This week's ABTN news in brief
Slow October for UK hotels
UK hotels endured a "slow" October, according to PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.
Room rates in London rose by 0.1% to £147.45 but PKF said the "slowdown" in business travel meant occupancy dropped by 3.2% from 86.5% to 83.8%.
This led to a drop in rooms yield by 3.1% from £127.58 for October 2007 to £123.61 this year.
In the UK regions, occupancy was down 5.8% from 77.2% in October 2007 to 72.7% this year.
Room rate also fell 1.5% to £76.19 which meant rooms yield was down 7.6% on 2007, from £59.70 to £55.42.
Robert Barnard, a PKF partner, said: "The continued global economic woes mean that the lack of growth experienced by many hoteliers in October, were to be expected.
"It is important to note that the falls overall were fairly moderate and the industry, while feeling the effects, is still holding its own.
"Occupancy in the capital is still at 83.8%, while in the UK as a whole, the hotels in our survey are at 72.7% of their capacity."
Sabre extends agreement with United
Sabre Travel Network has signed a two year extension of its full contents deal with United Airlines.
Under the agreement, all of the US carrier's published fares and inventory, including those on websites, will be available to Sabre agents.
The current agreement was due to expire in 2011. The new deal will last to 2013.
Italian hotels hit by slowdown
Italian hotels suffered a 20% fall in revenue per available room (revPAR) in October, STR Global said.
Occupancy across the country also fell by 13%, the consultants said.
The year-on-year drop in revPAR was 8% while year-on-year occupancy fell by 6%.
Of the six cities surveyed, only Turin reported an increase of 18% in revPAR for the year and of 10% on occupancy.
The five other cities, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan and Venice all saw business decline.
James Chappell, STR's managing director, said: "Demand has been falling in the main Italian cities since spring this year.
"Milan and Turin have only started to see declining demand levels since July and September, respectively, which will put pressures upon their occupancy and average rate levels as we have seen in other Italian cites."
Marco Malacrida, STR's area director in Italy, said Turin has countered the national trend through "increased marketing activities, increased cultural events and MICE."
Scandic moves into Poland
Scandic Hotels is to take over two properties in Poland.
The 164-room property in Wroclaw and the 143-room property in Gdansk, are Scandic first hotels in the central European country.
Scandic said they formed a "key element" of its Eastern Europe strategy.
Frank Fiskers, Scandic's president and ceo, said: "We have high expectations of our new hotels. Poland is the largest of the new EU member states and both cities, Gdansk and Wroclaw, have enjoyed good growth in recent years."
Hilton to open new hotels in Italy
Hilton Hotels Corporation has opened two of its Hilton Garden Inns brand in Italy.
The new properties are at Milan Malpensa Airport and Bologna San Lazzaro.
The openings bring the number of Garden Inns in Italy to five.
New hotels join Warwick International
Three new hotels have joined the Warwick International Hotel Collection.
The new additions are The Park hotel, Amsterdam, Le Grand Hôtel du Parc in Villars-sur-Ollon in Switzerland and the Hôtel Alhambra Thalasso in Yasmine-Hammamet, Tunisia.
The Collection now includes more than 40 hotels worldwide located in city centres and resort destinations in the United States, Europe, Asia, the South Pacific, and Africa.