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North America

International Visitor Spending in the U.S. Surges, Fueling Hotel Industry Growth

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
July 18th, 2023 at 4:40 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • DJIA, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 experienced gains, while the 10-year treasury yield decreased.
  • Spending by international visitors in the U.S. increased significantly compared to the previous year, leading to a trade surplus in travel and tourism.
  • Several hotels underwent renovations or acquisitions, and new hotels were announced in various locations across the United States.

The DJIA rose 367 points while Nasdaq was up 109, the S&P 500 rose 32 points and the 10-year treasury yield was down .01 to 3.79%. Lodging stocks were mostly higher. Both MAR and IHG traded up to new 52-week highs.

The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index was up 6.2% in June on a month-to-month (May) basis. The Hotel Brand sub-index jumped 7.4% from May while the Hotel REIT sub-index was up 1.8%.

According to data released by the National Travel and Tourism Office, international visitors spent more than $17.5 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States in May 2023, an increase of nearly 26% compared to May 2022 and the highest level of monthly spending since the onset of COVID-19 in February 2020. Conversely, Americans spent nearly $17.0 billion traveling abroad during May, yielding a balance of trade surplus of $530 million. International visitors have spent nearly $84.7 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year-to-date, an increase of nearly 41% when compared to 2022. Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the U.S. totaled $9.7 billion during May 2023. Travel receipts accounted for 55% of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in May 2023. Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled $3.2 billion in May 2023. Passenger fare receipts accounted for 18% of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in May 2023.

Hersha Hospitality Trust announced the completion of a multimillion-dollar renovation project at The Westin Philadelphia. Over a four-year period, the Westin underwent an overhaul of its 294 guestrooms, pubic spaces, meeting rooms and restaurant and bar. 

Affiliates of Paceline Equity Partners, LLC have acquired the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The acquisition of the property will be Paceline’s first strategic partnership with ESR Group. The 304-key hotel was developed in 2017 in conjunction with the completion of Legacy West. Legacy West is a +$2 billion mixed-use development that includes luxury retail, upscale apartments, numerous restaurants, and Class A office buildings along a four-block strip. Hotel amenities include a rooftop pool and bar, a 474-space dedicated garage, and 35,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 354-room Vinoy Resort and Golf Club, Autograph Collection in St. Petersburg, FL unveiled its 60,000 square feet of redesigned event space including the Vinoy Grand Ballroom and Palm Court Ballroom. This is part of the resort’s comprehensive renovation. 

Intram Investments Inc is proposing to build a Marriott Vacations branded hotel and timeshare property on the south side of Orange County near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The proposed project would include a 300-unit timeshare/condo hotel project on 11 acres of undeveloped land. 

Noble Investment Group announced the acquisition of ten WoodSpring Suites hotels located throughout the southeastern United States. The firm plans to make physical improvements across the portfolio to enhance market positioning and accelerate performance. The portfolio is located in markets throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of a recently renovated Holiday Inn Express hotel in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. Owned by Krishna Ventures, LLC, the 73-room Holiday Inn Express Greencastle features a fitness center, business center and 900 square feet of meeting space.

Red Roof announced the opening of the Red Roof Inn and HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof Chicago – N. Aurora/Naperville, Illinois. The 55-room hotel offers a conference room and a coin laundry.

Raytheon announced it will be opening a new facility at SkySong, The Arizona State University Scottsdale Innovation Center, adding 28,000 square feet of digital design space to the company’s footprint just minutes away from the main Tempe campus. SkySong is a mixed-use project featuring Class A commercial office space, retail, restaurant, hotel components and the SkySong Apartments. Plaza Companies is the master developer of SkySong, in partnership with University Realty, Holualoa Companies and the City of Scottsdale. Raytheon’s SkySong facility is scheduled to open in Fall 2023. 

Hershey Entertainment and Resorts has proposed plans to Derry Township to expand The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The HE&R proposed plan outlines the construction of 10 new cottages for an additional 56 rooms; the construction of a small “mechanical/housekeeping” building, accompanied by additional parking spaces as well. The four-star hotel and resort currently has 10 other “Woodside” cottages with 48 rooms. Additionally the cottage section of The Hotel Hershey also features “The Meeting Cottage” which is approximately 1,694 square feet in size. 

Marcus Munse and Rita Patel, the owners of Hotel Trundle, want to open another boutique hotel in the Vista entertainment district of Columbia, South Carolina. The hoteliers plan to remodel the former Epes-Fitzergerald Paper Company into a 41-unit boutique property with a new lobby and a rooftop patio. In March, Munse and Patel announced they would get into the short-term rental business, renovating a pair of Duplexes in the Cottontown neighborhood in a project they are calling The Dens. Munse and Patel’s project joins another boutique hotel proposed for the Vista. The developers renewed plans in March for a 44-room hotel in the former South Carolina State Armory building. Known as Armory on Assembly, the developers want to add another 15,450 square feet of space with a rooftop restaurant.

PMZ Realty Capital LLC arranged over $60M in financing in the last few weeks for three separate Hilton properties. The closed transactions include: $34 million 5-year fixed rate loan from a mortgage REIT used to refinance an existing bridge loan for Tru by Hilton Orlando Convention Center Area, in Orlando, Florida. $14M acquisition renovation loan from a life insurance company with a long-term sponsor client for the Hilton Garden Inn Annapolis, in Annapolis, Maryland. $11.3M from a life insurance company that allowed the sponsor to repay the debt on two crossed collateralized CMBS loans for the Hilton Garden Inn Aberdeen, in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Cronheim Hotel Capital secured financing on behalf of Mission Hill Hospitality for the acquisition of the 111-key Residence Inn Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the 103-key Home2 Suites by Hilton in Blacksburg, Virginia.

LivAway Suites has partnered with HotelKey to streamline and enhance technology-driven processes for operations and guest experiences. HotelKey will power LivAway Suites’ strategic technology stack for its hotels across the country. With HotelKey’s agile software solutions, LivAway Suites can efficiently handle guest check-ins and check-outs, manage room availability and rates, and process reservations from multiple channels, all of which will be tracked with dashboard analytics enabling better decision making by its hotel owners.

Personnel Moves

National Hospitality Services, an affiliate of Hotel Equities, promoted Sarah Koustrup to the position of President of NHS. Koustrup previously served as Chief Strategy Officer where she was integral in forming the alliance with NHS and HE, announced earlier this year. As President, Koustrup will continue to lead NHS with her extensive industry knowledge, unwavering commitment to owner satisfaction, and passion for delivering exceptional guest experiences.

Peachtree Group announced Jenelle Zadik’s appointment as people and culture vice president for supporting Peachtree Hospitality Management. Zadik will be responsible for PHM’s human capital efforts, including talent acquisition, total rewards, workforce planning, development, retention and advancing the organization’s commitment to inclusion and diversity initiatives. Before joining Peachtree, Zadik was the head of the community liaison office for the U.S. Consulate General in Nigeria.

BWH Hotels appointed Joelle Park to the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. As a key member of the executive team, Park will lead the company’s global marketing, brand strategy, and communications, including oversight of the company’s loyalty programs. Most recently, Park served as Vice President, Global Enterprise and Cross Brand Marketing at Hilton.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
July 18th, 2023 at 4:40 PM EDT

Companies: Autograph Collection, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Cronheim Hotel Capital, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, HomeTowne Studios, Hotel Equities, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Krishna Ventures, LivAway Suites, Marriott International, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Mission Hill Hospitality, Noble Investment Group, Paceline Equity Partners, Peachtree Group, PMZ Realty Capital LLC, Red Roof, Red Roof Inn, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn by Marriott, Tru by Hilton, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Woodspring Suites

Locations: Alabama, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Scottsdale, South Carolina, Tennessee, United States

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