The average daily rate at La Quinta Inns & Suites increased 4.6 percent year over year to $85.91 during the third quarter,
the company reported Wednesday. Systemwide occupancy increased 2.8 percentage points to 71.7 percent, and the brand opened seven franchised hotels, including the company's 500th franchise property, according to La Quinta president and CEO Wayne Goldberg. As of Sept. 30, the company had a pipeline of 196 franchised hotels that totaled more than 16,000 rooms. The company reported a net income of $18.2 million for the quarter, down from $22.6 million in the third quarter of 2013, inclusive of a voluntary prepayment of $75 million on its senior secured term loan facility.
Hickory Global Partners named Grasp Technologies as its preferred tech provider,
noting that Grasp's "automation, reporting and business intelligence solutions" will be made available to member agencies at a discount. The two companies intend to collaborate on new, tailored solutions and announced that Hickory would be "the first" organization to pilot the forthcoming Grasp-tripBam integration. Announced this month
, Grasp-TB Sync will provide Hickory agencies automated back-office data transmission for tripBam's hotel shopping service.
Eurostar reported a 6 percent year-over-year increase in third-quarter business-class bookings,
resulting from "growing economic confidence [in the United Kingdom] that … continued to gather momentum." Overall, the high-speed rail service provider linking the United Kingdom and mainland Europe said third-quarter passenger volume and sales revenue grew 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively, versus the year-earlier period. With its 20-year anniversary coming next month, Eurostar now claims 10 consecutive years of growing passenger counts and sales volumes. The company is planning network expansion in the coming years, including new service in 2016 between London and Amsterdam
Total U.S. travel agency air transactions processed through ARC in September increased 5.4 percent from the year-earlier period.
Mega travel management companies (listed by ARC as American Express, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Expedia's Egencia, Hogg Robinson Group and Omega World Travel) as a group posted a 4.7 percent increase, higher than their aggregate 2.2 percent year-to-date growth rate. For the online agency segment, transactions in September were marginally higher but still down 2.3 percent on the year. All those categorized as "other" combined for 10.2 percent transaction growth, above their 7.9 percent year-to-date increase. Meanwhile, the average roundtrip airfares (excluding taxes) purchased through ARC generally were flat versus September 2013 levels. That included $731 transacted through megas, $629 among those in the "other" category and $390 among online travel agencies. In the zero-to-six-day advance-purchase category, average September fares declined in each agency segment.