Revenue up 16.0% to €4,049 million (+3.8 per cent lfl)

— Ebitda up 14.8% to €825 million (+5.9% lfl)

— Recurring free cash flow of €434 million

— Net profit, group share of €464 million

— 327 hotels and 45,108 rooms added

— Share buyback program: €600 million in 2020 and €400 million in 2021

“The Group delivered a record performance again for FY 2019. This is all the more outstanding against a difficult macroeconomic background and in light of our successful transformation, parallel to achieving growth,” said Sébastien Bezin, chairman and CEO of Accor. “Today, Accor is more diversified than ever, and a fully asset-light group. Going forward, we will pursue the execution of our strategy, focusing on our roadmap and value creation for shareholders.

“While these are challenging times for China, our thoughts are with the Chinese people, our teams, our clients and our partners there,” Bezin added. “As we are actively managing the situation in the region, our focus is on the fundamentals, which are the cornerstone of our business model: the excellence of our 300,000-strong workforce, our powerful brands, our top-performing distribution tools and loyalty programs, our consolidated leadership position in high potential regions, and our highly robust financial position. By leveraging these assets, we are confident in our ability to pursue our growth objectives and enhance sustainable shareholder returns.”

Record year for Canadian tourism

VANCOUVER — 2019 was another record-breaking year for Canadian tourism as we welcomed 22.1 million international arrivals, according to Statistics Canada, Destination Canada reported. From coast to coast to coast, tourism helped to support 1 in 10 jobs that contributed $43.5 billion to our Gross Domestic Product. 

“While there is more to our story than arrival numbers, including an increased emphasis on yield, it’s important to celebrate the milestones and the collective contributions of our Team Canada partners,” Destination Canada said. “We are committed to working with industry partners to keep inspiring those with glowing hearts to fall in love with Canada and drive the visitor economy forward.”

JourneySafe for Super 8 starts this week

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Super 8 by Wyndham, the world’s largest economy hotel brand and trusted roadside companion, in collaboration with NYC sleep expert Dr. Janet Kennedy, PhD, announced the return of its #JourneySafe campaign on Feb. 25, seeking to raise awareness and educate the public around the dangers of drowsy driving. The highly prevalent, yet starkly underreported issue is linked to more than 100,000 crashes annually with 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 injuries in the United States each year.

In support of the campaign, Super 8 in Canada and the U.S. is offering up to 15 per cent off Best Available Rate on a future stay to anyone who pledges to #JourneySafe at www.super8.com/journeysafe. What’s more, the brand is encouraging travellers to become advocates of their own, enabling them to share the dangers of drowsy driving with friends, family and loved ones via a host of downloadable resources including fact sheets, infographics, talk points and more.

“As travellers’ companion on the road, Super 8 takes pride in always being there for road warriors who are ready to pull over and get some much needed sleep,” said Mike Mueller, Super 8 by Wyndham brand president. “Drowsy driving is completely preventable and it’s our hope that, through this campaign, we’ll help not only raise awareness, but encourage drivers to take action as soon as they notice the signs.”

Anchored by a PSA-style video where iconic dashboard accessories – like a hula girl and bobbing dog – come to life to alert drivers of the warning signs of drowsy driving, #JourneySafe sends a timely wakeup call ahead of National Sleep Awareness Month in March and Daylight Saving Time on March 8, when many people across the country will lose an hour of sleep. The video is part of a broader digital campaign spanning email, web, display and social along with mobile integration via the popular navigation app Waze. 

Fairmont Pacific Rim celebrates 10 years

VANCOUVER —In February 2010, Fairmont Pacific Rim opened its doors to the first guests and quickly became a landmark within the city; a place to stay, socialize and lounge. Fairmont Pacific Rim, the definitive luxury AAA Five Diamond / Forbes Five-Star hotel, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with celebratory events and experiences for the public to enjoy.

These include: 

An Evening with Botanist On Wednesday, March 11, Botanist will host a celebratory 10-course evening of culinary artistry, under the direction of Botanist Executive Chef Hector Laguna. 

The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar Pop-Up: Botanist Bar will present a unique pop-up experience in partnership with the iconic Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, bringing its famed Interpreted Magic cocktail menu across the pond from London, UK to Vancouver. This will take place for two evenings only on Wednesday, April 15 and Thursday, April 16.

The Ultimate Dinner Party: The hotel’s Prime Minister Suite has played host to many celebrities, dignitaries and artists over the years, and will be the host venue for the Ultimate Dinner Party. This rare in-suite experience, perched on the hotel’s 22nd floor overlooking Coal Harbour and the iconic Olympic Cauldron, begins with a cocktail reception of award-wining cocktails, live music and a decadent four-course dinner. The package begins at $10,000.00 CAD.

Past, Present & Future: The Legacy of The Lobby Lounge and RawBar: The Lobby Lounge will see the addition of a feature Past, Present & Future cocktail list, highlighting a premier return, a current lounge favourite, and what the team of award-winning bartenders are predicting as ‘the future of the cocktail’. The trio of cocktails will be available until February 29, 2020.

(Sugar) Buns of Gold: giovane’s signature sugar bun is adding some gold bling this month in celebration of the hotel’s 10th Anniversary and giving nod to the anniversary of the 2010 winter games. Topped with a chocolate designed gold medal and filled with vanilla pastry, these limited edition sugar buns are available in the café from until February 29, 2020 for $7.00 CAD each.

10th Anniversary ‘Go for Gold’ Limited Edition Offer: In celebration of Fairmont Pacific Rim’s 10th Anniversary, guests booking the limited edition 10th Anniversary offer will receive perks including 20 per cent off luxurious Fairmont Gold accommodations and an exclusive welcome amenity. Rates start from $475.00 CAD per night in a Fairmont Gold City View Room, based on double occupancy.

How hotels can compete against OTAs

LOS ANGELES —The Guestbook, the world’s largest rewards program for independent and boutique hotels, has released a new white paper, titled “Metasearch, What to Know Before You Bid.”  It examines the many ways independent hotels are turning to new search tools to improve direct bookings and conversion rates, examining the rise of metasearch and how hotels can use it to their advantage.

The booking journey continues to evolve, with a survey finding 94.4 per cent of consumers reported they used price comparison sites at least occasionally when booking a hotel, and within this group 72.5 per cent of consumers regularly used metasearch sites. These tools aspire to be the “new homepage” for hotel properties around the world, and are often the first point of reference between travellers and hotels. By understanding how travellers are using metasearch tools for research, independent hoteliers are able to better position themselves online and in their local market, and better compete with larger brands and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs).

“Metasearch has already left its mark on the traveler booking journey, but many boutique and independent hoteliers are failing to fully take advantage of this transformative tool, which allows them to compete on equal footing with online travel agencies and some of the industry’s largest organizations,” said James Gancos, CEO and founder of The Guestbook.

“Providing compelling incentives, alongside the increased visibility provided by metasearch, is sometimes the only boost these hotels need to increase conversion rates and net room revenue. The challenge comes from understanding the traveller journey and choosing to invest accordingly.”

Topics covered in the white paper include: 

— Metasearch’s utility as a conversion tool

— What boutique and independent hotels should focus on before investing in metasearch

— How boutique and independent hotels can compete against OTAs on equal footing

— The influence of cashback rewards within metasearch messaging

The Guestbook’s new white paper, “Metasearch, What to Know Before You Bid,” is available now and can be downloaded HERE.

Wyndham in growth mode despite headwinds

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts executives said even in China, which represents about 25 per cent of its global pipeline and where a coronavirus outbreak could delay openings, the question with growth is when, not if, according to an article in HotelNewsNow.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts executives remain bullish about growth in 2020 despite a softening revenue environment and headwinds including the coronavirus (COVID-19) originating in central China that to date has forced closure of 1,000 Wyndham-branded hotels on the mainland.

Wyndham grew its system 3 per cent in size in 2019, adding 27,000 rooms in the U.S. for a total of 831,000 rooms at 9,280 properties, according to Wyndham president and CEO Geoff Ballotti.

“We saw the strongest opening activity for our La Quinta, Ramada, Wingate, Trademark and Travelodge brands, and tremendous progress on the new-construction front, with openings up over 30 per cent, led again by La Quinta and Wingate new-construction prototypes,” he said.

Much of that growth came internationally, with 36,500 rooms opened outside of the U.S. in 2019, Ballotti said.