Choice Hotels International, Inc | June 14, 2022
Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) and Radisson Hotel Group announced that Choice Hotels has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the franchise business, operations and intellectual property of Radisson Hotel Group Americas for approximately $675 million. The addition of Radisson's nine hotel brands in the Americas is the latest chapter in Choice's successful strategy to expand its growth opportunities by bringing the company's best-in-class franchising platform to adjacent hotel segments and to a new set of hotel owners. The added 624 hotels with over 68,000 rooms expand Choice Hotels' presence in the upscale and core upper-midscale hospitality segments, particularly in the West Coast and Midwest of the United States.The acquisition of some of the industry's most recognized brands extends Choice Hotels' customer reach in the upscale segments, as well as to more business travelers and a broader demographic within Choice's core leisure segment. The combination strengthens Choice's ability to provide a more holistic product offering across segments and continue to capitalize on consumer trends expected to fuel future demand for travel such as remote work, increasing retirements and road trips.
The transaction brings Choice's industry-leading RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth performance to a new set of franchisees and hotel investors and provides new growth opportunities to expand Choice Hotels' presence to additional locations in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Consistent with Choice Hotels' long-term strategy of growing in higher revenue segments, the Radisson brands typically have larger room counts and are located in higher RevPAR markets, driving higher royalty revenue per hotel.
"Choice has a well-established history of smart acquisitions in new segments where our world-class franchising engine can spur future growth. This transaction brings together two highly complementary businesses, enhancing our guest offerings in the core upper-midscale hospitality segments, while extending our reach into the upper upscale and upscale full-service segments and in higher revenue geographic markets. We are confident that guests and franchisees will significantly benefit by combining these two exceptional sets of brands."
-Patrick Pacious, President and Chief Executive Officer of Choice Hotels
The transaction unlocks significant potential value for the Radisson brands in the Americas. Choice Hotels has a deep familiarity with the Americas franchisee community and will bring a strong commitment to driving the success of Radisson franchisees, many of whom already have franchise agreements with Choice Hotels.
Pacious continued, "Our long track record of establishing mutually beneficial relationships with our franchisees has resulted in a best-in-class voluntary retention rate, and those franchisees are the source of a majority of our new hotel development. Our existing and new hotel owners will benefit from the improved business delivery capabilities of the combined companies, including our award-winning loyalty program, proprietary tools and emerging technologies that will enable them to capture more business, lower their hotel operating costs, reach new customers and respond to evolving industry trends."
Federico J. González, CEO of Radisson Hotel Group, said, Since the introduction of our strategic transformation plan in 2017, Radisson Hotel Group has been committed to the global success of the Radisson brands and expanding the overall footprint of our global operations. We have achieved strong results, doubling the number of rooms signed per year in EMEA and APAC, confirming Radisson Blu as the largest upper-upscale brand for over 10 years and establishing Radisson as the upscale brand with the largest growth in EMEA. We are confident that Choice Hotels is the owner with the right long-term strategy, resources and management team to successfully accelerate the growth of the Radisson business in the Americas. Radisson Hotel Group will continue to leverage the strength of operational excellence to set our business in EMEA and APAC on a significant growth path with the aim of doubling the portfolio in those markets by 2025. Together with Choice, we will work to ensure that customers continue to experience the highest levels of service and a superior brand experience.
"Our associates have been working hard to solidify the power of our brands, build a better commercial engine and offer best-in-class solutions to franchisees and customers. We are very pleased that the Radisson family of brands in the Americas will join Choice Hotels. We believe that this acquisition will drive growth in a highly competitive market and enable stronger performance for our franchisees."About Choice Hotels®
-Tom Buoy, interim CEO of Radisson Hotel Group Americas
Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world. With nearly 7,000 hotels, representing nearly 600,000 rooms, in 35 countries and territories as of March 31, 2022, the Choice® family of hotel brands provides business and leisure travelers with a range of high-quality lodging options from limited service to full-service hotels in the upscale, midscale, extended-stay and economy segments. The award-winning Choice Privileges® loyalty program offers members benefits ranging from everyday rewards to exceptional experiences. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com.
About Radisson Hotel Group Americas
Radisson Hotel Group Americas represents Radisson Hotels operations and brands in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Radisson Hotel Group Americas portfolio of brands includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Radisson Inn & Suites, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, brought together under the overarching Radisson Hotels Americas name. For more information visit www.radissonhotelsamericas.com
About Radisson Hotel Group
Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel groups with nine distinctive brands, more than 1,700 hotels in operation and under development, more than 260,000 rooms and a footprint spanning over 120 countries and territories. 100,000+ global team members work for the Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems. The Group's overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters with a signature Yes I Can! service ethos.
Nexion Travel Group | April 05, 2022
Nexion Travel Group, the leading host agency for travel professionals, recently completed its inaugural "Immersive Journey" on board Princess Cruises' Regal Princess. From March 7-12, 2022, 20 travel advisors who are members of Nexion Travel Group were hosted by Princess and Nexion's Business Development & Education (BDE) team to learn about how they can set their agencies up for long-term success."Coach Martin" Mussey, BDE Manager for Nexion Travel Group and certified business coach, led the advisors in workshops and exercises to help them establish specific and measurable goals to increase profitability and plan for sustainable growth. Each attendee was also provided exclusive content and materials from Business Success Journeys, Nexion's newly launched coaching program. Other faculty on this Immersive Journey included LaDonna Allen, National Account Manager with Princess Cruises.
Each Immersive Journey is hosted by and exclusive to a supplier, giving Nexion members the chance to not only learn a particular topic, but get to know a supplier's offerings. Immersive Journeys attendees on this trip experienced a cruise with stops at Grand Turks and the Dominican Republic, and Princess's exclusive Medallion Class sailing. Regal Princess's Hotel Director also sat down with attendees to share insights about the unique onboard experience that Princess offers, and how to sell it to their clients.
Our first Immersive Journey was a smashing success," said Mussey. "Our members loved being able to have the luxury of a few days of time to really learn about achieving business success in a small-group environment. They left with actionable ideas for their businesses and deepened their relationships with an important supplier partner. The Princess team put a lot of time and effort towards helping attendees not only fully understand their product, but also learn about business success from their experts.
"Immersive Journeys' success depends on a true partnership with our preferred suppliers and I cannot thank Princess enough for hosting our inaugural event. Nexion members have been telling us they want to combine learning about a new skill or tactic with experiencing our suppliers' offerings. Immersive Journeys fits the bill for both, and we cannot wait to host our next Immersive Journeys event with another focus and a new partner."
-Nexion Travel Group President Jackie Friedman
All travel professionals interested in learning how to succeed as a professional business owner, backed by Nexion Travel Group's many great benefits, are encouraged to call 800-747-6813 or email email@example.com.
About Nexion Travel Group
Nexion® Travel Group is a fully accredited host agency, offering membership to independent travel professionals since 1995. Nexion Travel Group provides ticketing, operations and fulfillment support to independent travel professionals coupled with best-in-class tools, technology, marketing, education and support. As part of Travel Leaders Group, a division of Internova Travel Group, Nexion Travel Group is the complete host agency for multi-agent agencies, corporate agencies, experienced agents and those new to the industry.
About Internova Travel Group
Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 62,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.
Curator Hotel & Resort Collection | February 01, 2022
Curator Hotel & Resort Collection ("Curator") is kicking off the New Year by welcoming six new members to its growing portfolio of independent hotels and resorts. Spanning California, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii, these destinations offer unique experiences with nature as a backdrop, allowing guests to align mind, body, and spirit.
"We are thrilled to jumpstart the New Year by welcoming these members to our growing portfolio of more than 85 hotels and resorts, The addition of these hotels, along with our first dining experience member, the Napa Valley Wine Train, is a testament to our offerings. We are proud to have these members in our collection as they all provide travelers with experiences that are shaping the new age of travel."
-said Jennifer Barnwell, President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection
Curator is following up an immensely successful year by representing more than hotels and resorts. With the addition of the Napa Valley Wine Train, the collection creates a space for all independents in the hospitality industry who have distinct and unique offerings that travelers crave.
"As a founding member of Curator with eighteen properties in the collection, we have experienced firsthand the incredible value and many benefits that it provides for independents,We are thrilled to be adding The Napa Valley Wine Train to Curator so it can also benefit from best-in-class technology and services, as well as the ability to tap into Curator's vendor expertise and negotiating power."
-Jake Donoghue, CEO of Noble House Hotels & Resorts.
The newest members of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection include:
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa (La Jolla, California) - Solo travelers, couples, and friends seeking an escape to reconnect will enjoy Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. This hacienda-style resort is located between San Diego's seaside villages of La Jolla and Del Mar. It features 10 acres of beautiful green gardens, quiet courtyards, warm fireplaces, and world-class amenities. Guests can also experience the flavors of the West Coast at the hotel's dining venues, from breakfast delights at Greenfinch Restaurant & Bar to coastal-inspired dishes at Mustangs & Burros. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts.
Gateway Canyons Resort (Gateway, Colorado) - Colorado's Gateway Canyons Resort is where luxury and adventure travel meet. Gateway Canyons offers breathtaking views of the high-desert landscape and is located right in the heart of red rock country, where endless outdoor adventures like off-road touring, horseback riding and mountain biking await travelers. The Resort is managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts.
Napa Valley Wine Train (Napa, California) - Travelers are invited to sip, savor, and enjoy an elegant, 36-mile roundtrip train ride through California's Wine Country. This vintage wine train has been operating since 1864 and features everything from gourmet meals to tours with sweeping views of Napa Valley; there are even hidden gems not located on traditional maps. Managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Napa Valley Wine Train also offers hotel and train packages for travelers wanting to extend their stay.
Maui Beach Hotel (Kahului, Hawaii) - Experience the beauty of Maui on the shores of Kahului Bay at Maui Beach Hotel. Located just five minutes away from the Kahului Airport, the hotel is at the heart of Maui. It gives travelers access to top attractions, including Iao Valley, Wailuku and the infamous Road to Hana. Travelers who choose Maui Beach Hotel are in for an unmatched and rejuvenating cultural experience. Springboard Hospitality Group manages Maui Beach Hotel.
Villa Florence (San Francisco, California) - Welcoming travelers since 1908, Villa Florence is urban elegance nestled in the heart of the sights and sounds of San Francisco. Attractions like Union Square, The Embarcadero, Chinatown, and Museum of Modern Art are within walking distance of the hotel - perfect for travelers looking to explore a new destination. Spire Hospitality manages Villa Florence.
Topnotch Resort (Stowe, Vermont) - Travelers seeking an 'off the grid' escape will enjoy Topnotch Resort's exclusive location nestled in New England's Green Mountains. This luxurious resort and spa offers suites, resort homes, a Topnotch Tennis Academy, custom spa treatments and a casual dining experience that encourages guests to create memories together. Nature lovers will also enjoy the great outdoors with activities like fishing for trout in the Lamoille River or riding a horse-drawn sleigh through Vermont's countryside. Spire Hospitality manages the Resort.
For more information on Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, visit www.CuratorHotelsandResorts.com.
About Curator Hotel & Resort Collection
Curator Hotel & Resort Collection is a distinct collection of hand-selected small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts, founded by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and a group of industry-leading hotel operators. Curator provides lifestyle hotels the platform to come together and tap into cost saving agreements, new products, services and technologies, and benchmarking reports while allowing their members the freedom to retain what makes their hotels unique. In addition to Pebblebrook, the founding members of Curator include Davidson Hospitality Group, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Provenance, Sage Hospitality Group, Springboard Hospitality, and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit www.curatorhotelsandresorts.com and follow us at @CuratorHotelCollection.
About Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd.
Built upon a philosophy that emphasizes location, distinction, and soul, Noble House Hotels & Resorts dedicates itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that celebrate their local communities and the adventures to be had within them. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington and continually growing, the Noble House portfolio features a luxury and upper upscale portfolio of 24 distinct and visually captivating hotel properties; over 66 restaurants, bars, and lounges; the Napa Valley Wine Train; and a collection of spas, marinas, and private residences throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. A range of beachfront resorts spanning California and Florida; luxury retreats in Jackson Hole, WY, British Columbia, and Colorado; and award-winning urban hotels in Seattle and San Francisco comprise the diverse collection. Centered within destinations worthy of every bucket list and layered with unique amenities that inspire adventure, the curated collection of one-of-a-kind hotels, resorts, and adventures are known for creating unforgettable travel experiences. For more information, visit www.noblehousehotels.com or call Noble House Hotels & Resorts at 877.NOBLE.TRIP.
About Pebblebrook Hotel Trust
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) is a publicly traded real estate investment trust ("REIT") and the largest owner of urban and resort lifestyle hotels and resorts in the United States. The Company owns 53 hotels and resorts, totaling approximately 13,200 guest rooms across 15 urban and resort markets. For more information, visit www.pebblebrookhotels.com and follow us at @PebblebrookPEB.
About Spire Hospitality
Spire Hospitality is a nationally recognized third-party hotel management company specializing in creating value for our hotel investors while delivering exceptional guest experiences and providing an outstanding place to work. The Irving, TX-based company's diverse portfolio of properties includes unique independent hotels and highly respected brands, including Marriott, Hilton and IHG. Spire is part of the AWH Partners family, which also includes AWH Development, a full-service real estate development company headquartered in New York. With more than 35 years of hotel operating experience, Spire is committed to preserving, protecting, and enhancing hotel real estate value.For more information, visit www.spirehotels.com.
About Springboard Hospitality
For more than 30 years, Springboard Hospitality, previously known as OLS Hotels & Resorts, has transformed people, properties, and communities as a leader in the hospitality industry managing and developing innovative boutique and branded properties throughout the U.S. With dual offices in Honolulu and Los Angeles, Springboard operates more than 38 properties across 10 states. Led by technology entrepreneur Ben Rafter, Springboard specializes in using analytics and technology with its Hospitality Intelligence (H.I.) to ensure properties are optimizing return on investment. The company offers a full spectrum of hotel services with expertise in creative management, marketing, sales, revenue management, food and beverage and more. The Springboard Hospitality team is committed to going above and beyond with high-touch, personalized service in every aspect of its operations, from its interactions with guests to its relationships with owners. For more information, visit www.springboardhospitality.com.
JetBlue | April 27, 2022
JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) announced a series of investments that will set up the airline to reliably deliver the JetBlue experience during what is expected to be a record-breaking summer. JetBlue’s broad and comprehensive plan includes a reduction of its summer schedule, focus on hiring and training, efforts to reduce customer support call volume and hold times, proactive aircraft maintenance efforts, and facilities/infrastructure readiness.
“We want customers who love the JetBlue experience to have confidence we will deliver it to them this summer,We let our crewmembers and our customers down in April, and we must perform better. The investments we’re making will help reduce delays and cancellations during the busiest travel period.”
-Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue.
As the aviation industry has rebounded from the historic impact of COVID-19, airlines have faced ongoing challenges this year from the Omicron wave, staffing ramp up, attrition, weather events, and air traffic control delays. JetBlue’s plan builds more flexibility into its schedule and crew staffing to recover from these events, and ensures its facilities and technology are equipped to handle increased demand, especially in New York where the airline is growing nearly 50 percent as part of its Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines.
Reduced schedule offers more buffer and flexibility to recover from disruptions
Even though the industry continues to forecast robust demand, JetBlue is taking steps to reduce its flight schedule for increased reliability. A reduced schedule will add more buffer room throughout the day to make up for operational disruptions and put less stress on its crew resources.
JetBlue originally planned to grow capacity this year by 11 to 15 percent compared to 2019. Now, with its reduced schedule, JetBlue’s capacity will grow zero to five percent compared to 2019. Most importantly, JetBlue is reducing its summer schedule by more than 10 percent from its original plan, and scheduled aircraft utilization will be down 10 to 15 percent compared to 2019.
JetBlue is a growth airline, and we want nothing more than to bring our unique combination of low fares and award-winning service to more customers, Geraghty said. However, by taking a more conservative approach to growth, we can bring resiliency to our operation and ensure our crewmembers – who are the best in the industry – come to work each day set up for success.
JetBlue’s capacity cuts take into account the impact of higher-priced fuel and are distributed throughout its network. Even with the reductions, JetBlue will grow significantly in New York’s three major airports as part of the NEA – from 200 flights a day in 2019 to nearly 300 flights a day. JetBlue has trimmed some of its growth at Newark to ease congestion and ensure the terminal facilities can accommodate its schedule until construction is completed on the new Terminal A.
Accelerating staffing and training to support the schedule
Like many businesses across a range of industries, staffing resources have pressured airlines as customers returned. Even though it’s pulling down some flying, JetBlue is moving forward with hiring efforts to staff up for the summer, including 5,000 new crewmembers in New York. The airline’s recently expanded training facility in Orlando is operating at maximum capacity.
We are well aware of the staffing challenges that many companies are facing, but it’s been incredible to see how many job seekers want to work at JetBlue,” Geraghty said. “Our differentiated brand and culture continue to attract the best talent, and we have expanded our training facilities to get our new hires on the job as soon as possible.
In addition to general staffing, JetBlue is working through a backlog of pilot training and re-certification flights after delays from Omicron. Volatile pilot attrition is also creating a need for additional recruiting and training capacity. JetBlue has increased its pilot training team and simulator capacity to meet this demand.
“Ensuring we have a strong pipeline of pilots remains a focus, and we are expanding our innovative JetBlue Gateways program this year to support that effort, We are having incredible success attracting a diverse set of candidates to join our Gateway Select program, which trains individuals with little or no flight experience, and we launched new pathways for current crewmembers and their families to become JetBlue pilots.”
-Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue.
Addressing customer call volume and hold times
Recent operational disruptions have led to a record number of calls into JetBlue’s customer support center and extended wait times. These disruptions, coupled with the greater number of customers taking advantage of ticket flexibility and calls regarding other COVID-related questions, have taxed customer service teams across the industry.
Since the fall, JetBlue has brought on board more than 1,100 new hires into customer support and continues to increase hiring and training while bringing on outside support to help manage call volume. By this summer, JetBlue expects to have its largest-ever customer support team ready to support customers as many embark on their first vacation or travel experience since the pandemic.
JetBlue is continuing to strengthen staffing for its suite of digital tools to help customers avoid waiting on hold, including online chat capabilities and support via iMessage. In addition, JetBlue is improving self-service capabilities on its website to offer customers additional options to make changes without calling.
The best way to reduce long hold times is to eliminate the need to call us in the first place, and a more reliable schedule with fewer delays and last-minute cancellations will help improve that,” Geraghty said. “For those customers who do need individual support, we continue hire a record number of customer support crewmembers and are using technology to make it easier to chat with us. Long hold times are not unique to JetBlue, but they are simply not acceptable.
JetBlue is also working to proactively cancel flights on days when bad weather is forecasted or if it anticipates air traffic control delays due to congestion or air traffic control center staffing shortages. The dynamic nature of spring and summer weather, including thunderstorms, sometimes prevents this, but the airline is working to provide cancellation well in advance of arriving to the airport so customers have time to adjust their plans.
Reducing disruptions due to maintenance
The reduced schedule frees up aircraft time to give the airline additional opportunities to get ahead of planned maintenance programs. JetBlue is investing in additional preventative maintenance as well as reserving more aircraft as spares this summer to reduce the impact of maintenance-related cancellations and delays.
With COVID-19 supply chain challenges continuing, JetBlue has pre-purchased long lead parts, tools, and equipment as well as added additional inventory of frequently used parts, to mitigate potential delays.
Handling a record summer at JFK
This summer, JetBlue will operate approximately 190 daily flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) as it continues to expand its footprint as part of the NEA. With its heavy concentration in the Northeast and major operation at JFK, ensuring that JFK runs smoothly is essential for the entire network.
In addition to hiring across workgroups, JetBlue is making a number of investments at JFK’s Terminal 5:
Redeveloping a portion of the lobby to add more kiosks and open additional space for customer throughput.
Retiming flights for the busiest international markets to ensure enough lobby space is available for COVID documentation checks.
Smoothing out some of the peaks in the schedule to ease congestion in the lobby, TSA checkpoint, and gates.
Dedicating ground staffing crews at gates across Terminal 5 and adding ground equipment.
While summer reliability continues to be the focus, JetBlue will also see a significant improvement in its airport facilities across focus cities this fall, as new terminals and space become available to support the airline’s growth. JetBlue will be consolidating or opening new or renovated terminal spaces in LaGuardia, Newark, and Orlando.
Many customers have been waiting for two years to travel again, and our goal this summer is to offer an incredible experience, Geraghty said. Unfortunately, weather and air traffic control delays will always be part of air travel, and we are doing everything we can to manage them better for our crewmembers and customers. Our plan makes responsible investments to prepare us for these challenges and restore trust in JetBlue.
About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers across the United States, Caribbean and Latin America and London. For more information, visit jetblue.com.