After wildfires devastated the West Maui region, the island as a whole appeared to show resilience when it came to hotel demand. Plus, optimism at Hyatt, North America’s top hotel executives and other news highlights.
Optimism about Hyatt
J.P. Morgan analysts reported on investor meetings they had with Hyattsaying they left gradually excited about Hyatt, its multi-year opportunities and its transformation to an increasingly asset-light business model.
Hyatt said the seasonal shift to a mix of group and individual transient business travel is beginning in the U.S. and is expected to replace leisure for the remainder of 3Q23 and 4Q23, acceleration of RevPAR growth compared to summer.
In the short to medium term, Hyatt expressed confidence in maintaining net room growth above peers and room rate growth above net room growth.
In a report, Truist continues to view Hyatt as its favorite name among hotel groups in terms of potential stock performance. Truist has provided forward-looking booking and pricing trends for U.S. hotels and sees no signs of demand slowing. In fact, Truist forecasts stronger U.S. RevPAR growth in the fourth quarter than in the third quarter.
Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt spoke to Bank of America Conference A week ago. He said they were picking up on signs that more people in big cities were returning to the office, which he said would lead to more transient business trips. Hyatt hotels in New York see increased local traffic levelswhich means people are back in the office, a stark difference between now and the start of the year.
Skift hold: We have summarized the highlights of Hoplamazian’s comments in Hyatt sees signs of rebound in U.S. cities that could boost business travel. See Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt, speak on stage at the Skift Global Forum in New York on September 27, 2023.
Maui’s moderate impact on regional hotels
The wildfires that recently devastated the West Maui region were a major tragedy, and Skift reported that tourism there faces a “long recovery”.
That said, if you zoom out from the perspective of the Hawaiian island hotel companies, you may see less of a business and operational impact than many feared.
Sunstone Hotel Investors, an investor in a dozen prestigious hotels, took stock of its activities this week. As the Daily Lodging Report summarizes: “It appears the impact of the Maui wildfires was less severe than expected, or less significant than expected. The company’s revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth in August was 1.4%, better than analysts expected.
Host hotels and resorts, The largest hotel owner in the United States by number of properties said it has avoided any material damage reported at the company’s hotels or golf courses in Maui. All of its hotels remained open and operational despite the forest fires.
The company’s hotels provide food and shelter to employees, their families and emergency response teams while remaining open to guests. THE Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spafor example, remains open to first responders and plans to begin welcoming guests in mid-October.
The company estimates that its three Maui hotels’ net income and hotel earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were adversely affected by about $5 million in August. But it is still too early to estimate the impact on the whole year due to changing tourism trends on the island.
The company does not expect any delay in completing the complete renovation of the Fairmont Kea Laniwhich is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Skift hold: “Hawaiian public officials want tourists to return as soon as possible after the horrific wildfire, but airlines and tour operators know it takes time for local communities to recover. To learn more, read: Maui Hawaii tourism faces ‘long recovery’ from wildfires.
Best Hotel Managers
Exit of JD Power its 2023 ranking of third-party hotel management companies in North America Davidson Hotel Group And Hospitality Dimension in the survey, they tied for overall guest satisfaction with branded hotels. HEI Hotels and Resorts ranks third. The benchmark asks customers about factors such as “communications and connectivity, food and beverages, room, hotel facilities, staff service and value for money.”
Skift hold: JD Power typically sells some of its findings to corporate clients, which has led some critics to doubt its impartiality. Still others consider this ranking to be one of the best available indicators of relative supplier performance.