Tan appointed group chief executive with Millennium & Copthorne

The board at City Developments has announced the appointment of Clarence Tan as group chief executive officer for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.

The 52-year-old hotelier will take up the role on April 2nd.

As the first chief executive for the privatised Millennium & Copthorne, Tan will spearhead a turnaround in the performance of the global hotel portfolio.

Millennium & Copthorne currently encompasses 150 hotels and 43,500 rooms worldwide, many in key gateway cities.

Reporting to City Developments and Millennium & Copthorne Executive Chairman, Kwek Leng Beng, Tan will work closely with the leadership team to deliver sustainable hotel performance by focusing on achieving synergies, cost efficiencies and driving profitability.

Tan has over 20 years of global hospitality experience, with a track record in hotel development and management, financial management, merger and acquisitions, integration, partnerships and joint ventures.

He has deep experience in international hotel chain management, having headed several regions as chief executive or chief operating officer.

He was most recently the managing director for south-east Asia and Korea with InterContinental Hotels Group, where he was responsible for the growth, financial and operational performance of about 100 hotels.

Under his stewardship, the business delivered US$1.2 billion in hotel revenue to the London-listed IHG at a healthy margin and added to their system size and pipeline.

Kwek Leng Beng said: “As a veteran hotelier with a wealth of international experience in hotel operations, management and finance, Tan’s leadership will be critical in navigating Millennium & Copthorne through near-term global and macroeconomic challenges, as well as driving portfolio performance enhancements through significant cost-efficiency initiatives and building brand equity.

“With his extensive and distinguished career in the hospitality industry, and strong business, financial management and business recovery capabilities, I am confident that Clarence will play a key role in this integration and transformational process, elevating Millennium & Copthorne into a formidable global hospitality group.”

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Sandals Resorts shuttered in Caribbean until mid-May

Sandals Resorts International will close its properties in the Caribbean until May 15th to protect guests and staff against the spread of Covid-19.

All resorts under both the Beaches and Sandals brand are expected to close their doors in March 30th.

In a statement, Sandals founder and chairman Gordon Stewart described the decision as difficult.

However, he added Sandals will use the time to make further enhancements to its resorts, “so that we will continue to surpass your expectations and provide you with the luxury-included vacation you so well deserve.”

Stewart continued: “We also want to alleviate any additional worry you might have about your upcoming vacation.

“Our dedicated team will be reaching out to you personally to assist with rescheduling your future plans.

“This way, you can spend less time trying to reach us and more time with your loved ones.”

The brand, which operates 19 properties in the Caribbean – ten of which are in Jamaica.

The temporary closure of these and other hotels means that thousands of hospitality workers will possibly be without an income.

“The Caribbean is resilient.

“We have always come back better, stronger and more passionate than ever.

“We promise this time will be no exception,” Stewart added.

“When the time is right, you can trust us to be here, ready to welcome you back with open arms and a warm smile.

“Soon come back,” he concluded.


For all the latest from Breaking Travel News on the coronavirus pandemic, take a look here.

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Banyan Tree eyes Myanmar expansion with new joint venture

Banyan Tree Holdings and Myanmar Treasure Hotel & Resort Group Company (known as Htoo Hospitality) have signed a joint venture agreement for the formation of a hotel management business.

Launched in 2002 and built upon authentic Burmese culture and traditions, Htoo Hospitality owns and manages the largest collection of 15 hotels located across eight states and 11 destinations in Myanmar.

With nine brands under four boutique collections, its two signature brands include the Aureum Palace Hotels & Resorts and the Myanmar Treasure Resorts.

The venture shall initially be responsible for the management of the 17 hotels and resorts (15 existing properties and two in the pipeline) owned by Htoo Hospitality.

Some of these properties will gradually be rebranded into either a jointly-developed new brand for the Myanmar market or a brand within Banyan Tree Holding’s brand portfolio.

Under a long-term partnership, the venture envisions to become the top hotel management company in Myanmar, overseeing and managing hotels owned by third parties.

Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, said: “As a leading independent global hospitality company, our group has identified growth opportunities in Myanmar’s hotel management sector.

“With this head-start coupled with our hotel management expertise, we are mindful that this joint venture will open further opportunities for our group to enter key strategic sectors in this fast-flourishing country.

“This strategic alliance with the established Htoo Hospitality, Myanmar’s largest hotel and resort network, will accelerate the growth and reach of our brands as we elevate hospitality service to yet another level across the country.

“We are excited and committed to this partnership.”

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US Hotel Performance Plummets Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Hospitality data analytics firm STR has just released the details of an unprecedented fall in U.S. hotels’ key performance metrics for the week of March 8-14, 2020, in a year-over-year comparison.

STR’s data indicates that the U.S. market’s ‘revenue per room available’ (RevPAR) fell by 32.5 percent over the seven-day period, further compounding upon the previous week’s decline of 11.6 percent.

Reporting on a March 19 webinar, Travel Weekly quoted STR’s senior vice president of lodging insights, Jan Freitag, as saying, “Just putting in last week’s data compared to this week’s data, what you see is that things went from bad to worse rapidly. And, I’m afraid that we’re going to be on a downward trajectory that’s going to be with us for a while.” He speculated, “Next week’s data is likely going to be worse than what we saw this week. I don’t think that 32.5 percent is the trough.”

Freitag pointed out that this latest RevPAR slide threatens to surpass even the worst slumps felt in the wake of 9/11 and during the 2008 economic crisis. The steepest of those declines, respectively, was a 38 percent drop for the week of September 22, 2001, and a 25 percent drop during the week of September 12, 2009.

Freitag also noted, however, “After those steep declines post-9/11 and post-2009, the data got consecutively less bad.”

These performance downturns were spread uniformly across all chain scales, classes and location types. STR reported that each of the nation’s top 25 markets registered double-digit decreases in occupancy and revenue per room available (RevPAR), with average daily rate (ADR) numbers also down in all of them.

Fourteen of those top 25 U.S. markets recorded occupancy rates of under 55 percent for the week ending March 14. Seattle, Washington felt the harshest declines in each of the three key metrics categories, with occupancy down 55 percent, ADR falling nearly 25 percent and RevPAR declining by 66 percent.

The San Francisco/San Mateo region of California posted the week’s second-worst occupancy rate, falling approximately 52 percent, with ADR down 24 percent and RevPAR dropping by more than 63 percent. New York, New York, experienced the third-steepest declines in occupancy, down 44 percent, and RevPAR, which fell by almost 55 percent.

“The questions we are hearing the most right now are around how far occupancy will drop and how long this will last. Through comparative analysis of the occupancy trends in China and Italy over the past weeks, we can with certainty say that we are not yet close to the bottom in the U.S.,” Freitag commented in STR’s report.

“However, the timeline for that decline and the eventual recovery are much tougher to predict because there is still so much uncertainty around the COVID-19 case numbers in the U.S. and how serious citizens are when practicing social distancing. China and Italy saw a more abrupt decline in occupancy because of stricter lockdowns. That will dictate the speed of recovery,” he said.

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