Delta Hotels and resorts sold

As a blizzard swept across the East Coast, a business storm hit the Canadian hotel industry. Marriott hotels announced their purchase of Canada’s Delta Hotels and Resorts.

Here’s a link to a story on the sale:

Delta is a Canadian brand that goes from coast to coast. When it launched it was a dynamic, entrepreneurial brand that attracted all the bright people. Most of the senior people I know in tourism across Canada came through the Delta ranks.

Then in the late 90s it seemed to lose its mojo. Three years ago at a Montreal property (since sold for student housing) I found a room frozen in time. The fabrications, furnishings, colours and wall coverings were as I remembered from the Delta Saint John which opened in the early 1980s. Some of the individual properties never lost their energy, but there was an inconsistency in fixtures. However, in the last two years Delta, as a brand, has shown a renewed energy and return to its innovative ways. It opened several new properties, including the Delta Toronto and Delta Waterloo and upgraded others. Plus they have five more properties in the pipeline.

One former GM commenting on the sale said, “Marriott is good at renovations and keeping up with the Jones’. This will be a real positive for the Halifax team.” Delta has two properties in Halifax (Nova Scotia). The 200-room Delta Barrington and 296-room Delta Halifax, which are across the street from each other and connected by enclosed pedway.

This sale should make Canada’s hotel scene more competitive. It’s certainly big, big news for small meetings, associations and Tier Two markets.

And this fits in with news yesterday that Marriott planed to reach one million rooms and create 150,000 new jobs in 2015!

U.S. travel numbers prove business is good

A just-released report by VISA and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has really interesting, positive numbers for business travel.

The précis is while many of the world’s hot economies have stalled, America’s fiscal engine is pumping. The result is that U.S. business and individual travel is up. Business travel reached $292.2 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow 6.2 percent to $310.2 billion for 2015. In 2014 U.S. international outbound business travel also grew six percent on year-over-year figures to be worth $35.6 billion.

The report says the total number of U.S. person trips is expected to have a modest 1.7 percent growth (which is still growth) for a total 490.4 million trips!

GBTA executive director and COO Michael McCormick said, “2014 was a stabilizing year for U.S. business travel, with continuous, sustained growth, despite a plethora of external issues internationally that have weighted down economies in Europe, Russia and Asia. This is a significant and encouraging sign of confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy.”

Whether you represent a domestic or off-shore destination or property are you on the receiving end or in the bidding for any of this boom?