INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Aggressor Adventures Consumer Travel Index Indicates a Longing for Discovery

Aggressor Adventures | February 04, 2022

Aggressor Adventures Consumer Travel
Aggressor Adventures®, the leader in luxury adventure travel, announces  the results of its latest Consumer Travel Index, which tracks consumer sentiments on a bi-monthly basis. In the last 18 months, scientists have made thousands of exciting new discoveries of new species in the ocean and artifacts at historic sites around the world. As such, Aggressor’s February Index puts a spotlight on discovery.Discovering the Unknown

Traveling is about venturing into the great unknown. It helps eradicate any fears you may have of what you can’t control, and you are better able to embrace the unfamiliar with an open mind. Aggressor’s first question asks travelers for their feelings towards new animal species and their willingness to visit sites home to discoveries. Nearly 45 percent of respondents say they would love to be the first human to discover a new species. Furthermore, only 10 percent of respondents would be frightened to come across something previously undiscovered.

“As we travel, we are constantly stepping outside of our comfort zones, pushing ourselves to immerse ourselves in the many unique destinations we visit all around the world, Our latest survey results prove it's one thing to learn about a new discovery online or on television, but nothing beats actually setting foot where the discoveries are made and being a part of history.”

-Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures.

Curious at Heart
A recent study from Curio Collection by Hilton reveals what drives curiosity as it relates to the modern traveler. The findings show 91 percent of the population considers themselves to be curious and 73 percent of people say that traveling is their go-to outlet to express their curiosity. Furthermore, 57 percent of travelers wish they could spend more time exploring the things they are most curious about, such as visiting ancient ruins, eating dinner at a well-regarded restaurant or experiencing a safari.

Aggressor’s second Index question asks respondents their first reaction to a new scientific discovery being made and the level of curiosity is evident. Nearly 60 percent of respondents say their curiosity leads them to research the discovery for more information and more than 15 percent will research the location of where the discovery is made to learn how they can visit the site.

Aggressor Adventures’ customer base is filled with curious travelers who long for the opportunity to not only discover but explore, adds Brown. We encourage curious travelers to follow us on social media this year as we share and uncover incredible finds of the natural world. We’ve already seen a handful of remarkable discoveries made this year and are excited to share them with you in real-time.

About Aggressor Adventures
Since 1984, Aggressor Adventures® has offered travelers liveaboard scuba and snorkeling charters, luxury river cruises and exotic wildlife safaris. Worldwide locations the company explores include Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Galapagos, Hawaii, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico, Philippines, Palau, Red Sea, Roatan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Turks and Caicos. The company’s Clean, Refresh, Sanitize safety standards are industry leading. For more information, visit www.aggressor.com or call (800) 348-2628 or (706) 993-2531.

Spotlight

When your employees travel for business, their safety is of the utmost importance. And so, before they even think about heading off on their journeys, both you and your travellers must be aware of the risks involved.


Other News
HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Propst Development and Chartwell Hospitality Complete Hilton's Conrad Luxury Hotel in Nashville

Chartwell Hospitality | June 23, 2022

Propst Development and Chartwell Hospitality announced they have finalized development of the Conrad Nashville hotel, located in the Broadwest city block in Midtown. The Conrad Nashville is Hilton’s first luxury branded hotel in Nashville and is scheduled to open on June 29, 2022. Additionally, the co-developers have completed the sale of the 234-room property to Northwood Investors, LLC, a premier owner and manager of luxury hotels around the world. “Our goal for Broadwest was to create a property that all Nashvillians are proud of, and we believe the Conrad raises the bar as one of the most luxurious hotel properties in America, Projects like this draw investment into local neighborhoods and bring new economic stimulus and opportunities to local residents and businesses – the Conrad Nashville alone will employ more than 200 people. We are thrilled with the execution of this development and to see it welcome its first guests in the coming days.” -Bill Propst, Chairman of the Propst Companies We had a vision to develop the nicest Conrad in the Hilton system as well as position this hotel to be the nicest luxury hotel in Nashville. I believe we have accomplished that goal,said Rob Schaedle, Founder and President of Chartwell Hospitality. Javier Rosenberg, president of Northwood Hospitality LLC stated, We are delighted to add the Conrad Nashville to our portfolio. Nashville is quickly becoming one of the top destinations in the country for leisure and corporate travel along with meetings and events. The Conrad Nashville is set to inspire and redefine the luxury hotel landscape, offering some of the best accommodations and experiences the market has to offer. The Conrad Nashville is part of Broadwest, a $540 million, 1.3 million square foot mixed use project master developed by Propst Development and consists of 630,000 square feet of Class A office space, 196 luxury condominiums, and the Conrad Hotel. Broadwest encompasses a full city block and has transformed Midtown into one of the most active areas for development in Nashville. Conrad Hotels and Resorts are known for offering guests a seamless connection between contemporary design, leading innovation, and authentic local culture. The Nashville property features 234 guest rooms and suites, 11,000+ square feet of meeting space, a third level outdoor terrace pool, and distinct food and beverage offerings, including locally-sourced Blue Aster restaurant and Thistle and Rye whiskey bar. Northwood Investors LLC is a privately held, real estate private equity firm that owns and operates real estate across the U.S. and Europe. The firm currently manages approximately $8 billion of investor capital. Northwood’s flagship fund seeks to opportunistically acquire well-located real estate with a plan to create value through hands-on asset management. Northwood is vertically integrated with in-house operating teams across the office, multifamily, retail, hospitality, and urban logistics sectors. Please visit northwoodinvestors.com for more information. For further information contact John Hughey, President of Propst Properties at Hughey@Propst.com. About Chartwell Hospitality Chartwell Hospitality is a fully integrated real estate company based in Nashville, Tennessee. We specialize in the acquisition, development, and management of high-quality, branded, limited- and full-service hotels. Founded in 2003, Chartwell consistently surpasses competition in occupancy and market rates. Simply, our mission is to be the best in the business. For more information, visit www.chartwellhospitality.com.

Read More

HOSPITALITY TRENDS

BWH HOTEL GROUP® CONTINUES EXPANSION IN THE MIDDLE EAST AS TRAVEL SURGES WORLDWIDE

BWH Hotel Group | June 22, 2022

Leading hospitality company, BWH Hotel Group, is expanding its presence in the Middle East as travel continues its resurgence in the region and worldwide. The expansion is part of the brand's larger effort to thoughtfully grow its footprint in key destinations across the globe, providing the unique offerings and experiences today's travelers and developers are seeking. BWH Hotel Group has experienced significant momentum in recent years, evolving into a global hospitality powerhouse with 18 distinctive brands across every chain scale segment, from luxury to economy. As part of the Middle East expansion, BWH Hotel Group announced plans to open four hotels in the region in 2022, including three in Saudi Arabia and one in Dubai, one of the world's fastest growing cities. With an active pipeline of 34 hotels and 16 already in the region, BWH Hotel Group anticipates expanding its portfolio to 50 hotels in the Middle East within the next few years. "We are excited to further grow our presence in the Middle East with the opening of four beautiful, modern and dynamic hotels in some of the world's most thriving city centers, At BWH Hotel Group, we are focused on putting the right hotels in the right markets, ensuring that no matter the travel purpose – business, leisure or everything in between – we offer a hotel to suit our guests' needs and exceed their expectations." -Ron Pohl, President of International Operations and President of WorldHotels Of the 34 hotels opening in the region, below is a snapshot of four hotels celebrating openings in 2022: The Best Western Plus Qurayyat City Center is located in Saudi Arabia near the city of Qurayyat, one of the largest ports in the Middle East and home to rich cultural and historical heritage. Amenities for this 118-room-plus new build hotel include contemporary and delectable food and beverage options from its comfortable and convenient lobby lounge to its gorgeous outdoor pool terrace, modern ballroom space and VIP meeting rooms ideal for business and group travel, and a premier health club so guests can prioritize health and wellness while on the road. The Best Western Plus Tabuk City Center is centrally-located in the capital city of the Tabuk region in northwestern Saudi Arabia – known for charming coastal cities, multicultural cuisine and pristine beaches. Amenities for this 160-room hotel include onsite food and beverage options, multipurpose function space to suit a variety of travel needs, and a number of services and facilities for guests to enjoy, including a state-of-the-art fitness center and swimming pool. The Best Western Ajyad Makkah is a 201-room property located in the holy city of Makkah and conveniently situated near the Al-Masjid al-Haram Mosque. This ideally located property is currently scheduled to open in September of 2022. The Best Western Plus Academic City is a 600-room hotel located in Dubai International Academic City – a thriving destination that is home to globally and local internationally accredited universities, attracting students from around the world. This highly anticipated hotel is currently scheduled to open in August of 2022. We look forward to collaborating with our new properties who have chosen to affiliate with BWH Hotel Group to leverage our proven global sales, marketing, revenue and loyalty programs, said Dilip Waghaye, director of development, Middle East. "As international travel continues to increase, we are excited for guests to discover our beautiful new hotels in one-of-a-kind destinations.

Read More

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Monarch Alternative Capital Grows Orlando Hospitality Portfolio through Multiple Acquisitions

Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM) | July 14, 2022

Monarch Alternative Capital LP, a leading investment firm with approximately $9.4 billion of assets under management, announced the purchase of three hotels in Orlando, Florida. Given the firm's established reputation within the market, Monarch was able to acquire the newly-built, high quality properties located in Orlando submarkets adjacent to Monarch's existing hotels at a discount to replacement cost in off-market transactions. With these acquisitions, Monarch's hospitality portfolio in Orlando now totals approximately 2,000 keys across seven properties. As the Orlando market continues to show encouraging signs of economic recovery, these hotel purchases exemplify Monarch's ability to identify and invest in premium properties in an attractive and dynamic market that is poised to outperform as the business cycle evolves. Monarch purchased the Aloft Orlando ("Aloft") and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orlando ("Holiday Inn Express"), both located in the Lake Buena Vista submarket within close proximity to Disney World. In addition, the firm acquired the TownePlace Suites Orlando ("TownePlace Suites") located in the Universal Studios submarket. In aggregate, the three properties represent over 430 keys. Relative to other limited-service hotels, each asset offers a high-end room product, multiple food and beverage options, an outdoor swimming pool, and an on-site fitness center. In addition, the Aloft and Holiday Inn Express combined have over 2,700 square feet of meeting and banquet space, which can be used for additional events, special occasions, and business needs. The three newly acquired properties are located near or along International Drive providing guests with easy access to nearby major attractions, including Disney World theme parks, the Orange County Convention Center, SeaWorld and Universal Studios. Bo­th the Aloft and Holiday Inn Express are affiliated with the Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel program, and the TownePlace Suites is a Preferred Universal Partner hotel, which permit the hotels to extend additional benefits to guests at Disney World and Universal theme parks, respectively. Monarch believes these acquisitions will further enhance its Orlando portfolio given the properties' locations in desirable submarkets and elevated product offering. "We remain very excited about the opportunity set in the Orlando market, and these recent hotel additions reflect our conviction in Orlando as a market that is well-positioned for recovery and continued growth. Furthermore, this clustering of assets allows us to leverage our existing presence and drive supplemental revenue and cost synergies as we continue to scale our portfolio in the market." -Ian Glastein, Managing Principal and Co-Head of Real Estate at Monarch Monarch has partnered with HHM, an industry-leading hospitality management, investment, and development firm with over 185 hotels across 30 states, to operate and manage the portfolio. About Monarch Alternative Capital LP Monarch Alternative Capital LP is a global investment firm founded in 2002 with approximately $9.4 billion in assets under management. Monarch focuses primarily on opportunistic and distressed situations across corporate debt, real estate, special situations, and other market segments. Monarch draws on the skills and experience of its employees across its offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit www.monarchlp.com. About Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM) HHM is an award-winning hotel management and investment company that operates over 185 full-service and select-service hotels across 30 states and in virtually every major hospitality market from coast to coast. HHM is a leading manager of Marriott and Hilton hotels, while also operating over 30 independent hotels ranging from The Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia to The Joule Hotel in Dallas to The Whitney Hotel in Boston. HHM's highly experienced and stable operating team is known for being nimble, accountable, and entrepreneurial in how they drive market-leading results for owners including publicly traded companies, private equity firms, and family office investors. Additional information on HHM can be found at www.hhmhospitality.com and www.independentcollection.com.

Read More

COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

SAMSONITE INTRODUCES DYNAMIC NEW ELEVATION PLUS COLLECTION

Samsonite | June 09, 2022

Samsonite, a worldwide leader in superior travel bags, luggage, and accessories, announces the launch of their latest collection, Elevation Plus. Comprised of four styles and three colorways, the Elevation Plus collection boasts a timeless design and proprietary capabilities, raising the bar for future travel.With traveler-friendly details like the new QuickEntry™ pocket for easy access to your essentials by the simple push of a button, Elevation Plus cases allow you to conveniently keep grab-and-go items such as your laptop, phone, or hand sanitizer within reach without having to open your luggage. The pocket also locks for added security during travel. Other attributes on both carry-on styles include the TecFolio™ removable pouch, for secure transportation of electronic chargers, cables, make-up brushes, or any other miscellaneous item that needs to be stowed away during a trip. The wireframe removable garment divider with dual compression straps, and expandable packing features allow the user to organize the luggage to their liking, without worrying about wrinkles or space. The design forward collection also features a WetPak™ pocket, a spill-safe pocket for stress-free traveling with TSA approved liquids. Offered in two carry-on sizes as well as a Medium Glider and Large Spinner, the Elevation Plus collection has something for any level of travel. The Medium Glider cases offer higher packing volume than traditional medium size spinners, for added storage of any items picked up during travel. Utility patented off-set wheels, a lower center of gravity, and extended handle system provide smooth movement during transport. This newest collection continues the Samsonite legacy of innovation and industry design leadership. Each piece is thoughtfully crafted to create a seamless packing experience. The result is a group of easy, approachable, and adaptable luggage with the sleek aesthetic and high-quality details that Samsonite is known for. In keeping with the Samsonite commitment to sustainability, the interior lining of the Elevation Plus Collection is crafted using Recyclex™ material technology and made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) bottles. Since 2018, Samsonite has launched over 50 products using Recyclex™ fabric, made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) bottles, recycling approximately 52 million 500ml PET bottles and resulting in longer-lasting luggage. The Elevation Collection is available in a 22x14x9 Carry-On Spinner ($209.99), Carry-On Spinner ($219.99), Medium Glider ($249.99), and Large Spinner ($279.99) and comes in Triple Black, Cypress Green, or Midnight Blue. The collection is available to purchase on shop.samsonite.com or through retailers including Macy's, Kohl's, and Belk. To learn more about the full range of Samsonite products, please visit shop.samsonite.com or Instagram at @samsoniteusa. About Samsonite: Samsonite is the world leader in superior travel bags, luggage and accessories combining notable style with the latest design technology. Renowned for breakthrough research, development and its commitment to both innovation and sustainability, Samsonite has cemented its prominence with a number of industry firsts while continuing to leverage its rich design heritage to create unparalleled products. For more information visit www.samsonite.com.

Read More

Spotlight

When your employees travel for business, their safety is of the utmost importance. And so, before they even think about heading off on their journeys, both you and your travellers must be aware of the risks involved.

Resources