In this week’s roundup of travel industry news, we’re looking ahead to what 2017 might hold for the hotel industry.
What Next Year Will Be Like for the Hotel Industry
After a year that brought mega-mergers, continued encroachment from Airbnb, and a not so cold booking war with online travel sites, our (admittedly imperfect) understanding of the law of averages suggests the hotel industry should be due for an uneventful 2017. Skift assesses the odds of that actually happening in its summary of three forecasts from hotel industry analysts. To summarize that summary: it’s complicated. Occupancy rates will remain near record highs, but room rates are likely to increase by considerably less than in recent years.
Norwegian Air Plans U.S. Expansion
Business Travel News reports that the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a foreign air carrier permit for an Irish subsidiary of the low-cost carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle. Norwegian already flies between the United States and some European markets; the D.o.T.’s approval opens the door for expanded service, including to Ireland. Norwegian is a pioneer of cut-rate Transatlantic air travel, so this news should be music to the ears of bargain-hunting customers.
Airbnb Settles Its Lawsuit Against New York
We’ve covered New York’s recent laws cracking down on short-term apartment rentals, as well as Airbnb’s legal challenges in response. This week the matter reached something of a conclusion, after Airbnb agreed to withdraw its suit. Under the settlement, the company will not be fined for any listings on its site found to be in violation of the new law. Enforcing bans on certain types rentals has proven difficult in the past, so it’s yet to be seen whether this law will have any effect on Airbnb’s growth, which has been robust among business travelers.