Hilton Worldwide's systemwide average daily rate during the third quarter increased 4.2 percent year over year to $142.51,
the company announced Friday during an earnings call. Hilton president and CEO Christopher Nassetta noted rebounding group business, with group revenue growth during the third quarter of 9 percent systemwide, and predicted that transient and group business will remain "very strong," yielding a "balanced effect" as group business continues to pick up momentum. ADR increased in the Americas (4.8 percent to $138.08), Europe (3.3 percent to $172.58) and Asia/Pacific (0.9 percent to $157.48) but decreased in the Middle East and Africa (down 5.7 percent to $167.00). Worldwide occupancy increased 3.1 percentage points year over year to 79 percent. Third-quarter net income was $174 million, down from $200 million in the third quarter of 2013, although third-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased to $645 million in the third quarter from $570 million in 2013.
Privately held Enterprise Holdings reported $17.8 billion in revenue for its fiscal year ending July 31,
including $3 billion generated from corporate accounts. The company, parent to the Enterprise, Alamo and National car rental brands, had reported $16.4 billion in revenue for the prior fiscal year. Enterprise reported a fleet of more than 1.5 million vehicles for the 2014 fiscal year, up from 1.4 million in the previous year
. The company now plans to focus on expansion in the Middle East, Africa and Asia/Pacific regions after "virtually completing its network in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe" during the 2014 fiscal year.
Marriott International will provide free standard Wi-Fi in more than 3,800 hotels to all Marriott Rewards members who book through Marriott channels,
the hotel company announced Thursday. Bookings must be made through Marriott's website, mobile app, via phone or at a Marriott hotel. The new policy will take effect Jan. 15, 2015. Marriott Rewards Platinum and Gold Elite members will continue to receive free enhanced Wi-Fi where available, according to the company. Marriott follows some hotel companies, including InterContinental Hotels Group
, in dropping Wi-Fi fees for all loyalty program members, although some other chains, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and Hilton Hotels Corp., offer complimentary access only to upper-tier members.
Accor between 2014 and 2018 will invest about $284 million in a "digital strategy"
including the development of a single mobile app "incorporating all of Accor's services before, during and after hotel stays," the hotel company announced Thursday. Accor also plans to develop capability for "online booking of seminar facilities" as well as online check-in. Accor plans to dedicate about 60 percent of the investment to "improving middle and back-office solutions," with the remainder "used to expand market share and optimize distribution unit costs."
Kempinski Hotels on Thursday announced CEO Reto Wittwer has retired, effective immediately,
and Kempinski's Alejandro Bernabé is the new CEO "as part of a long-term succession plan." Bernabé is a 16-year veteran of the company most recently responsible for the company's operations and development efforts in Southeast Asia, according to the company. Bernabé earlier in his tenure served as Kempinski's general manager in Malta, Kuwait and Jordan, and of several individual properties.
Hilton Worldwide signed an exclusive license agreement with Plateno Hotels Group,
operator of China's largest hotel loyalty program, to launch and develop the Hampton by Hilton brand in China, Hilton announced Thursday. Hilton expects to have more than 400 deals signed and the first hotel open by the end of 2015. "After extensively researching the market, we've seen an untapped opportunity to grow in the upper economy to mid-scale category," according to Hilton Worldwide executive vice president of global brands Jim Holthouser.
Total business travel spending in China in 2014 will increase 15.9 percent year over year to $262 billion,
followed by growth of 18 percent in 2015, according to a projection released Thursday by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation. The report projects China's spending on international outbound travel will increase 16 percent this year and 19 percent next year to $13.4 billion as export performance improves, following the past "few years of tepid growth." The report also projects business travel spending in China will surpass that of the United States in 2016, a year later than the projection in a GBTA report earlier this year. China's business travel market currently represents about one-fifth of global business travel spending, according to GBTA Asia regional director Welf Ebeling.
Workspace management supplier LiquidSpace on Thursday announced it has raised $14 million in Series C financing.
It plans to use the new funding to "expand the range of space offerings available through its marketplace to support additional business use cases, and will also extend its booking options beyond hourly and daily reservations, to support longer-duration needs." LiquidSpace enables users through online and mobile channels to book space
, including traditional meeting rooms or alternative spaces at hotels and other venues. The company cited Accenture, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and delivery service Postmates as corporate clients. The new round of financing was led by Roth Capital with participation from Shasta Ventures, Black Diamond Ventures, Lucas Venture Group, Avison Young, GPT Group and Steelcase.
The average cost for a third-quarter domestic U.S. trip by Travel Leaders Corporate clients increased about 4 percent year over year to $1,002,
according to the travel management company. That increase includes a 4 percent year-over-year increase in average daily hotel rate, a 2 percent increase in clients' average domestic airline ticket price and a 1 percent increase in the average cost per day of a domestic car rental. Clients' average third-quarter international trip cost increased 4 percent year over year to $2,502, including a 1 percent increase each in the cost of an airline ticket and the average daily rate of a hotel room and a 5 percent increase in the average cost of an international car rental, according to Travel Leaders Corporate.