The global travel industry has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn. Hotels all over the world have experienced a drop in occupancy rates due to this decline. So renovations and sprucing up rooms seems like it would be last on their priority list now, right? Not necessarily. Some hotel chains have decided that it is worth their investment to improve rooms, lobbies and other facilities to make them more modern and up to date and appealing to travelers.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide is one of the companies that is planning on undertaking a redesign of many of its guest rooms. They plan to target many of their Sheraton hotels and Westin hotels. This entire project will affect 576 of their hotels worldwide over the next year. This will cost them over $100 million to make these improvements. There are over 406 Sheraton hotels worldwide, and it is a well-known brand, so these renovations are highly anticipated. They plan to incorporate oversize armchairs, water-conserving plumbing as well as bedside tables with electrical outlets for convenience. Sheraton is a popular business travel hotel, and with business travel finally on the rise again Starwood is hoping that these improvements will positively affect the Sheraton brand all over the world.
Starwood is not the only hotel company anticipating hotel makeovers. InterContinental Hotels Group is also planning on upgrading its Holiday Inn hotels by the end of this year. Many of the top business travel hotels in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London and Shanghai are expected to experience these positive changes as well. Hotel owners are hoping that this will continue to help rebound business travel to what it used to be.
While it may seem like an inopportune time for hotels to be spending large amounts of money on renovations, hotel companies and owners have acknowledged that the lapse in upkeep of the hotels has become apparent to guests. This could be a factor playing a part in declining occupancy rates. While it certainly is not the original source of the downturn in the industry, some are realizing that it is a problem that can no longer be ignored. Big changes are coming to some of the most popular business hotels in the most frequented cities around the world; will it be worth the investment?