The average daily rate at U.S. hotels in July increased 4.8 percent year over year to $117.81,
according to STR. ADR increased in all of the nation's top 25 markets, and seven had double-digit percentage ADR increases. The largest ADR growth was in Seattle (up 13.5 percent to $160.65) and Denver (up 13.2 percent to $120.17). U.S. hotel occupancy for July increased 3.9 percent to 73.6 percent, its highest level since the mid-1990s, and hotel demand for the month was the strongest ever for a single month, according to STR senior vice president of strategic development Jan Freitag.
North American corporate hotel bookings from August through July 2015 are up 3.7 percent year over year,
and the average daily rate on those bookings is up 4.6 percent, according to TravelClick. Corporate transient bookings and ADR over that period both are up 5 percent year over year, and group occupancy is up 3.2 percent with a 2.2 percent increase in ADR. TravelClick senior vice president of global product management John Hach in a statement said the data indicated "hotels will continue to see healthy gains in demand and average daily rates across all segments into the New Year." TravelClick's data is based on individual reservations and group commitments in 25 major North American markets made by July 27.
Luxury boutique hotel group L.E. Hotels added three new regional sales executives,
the company announced this week. The group hired Jana Adamova, formerly a senior sales manager at L.E. Hotels member property Hotel Wales in New York, as director of corporate group sales for the East Coast market from its L.E. Hotels' Los Angeles headquarters. The group also hired Adrian François, former director of the Pearl Hotel in Buzios, Brazil, to lead sales efforts in Central and South America from its Rio de Janeiro office. In Europe, the group tapped former Hotel Lumen Paris Louvre director of sales and marketing Adeline Surault as director of group sales.
Transportation network Uber integrated separately with Sabre's TripCase itinerary management tool and United Airlines' mobile app.
Sabre indicated that TripCase links into the new Uber application programming interface enabling TripCase users to "seamlessly request an Uber ride and receive a special discount pricing." Meanwhile, United claimed to be the first airline to offer Uber services through its app for iOS and Android mobile devices. According to the airline, once users select an Uber ride from within the United app interface, they are transferred to Uber's app or mobile website to complete the transaction. Uber last month announced integration with Concur's platform.
Accounting and ERP software provider Sage now integrates with Abukai Expenses,
the companies announced. Sage clients can use Abukai to upload PDFs or snap photos of their receipts. Using optical character recognition, Abukai automatically reads such expense data as transaction date, vendor, amount and value-added tax and enters it into expense reports, which feed the Sage One online accounting software. The expense firm in June also partnered with cloud-based ERP system Exact Online
Air Canada has reconfigured cabins of select aircraft to add more premium economy seats,
the carrier announced. The number of Preferred Seats—which generally provide 35 inches of legroom compared with standard economy seats that provide legroom between 31 and 33 inches—on 97-seat Embraer 190 aircraft has increased to 24 from eight, and premium economy seating on 146-seat Airbus A320 aircraft has increased to 36 from 16. Air Canada by the end of this month also will expand Preferred Seat booking capabilities at kiosks and via mobile devices to allow for purchase up until the time of boarding.
The number of international air passengers traveling in premium classes increased 1.8 percent year over year in June,
according to the International Air Transport Association. While that growth rate was lower than the 2.5 percent increase in international economy passengers, IATA noted that the numbers are "distorted by the comparison with volatile figures last June" and that during the first half of 2014, premium traffic growth has outpaced that of economy traffic. Premium revenue share also is growing because premium yields have been strong, especially in longer-haul markets, according to IATA. The largest percentage growth in June premium traffic occurred on North America-Central America routes (9.7 percent), routes across the Mid-Atlantic (9 percent) and within North America (7.1 percent). Premium traffic on heavily traveled North Atlantic routes was up 3.4 percent. June premium traffic performance was weakest within South America (down 9 percent) and the Far East (down 5.4 percent).