|By Tom Stieghorst, South Florida Sun-Sentinel|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jul. 4, 2005 - Budget Host is the least expensive lodging franchise, according to an analysis by hospitality consulting firm HVS International.
Hotel operators pay only 0.6 percent of revenues to the Arlington, Texas, firm in franchise fees and associated costs. Other cheap franchises include Best Value Inn, Best Western and ClubHouse Inn chains.
Best Western led the midpriced category in the analysis, with fees of 2.8 percent of revenue. Omni Hotels was the least expensive franchise in the first-class category, at 7 percent of revenue.
fees and costs at the high end top out at about 11 percent of revenue,
HVS said. Budget Host has 180 inns in 37 states including outlets in
Daytona Beach, Florida City and Ocala.
Revenue, as reflected in the tax collections, rose because of stronger occupancy and higher average daily rates.
Rooms in May were 71.3 percent full, up from 63.9 percent a year ago. Rates leaped 12.3 percent to $94.64 a night.
bureau also said it expects a strong June, fueled by the Organization
of American States general assembly meeting at the Broward County
Convention Center. In June 2004, rooms were 66.2 percent full and
average daily rates were $76.41 a night.
The Royal Caribbean Cruises ship Mariner of the Seas becomes the latest to score a perfect 100 on its public health inspection May 15 at Port Canaveral. Seven ships have reached that level this year. Two ships have failed, by scoring below 85 on a 1 to 100 scale.
Hyatt Hotels said it plans to offer XM Satellite Radio as a free amenity in its rooms nationwide. The Chicago-based chain, whose flag flies locally over the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Resort and Marina in Fort Lauderdale, said that as part of the deal, members of Hyatt's frequent guest program will get special offers on XM receivers and other hardware.
Hyatt has 211 hotels with more than 90,000 rooms worldwide. The companies said they plan to initially target 50,000 rooms in the continental United States.
AirTran Airways said it plans daily nonstop flights between Indianapolis and Fort Lauderdale beginning Nov. 8. The service departs Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 10:40 a.m., arriving in Indianapolis at 1:15 p.m. The flight from Indianapolis departs at 7:30 a.m. and arrives in South Florida at 10 a.m. Fares weren't announced.
The Travel Industry Association has published a study on how consumers make travel decisions. Among the conclusions: Price isn't king. Leisure travelers first decide where they want to go and for how long. Only then do they act on to how much to pay.
Other findings: Only 14 percent of travelers stick to a predetermined budget and 31 percent of leisure trips do not have a budget at all.
The 54-page report, which costs $250, includes a chapter on the factors important to consumers in choosing accommodations, which ranks location and comfort as the two top priorities. It can be ordered through www.tia.org.
Singer Mariah Carey is the artist on the cover of Lyric, the in-flight magazine that debuts on Song airline flights this month. Delta's low-fare subsidiary will launch nonstop flights from New York to San Francisco and Seattle starting today.
Computerworld magazine ranks Marriott International 27th among the 100 leading companies in its "Best Places to Work in Information Technology" listing, taking top honors among lodging chains. The University of Miami ranked second on the list; Royal Caribbean Cruises was 16th.
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