U.K.-based budget hotel chain Travelodge Hotels says it plans to expand in England and Scotland with 12 new hotels this year. The $108 million expansion will add 1,443 rooms to the company's portfolio.
A new law in Mississippi gives casino developers sales tax rebates of 30% for the building of nongambling attractions including golf courses, hotels and convention facilities. The tax rebates would apply to those investing at least $10 million in projects such as museums, golf courses, marinas and motor speedways, and $40 million in hotel projects.
Stephen Joyce, CEO of Choice Hotels International, says the company is working to get out the message about its value-oriented brands. The company has 10 brands, including the new, more upscale Cambria Suites, but the "most important jewel in the crown" is the Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites family, Joyce said.
NCL this week took delivery of the new Norwegian Jewel, which will sail several European voyages starting Wednesday and eventually will be repositioned in Miami. Separately, Princess Cruises parent Carnival said the Regal Princess would not transfer to the U.K.-based Ocean Village brand as originally planned and would instead stay with Princess due to the strength of the North American market.
U.K.-based Whitbread is expected to sell its 11 Courtyard by Marriott hotels, said to be worth about $108 million. The sale is being prompted by a review of Whitbread's capital structure of its Marriott business, and U.S. operator Harrell Hospitality Group is considered a potential buyer, since the company recently signed a development agreement with Marriott International covering the Courtyard brand in the U.K.