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North America

State of Global Tourism, According to the UN

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 22nd, 2024 at 5:35 PM EDT

Skift Take

International tourism nearly reached pre-pandemic levels in early 2024, with notable growth in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, and a full recovery projected for the year.

The DJIA fell 202 points while Nasdaq was down 31, the S&P 500 fell 14 points and the 10-year treasury yield was up .02 to 4.43%. Lodging stocks were lower. VCSA was the biggest mover, down -8% on the day while SVC traded down to a new low.

The U.S. hotel industry reported mixed performance results from the previous month but positive comparisons year over year, according to April 2024 data from CoStar. April 2024 (percentage change from April 2023): Occupancy: 65.2% (+1.2) ADR: $157.31 (+0.8%) RevPAR: $102.51 (+2.0%). Among the Top 25 Markets, New York City experienced the highest levels in each of the three key performance metrics: Occupancy (+2.8% to 84.4%), ADR (+2.6% to $298.98), and RevPAR (+5.5% to $252.46). Markets with the lowest occupancy for the month include Detroit (58.9%) and Minneapolis (59.3%). The Top 25 Markets showed higher occupancy and ADR than all other markets.   

CoStar’s STR said U.S. hotel RevPAR for the week ended May 18th was up 2.8%, with rates up 2.6%. Group RevPAR was up 13.2%.  

Providence Hospitality Partners has been appointed as the operator of the Springhill Suites by Marriott and the Hampton Inn & Suites, both located in Ridgecrest, California. The Springhill Suites offers 93 suites, flexible meeting space and a boardroom, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. The Hampton Inn & Suites features 93 rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and flexible meeting space. PM Hotels Group announced the latest addition to its portfolio, Staybridge Suites by IHG Tysons in McLean, Virginia. The property offers a seasonal outdoor pool, fitness center, and business services.   

Lark Hotels announced the expansion of Block Island Beach House in New Shoreham, Rhode Island, with three new offerings for the 2024 season: nine new private accommodations at the newly renovated building, the Gothic; four new suites in Gables Guest House; and a new onsite breakfast and brunch destination located within the iconic Surf Hotel building.  

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Sonesta Essential La Porte. The 84-room, upper-midscale property is located in La Porte, Texas.  

Town Pump broke ground this month on a hotel in Belgrade, Wyoming, and has plans to do the same on a similar project in Bozeman. Both projects will be Atwell Suites hotels. The Town Pump Hotel Group broke ground on the Belgrade site next to the Holiday Inn Express the group also operates. They expect construction to take about 14 months. The company is also looking to build an Atwell Suites in Bozeman, near one of their other locations. They are working with the city on the plans and hope to put the project out for construction bids in the next two months or so.   

The Hotel Derek in Houston, Texas, announced it will be shutting down in June. Representatives for the hotel stated they are looking forward to witnessing the upcoming transformation, supporting and passing the baton to a brand new hotel soon.  

Developer Barry Allen announced plans for an upscale, multi-use hotel to be located on a full city block in downtown Wheeling, West Virginia. The property will feature retail space with a coffee shop, restaurant and wine bar on the bottom floor. The hotel will include 122 guest rooms, eight condos on the top floor, and a rooftop bar and event space. Allen plans to break ground at the very latest by this coming winter and have the hotel fully operational by 2026.   

Sentral announced it would expand its portfolio into two new markets with management contracts at The Sutton in Portland, Oregon, and Autonomous Hotel in Las VegasThe Sutton, developed by Lincoln Property Company in partnership with Bridge Investment Group, is a 236-apartment community in the North Pearl District. Twenty-five of the apartments are available for 30+ night stays. Amenities include waterfront rooftop terraces, a game room, a social club, private co-working spaces, a fitness center, a pet spa, and a grooming room. Otonomus Hotel, developed by Growth Holdings, is slated to open early in 2025. It is the first of a new, AI-driven, sustainability-focused hotel concept providing a full array of premium hospitality services. The hotel will be made up of 60% hotel rooms and 40% apartments.   

Mohari Hospitality and Weller Development Partnership have formed a partnership. The partners will co-invest up to $2.5bn in luxury hospitality and mixed-use projects across North America and the Caribbean. The programmatic relationship between Mohari and Weller will enhance Weller’s existing investments, including Six Senses Napa and Six Senses Grand Bahama, and establish a platform for future co-investments.   

Leyad announced the acquisition of Hotel & Spa Lac Brome in Quebec, marking the company’s inaugural foray into the hospitality sector. The hotel boasts 477 feet of lake frontage, 40 guestrooms, a boutique restaurant, conference facilities, and a rejuvenating spa. Leyad plans to enhance the guest experience at Hotel & Spa Lac Brome through a comprehensive renovation program.   

Mogul Capital has proposed a 362,000-square-foot mega-hotel project for downtown Jackson, Wyoming. The proposal was made possible by changes to the city’s zoning laws that were approved in 2016, but the massive project is far beyond what the town ever imagined. The Jackson City Council has continued a decision on the hotel to its June 3 meeting amid calls for a moratorium on further projects so that zoning laws can be changed to prevent any other such huge developments. According to Jackson’s planning and development records, Mogul’s 42-foot-tall hotel would cover an entire city block, 11 lots over 2.75 acres. The plans show 171 hotel rooms, as well as restaurants and retail stores, bars and a spa, a fitness center and rooftop deck, and hotel-related office and meeting space. The plan also calls for both affordable and market housing. The affordable housing, part of a 194-unit apartment complex, will be built ahead of the hotel. Thirty-six condos would also be part of the hotel development.  

Stonebridge Companies has expanded its third-party management platform through the acquisition of Real Hospitality GroupRHG Founder and CEO Ben Seidel will join the Stonebridge team as Principal and member of the firm’s Board of Directors. The transaction gives Stonebridge a diverse national portfolio, which will now comprise more than 160 properties, encompassing 24,000 rooms across 20 states. The combined company will be headquartered in Denver, Colorado while maintaining a significant East Coast presence. Terms of the deal will not be disclosed.   

HVS Brokerage & Advisory announced the sale of the 59-key Best Western Port Aransas, located in Port Aransas, Texas. The property was purchased by BWPA Holdings LLC from LVV Properties.   

STR released a statement regarding a class action lawsuit. The statement reads as: “STR stands by its long-standing practice of providing the hotel industry with competition-enhancing analysis. Since its founding in 1985, STR has been committed to providing the industry with the highest-quality insights while simultaneously protecting the confidentiality of client data through aggregation and anonymization. STR will therefore vigorously defend itself in the lawsuit.” CoStar(STR parent) and a group of high-end hotels have asked a U.S. judge to dismiss the claims that they improperly shared data to keep room prices artificially high, calling the case “fanciful.” The hotel operators and STR said there was no evidence they conspired to fix prices.  

Global Tourism Special

International tourist arrivals reached 97% of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2024. According to UN Tourism, more than 287 million tourists traveled internationally in January-March, about 20% more than in the first quarter of 2023, underscoring the sector’s near complete recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. UN Tourism’s projection for 2024 points to a full recovery of international tourism, with arrivals growing 2% above 2019 levels. In line with this, the newest data released by the UN specialized agency for tourism shows that The Middle East saw the strongest relative growth, with international arrivals exceeding by 36% pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2024, or 4% above Q1 2023. Europe exceeded pre-pandemic levels in a quarter for the first time (+1% from Q1 2019). The region recorded 120 million international tourists in the first three months of the year. Africa welcomed 5% more arrivals in the first quarter of 2024 than in Q1 2019 and 13% more than in Q1 2023. The Americas practically recovered pre-pandemic numbers this first quarter, with arrivals reaching 99% of 2019 levels. International tourism is experiencing a rapid recovery in Asia and the Pacific, where arrivals reached 82% of pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2024 after recovering 65% in the year 2023.

International tourism receipts reached USD 1.5 trillion in 2023, 97% in real terms, adjusting for inflation. By regions, Europe generated the highest receipts in 2023, with destinations earning USD 660 billion, exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 7% in real terms. Receipts in The Middle East climbed 33% above 2019 levels, The Americas recovered 96%, Africa 95%, and Asia and the Pacific earned 78% of its pre-crisis receipts. Total export revenues from international tourism, including both receipts and passenger transport, reached USD 1.7 trillion in 2023, about 95% of pre-pandemic levels in real terms. Tourism direct GDP recovered 2019 levels, reaching an estimated USD 3.3 trillion in 2023.

Tourist Arrivals by Sub-Regions in Q1 2024 vs. Q1 2019

Sub-RegionPercentage Change
North Africa23%
Central America15%
The Caribbean7%
Western Europe7%
Southern Mediterranean Europe1%
South America0%
Sub-Saharan Africa-5%
North America-5%

Notable Destinations’ Tourist Arrivals in Q1 2024 vs. Q1 2019

DestinationPercentage Change
Saudi Arabia98%
El Salvador90%
Turks and Caicos42%

International Tourism Receipts in 2023 vs. 2019

RegionPercentage of 2019 Levels
The Middle East133%
The Americas96%
Asia and the Pacific78%

Notable Destinations’ Tourism Receipts in Q1 2024 vs. Q1 2019

DestinationPercentage Change

Personnel Move

Kempinski Hotels announced the appointment of Barbara Muckermann as its new Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Muckermann led Silversea Cruises, part of the Royal Caribbean Group. The group is gearing up for significant expansion into new regions worldwide, including the addition of 34 more hotels and residences to its portfolio across EuropeThe Middle EastAsia, and Africa in the coming years.

Europe Highlights

Melia Hotels & Resorts has reopened the former Gran Hotel Monterrey in Lloret de Mar, La Selva, after completing the refurbishment of the complex. Hotel Melia Lloret de Mar has been upgraded to a five-star category and is the result of an agreement between the company and Okami Hotels, the property’s asset manager. Located in Spain, the establishment has 200 guestrooms, a spa, a sports area, a children’s space, three distinct restaurants, and a diverse array of venues, including 11 function rooms and over 50,000 square meters of landscaped gardens.   

The 38-room Super 8 by Wyndham Durham opens tomorrow in Durham, UK. It will be the second in the chain’s UK Super 8 hotels. The property offers free parking and onsite dining.  

Bob W strengthened its London presence with three new openings, the new Bob W Tower Hill ResidencesBob W Olympia, and Bob W Holland Park. The new properties include a variety of full-serviced apartments, as well as penthouses. They all feature local and sustainable design and are equipped with Bob W’s bespoke technology, including a digital front desk, self-service check-in, and 24-hour remote customer service, combining the quality and reliability of a hotel with the comfort of a home. The new openings take the company to over 40 properties across the continent.  

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 22nd, 2024 at 5:35 PM EDT

Companies: Atwell Suites, Bob W, Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, HVS, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Kempinski Hotels, Lark Hotels, Marriott International, Melia Hotels & Resorts, Mogul Capital, Mohari Hospitality, PM Hotels Group, Real Hospitality Group, Sentral, Service Properties Trust, Six Senses, Sonesta Essential, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, SpringHill Suites, Staybridge Suites, Stonebridge Companies, Super 8, Vacasa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Detroit, England, Houston, Las Vegas, London, Minneapolis, New York City, Portland, Quebec, Rhode Island, Spain, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming

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