Trottings; product updates from ILTM Cannes.

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TROTTINGS = Trip Jottings

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.


Trottings; product updates from ILTM Cannes.

Some product updates from the ILTM exhibition in Cannes earlier this month. Business news reports from some of these organisations to be published in the Asia Pacific and Europe editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter.


Aman, London-based.


-Has 30 hotels. Recent openings include Tokyo this year. Due next: east central Japan, near Nagoya (an onsen, hot springs, 24 suites, due March 2016); Shanghai (26 villa, some of the material (stones and trees) comes from buildings lost when the Yangtze was flooded to create a dam, due 2017).


-Now concentrating on adding properties in the Americas and Europe; it has specific plans for Costa Rica, Mexico.



Como, Singapore-based.


-This little-known group will be 25-years-old in 2016, from when it started with the Halkin hotel in London. It now has 13 hotels with 700 rooms.


-Has opened the Point Yamu Beach Club on an island away from the Phuket resort of the same name.


-To complement its two resorts in Maldives, it now has a 6-berth yacht, which can sail for as long as three days.


-Refurbished its Metropolitan hotel in London.



Doyle, Ireland-based.


-Called the Doyle Collection. Owns and operates in Bristol, Cork, Dublin, London, Washington – more than one in Dublin and London. Sold its hotel in Boston to fund refurbishing at others.


-Despite the small numbers it has two categories – five what it puts at luxury level. London (Bloomsbury, Kensington, Marylebone), Westbury in Dublin, Dupont Circle in Washington. And what it calls ‘urban hotels’ (although the luxury hotels are also in urban areas) – Bristol, Rivoli in Cork, Coke Park in Dublin.



Four Seasons, Canada-based.


-New this year: Bahrain, Cap Ferrat (in the south of France, a takeover), Casablanca, Dubai (Jumeirah), Johannesburg, Moscow (actually in the Red Square), Seoul.


-Due in 2016: Abu Dhabi (Al Mayrah, end-year), Dubai (Financial City, 100 rooms, April), Surfside Florida, Hawaii (Oahu at Ko Olina), Kuwait, Kyoto, London (Ten Treaty, sic, 100 rooms, late-year), New York.


-Others: Madrid 2018.



Langham, Hong Kong-based.


-Has 20 hotels, and 20 planned, in all brands.


-This year launched its Cordis (Latin for ‘of the heart’) brand. It defines this as ‘upscale’. In every Cordis there will be a ‘family room’, which could mean a room with kitchenette.


-Cordis (also awkward: ‘Cordis’s’?) planned – two in Shanghai due 2016, with Hefei, Qingdao due later. Langham expects to have Cordis’s in London, Middle East, New York.


-Also relaunching Eaton, which it describes as a ‘lifestyle’ brand. Has bought six pieces of land around the world, and will announce specifics in mid-2016.


-Its ‘Langham Place’ sub-brand is described as a ‘contemporary’ brand. Is building in Bali (173 rooms, due 2017); Qingdao; Jakarta (2017); Dubai (168 rooms, 2018).



Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong-based.


-New hotels include two in Beijing, which will give it 10 in Greater China – a definition which includes Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan. Its other projects are Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenzhen.


-Has 11 restaurants with Michelin stars, and 16 stars overall.


-Aims to have what it calls “legendary hotels” in the cities where it has hotels.



Minor, Thailand-based.


-In the past year it has opened in new continents – Europe, South America.


-Bought Tivoli brand hotels in Portugal and South America.


-That brings another brand, when it is already confusing as some hotels/resorts in some brands are similar to those in others. Its brands are Anantara at the top, then in alphabetical order Avani, Elewana, Oaks, Tivoli.


-Anantaras planned: Banana island (20-minute ferry from Doha, Qatar, 141 rooms, now open); Oman (116 rooms, due May 2016); Sri Lanka (at Tangalle, central south coast, 152 villas/suites, due this month); Mozambique (actually an island off the main island, 12 rooms, due January 2016).


-New offers: sky safari in East Africa, with a 10-seat aircraft; Expedition Africa, self-drive with travel in 10-vehicle convoy.



Oberoi, India-based.


-Has 33 hotels.


-Now on what it says is its biggest expansion. Includes: Marrakech (with what are over-large rooms at 200sqm, 87 rooms, due Q2 2016); Ajman (the emirate next to Dubai, and which is being promoted as a Dubai beach hotel, 116 rooms, due August 2016); Chandigarh, India (20-minutes outside the city but called a city resort, 61 villas, due September 2016). All managed, not owned.



Oetker, Germany-based.


-New owners of its hotel in Marrakech this month; refurbishing is planned.


-A 2-year renovation program planned for its Lanesborough in London.


-New: Sao Paulo, 140 rooms, due 2017, management; New York, 170 rooms, due 2018, conversion. Will have equity in NY but it will not say share.



Peninsula, Hong Kong-based.


-In 2016 the company will be 150 years old, although it has only 10 hotels. The founding Kadoorie family is still involved.


-In Paris, one year since it opened, has opened six suites there with gardens and view of the Eiffel Tower.


-Renovating Chicago, as well as offering ‘Keys to Chicago’, where it works with various attractions in the city, such as art shows, to offer special packages to guests.


-Sizeable renovation in Beijing, which involves converting two rooms (and sometimes three) into one. The result will be 60sqm rooms, and a room count down from 350 to 230.


-Company is also investing in art, not just organising visits to experience it. That includes hoisting a full-size model bus on the lower roof of its Hong Kong hotel.


-Has a tour product, the badly-named Peninsula Academy (it is not a training place of any type), with a list of varying special travel experiences. The PA name is unlikely to be changed because it was a senior person, possible a Kadoorie, who proposed it.


-Projects include Istanbul, London, Yangon.


-No dates for Istanbul; we believe not before 2019.


-The London hotel would be a new-build following a demolition. Although announced nearly three years ago, the company still does not have planning permission. But it maintains that this is a normal time scale – particularly for this location, which is at Hyde Park Corner near the gardens of Buckingham Palace, the queen’s residence. As a result it cannot give an opening date; we believe not before 2020.


-Similar for Yangon, although announced a year ago, the delay is more related to the political developments in the country, resulting in delays for many government decisions. The hotel would be a conversion of what was the headquarters of the country’s railway company. We believe it will not open before 2018.



Relais & Chateaux, France-based.


-Its 540 properties count 330 Michelin stars.


-Before, R&C charged its member properties 5% per reservation, but now it charges a fixed US$12. The theory is that in exchange, properties will pay higher commission to travel agencies.



Six Senses, Thailand-based.


-In 2016, opening another in Seychelles, on an island off the main island.


-Its Bhutan properties – five lodges in different locations – are due to open over a year; we believe mid-16-to-mid-17. There would be 20 rooms each in Paro and Thimpu, and fewer in the other locations; 83 in total.


-Opening 53-flat residences in the France ski resort of Courchevel. However, SS will not handle bookings into the residences; that will be run by the Savills real estate group.


-A ‘Private Reserve’ 4-room resort is being added within its 82-villa resort in Oman.



Small Luxury Hotels, UK-based.


-Company has 520 properties, average 48 rooms; 10 years ago it was 60.


-Following some rule changes, SLH says it will be harder to join the association, and harder to stay in. With its search for new properties, it expects the balance (those arriving, those leaving) will produce a total not greatly changed at end-2016.


-Has added 25 anonymous property inspectors, +33%, and now has 100. They will inspect member properties every year, instead of every two years.


-Restarted its printed hotel directory, and its printed SLH Cookbook.



Viceroy, US-based.


-Opening: Beverly Hills (L’Hermitage, was Peninsula, due January 2016, although already shown in its portfolio list); Dubai (on trunk of The Palm, 400 rooms, due September 2016); Algarve, Portugal, 147 rooms, due 2017). Management also names Colombia (Cartagena) and Chicago, both due 2017, although these are not on Viceroy’s official list. Contrarily, on that list but not confirmed by management, is a 2nd hotel in Dubai, due 2018.


-Is adding the Zetta hotel from 2016, although already shown in its portfolio list.


-Has lost its hotel in the Maldives.


-GDS code changing this month to VG.



Different reports on these topics are published in the Asia Pacific and Europe editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter, the Net Value and People-in-Travel monthly-report, Facebook-Travel-Business-Analyst. They highlight some important observations on the data as presented here.








The Fox

Trottings = Trip Jottings


Fox-on-Friday; France’s Cote D’Azur.

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Fox-on-Friday; France’s Cote D’Azur.

PAGPFT (pronounced PAG-puffed); People Are Getting Paid For This.


All the important people from the inbound travel business in France’s Cote D’Azur, and Air France-KLM, have just finished their get-together to relaunch promotion for the region. They told us that they are focusing on four longhaul outbound markets: in alphabetical order these are Brazil, China, Russia, US.




All those clever people said that they got the market data from their own 2013/4 report on the inbound business into the region. We presume that that report shows figures for 2012, perhaps 2013.


Is it really that hard to wonder whether business trends have changed since then, particularly given some recent economic, political, and social developments?


We don’t have comprehensive data, but our indications are that Brazil outbound grew 13% in 2013, but growth fell to +2% in 2014, and then dropped, perhaps a heavy -28%, this year. Similar for Russia. We believe it grew about 25% in 2013, but then fell -6% in 2014, and as much as -30% this year.


To give a surprising illustration, little Singapore (where France’s DMO has a market-smart office) might now be a bigger market than Brazil!





The Fox

Remember, I’ll be famous after I’m dead.


WYSK: 2016 outlook; shout for Ryanair; US big growth; other indicators.

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WYSK: 2016 outlook; shout for Ryanair; US big growth; other indicators.

WYSK – What You Should Know.

2016 outlook

There has started to be more than a few negative tugs for the travel business in 2016 – economic slowdowns or worse (Brazil, China, Russia), islamic terrorism (Europe, Middle East, Africa), functional disarray in the Middle East (Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey), overwhelming immigration (into Europe), political dysfunction (fiercely partisan politics in the US, plus Carson, Trump).


Some strong positive turns are needed – such as return of China to strong economic growth, India’s promised boom to actually happen, Russia to reduce perceived belligerence, Brazil to overcome its economic negatives (and now political as well), and US politics to become (relatively) sane again, at least one country in the Middle East to start clearly on the road to tolerance, into-Europe immigration numbers to become manageable (10s of 1000s instead of millions?).


But see the following reports…



Shouting for Ryanair

Surprisingly, Ryanair is not shouting out about its new achievement – because it’s not a 3-word shout? The no-frills-airline’s seat sales grew 21% in November. In fact, there is nothing greatly unusual in that good growth – except that its growth-spurt started a year earlier. So that 21% came on top of its 22% growth in November 2014!


That means the airline has grown almost 50% (actually 48%) over the past two years. Even more impressive is that this is from an airline that is already Europe’s largest. It is still smaller though than Southwest, the leading NFA in the US. All-2015 will be about 101mn seat sales for Ryanair, 118mn Southwest.



US numbers and big numbers

US international air traffic +9% in October! Asia +11%! YTD however is not so impressive – +6% overall. Some other extracts:

-Air arrivals from China (non-US nationals on ex-China flights) +21.3% in October.

-Gulf airline seat sales Jan-Oct into the US: Emirates +33.4%; Etihad +43.4%; Qatar +34.6%. Emirates 55.5% of the 4.5mn total, Etihad 21.4%, Qatar 23.1%.



Other big moves

-IATA member airline traffic grew 7.5% in October.

-Worldwide airline share prices fell 6% in November.

-Looking good for no-frills-airlines. Seat sales in November: Easyjet +9.6%; Southwest +11.4%.

-IATA expects passenger traffic to grow 6.9% in 2016, after an expected +6.7% this year.


The Fox

Remember, I’ll be famous after I’m dead.


Trottings: British Airways; London’s buy before; Small Hotels un-hospitality; Lost in Cannes; AirBnB silence.

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TROTTINGS = Trip Jottings

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.


Trottings: British Airways; London’s buy before; Small Hotels un-hospitality; Lost in Cannes; AirBnB silence.


British Airways PAGPFTs.

Some PAGPFTs (pronounced PAG-puffed); People Are Getting Paid For This, from a recent BA flight France-UK.


-No French please. No announcement was made in French, not even a recorded one for the safety demonstration. And nothing during the flight, even for the arrival. Yet they have recorded announcements, why not turn them on? PAGPFT.


-For food service, three crew members served the boxed sandwiches, and then left just one to serve the drinks. Each of those drink transactions took about 10-times longer than the food transaction. PAGPFT.


-Printed instructions advised me to put rubbish in a supplied plastic bag, and hang on seat back. But there was nowhere on the seat back to hang it, unless you tore a bigger hole and hung on tray catch. And even then the cabin crew member said just throw it in the big plastic bag she was dragging behind her. So even if the bags are recyclable, BA could save money and the environment by not giving them out in the first place. PAGPFT.



Buy before

Buy your London transport tickets before you arrive. At London Gatwick station, there were perhaps 100 people in the line for tickets. Same for Victoria station. It has become important to transact more online, not only for convenience, but that the operators are cutting staff – to encourage more online activity.



Small Hotels, smaller hospitality

Small Luxury Hotels was the host at the opening evening cocktail of ILTM Cannes earlier this week. They must have spent US$100,000 on champagne. Pity then that there was no food (and I mean none).


I can only hope that Small’s hotel members know more about hospitality. And so time for those hoteliers to teach Small’s corporate managers a bit more.



Lost in Cannes

I would have thought management at ILTM Cannes would have picked up a few more skills at event management.


At the opening night at the Palais des Festivals, after the cloakroom, there were no (and I mean none) signs or helpers to tell guests where to get in. There were about 15 of us about 10minutes late, and we all tried different directions. I opened a door and heard noises and assumed that was the place.


After the event, there were no (and I mean none) signs or people on how to get to the reception. Again, we followed the noise.



AirBnB silence

I booked accommodation, and then found that it did not have what it said it had (in this case, on-site parking). So I cancelled. The owner – far from being reprimanded for false advertising – kept the money for one of the two nights booked.


Worse, AirBnB kept its booking fee.


Worse, ABB has so far (10 days) not responded to my complaint.


Meanwhile, the false promise continues – perhaps to catch others.



The Fox

Remember, in the parallel world, I’m an intellectual.