Hickory Global Partners partnered with value-added-tax reclamation provider Universal VAT Services
to take advantage of the fact that many foreign countries will refund such taxes to foreign travelers. "Our strategic alliance with UVS means that our agency members can present this revenue-generating solution for their corporate clients with employees traveling to countries that refund VAT, thereby potentially positively impacting their clients’ bottom lines,” noted Hickory president Chris Dane.
Red Lion Hotels Corp. will acquire GuestHouse International for $8.5 million,
Red Lion announced Friday. It will retain the GuestHouse International brand, as well as GuestHouse’s franchised Settle Inn & Suites brand, while expanding its portfolio from 57 hotels to 130 across 30 states. The companies have signed a definitive agreement, and the transaction is expected to close April 30, according to Red Lion.
Alaska Airlines on Thursday reported a first-quarter 2015 net income of $149 million,
up from $94 million in the first quarter of 2014. It's a first-quarter record for the carrier. Passenger revenue increased 10 percent year over year to $7.3 billion. Traffic increased 9.1 percent as capacity increased 10.8 percent, leading to a 1.3 percentage point decline in load factor to 83.4 percent. Passenger revenue per available seat mile declined 5.7 percent year over year, and yield declined 4.2 percent.
The average daily rate at U.S. hotels in March increased 4.9 percent year over year to $120.38,
according to STR. Occupancy increased 2.3 percent to 66.8 percent, the highest recorded March occupancy rate, STR senior vice president of strategic development Jan Freitag said. In the San Francisco/San Mateo area, ADR increased 13.4 percent year over year to $210.40, the largest percentage increase among the nation’s top 25 markets. New Orleans reported the largest ADR decrease among those markets, with a drop of 5.2 percent to $159.90.
March air transactions processed by mega travel agencies and settled through ARC rose 3.4 percent year over year,
according to ARC data. Mega agencies include American Express, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Egencia, HRG and Omega World Travel. Online agencies as a group, including Orbitz for Business and Travelocity Business, witnessed a 12 percent rise in ARC air transactions from March 2014, while the group of travel agencies classified by ARC as "other" posted a 7.8 percent increase. In total, March U.S. travel agency air ticket transactions rose 8.2 percent year over year, according to ARC.
Red Roof Inn will expand into Canada with four hotels slated to open by 2016,
the company announced Monday. Red Roof signed a 20-year agreement with developer Glenn Squires to build 40 hotels across Canada, according to a media release. The first four will be built in the Eastern and Atlantic regions, and most of the hotels will be Red Roof Plus properties with indoor pools and adjacent restaurants. Red Roof president Andrew Alexander said the move signals strong international demand and that Canada is a “perfect market” for the company.
BMO Financial Group clients participating in the Diners Club International rewards program now can pool Club Reward points for company use,
senior manager of T&E corporate card products Alan Docherty told BTN
. Under the new Corporate Collect program, every U.S. dollar spent equals one point and “will roll up to the corporation to use,” instead of the individual cardholder, Docherty explained. American Express in 2013 launched a similar program specifically for small businesses; BMO's program launched in January and is used by a few small and midmarket companies but is open to clients of all sizes, he said. BMO also plans to roll out a virtual card product this spring, following a pilot program launched in July 2014, he said.