Thursday Briefing: New Hotel Openings Kick Off a Busy Year in Travel

With the New Year holiday well in the rearview mirror, the travel industry is starting to pick up steam. 

Today we’re featuring 15 top 2017 hotel openings to watch. It looks to be a strong year for the United States, with four hotels opening in California alone: the Hotel Californian – Santa Barbara, the The Mayfair Hotel – Downtown Los Angeles, the Lido House – Newport Beach, California, and the Hotel VIA in San Francisco. Hawaii is also getting a big boost with the late December addition of the Hyatt Centric Wakiki Beach, and Nashville, New York City, Portland, Houston and New Orleans are also seeing big openings. 

The new openings will attract travelers looking to spend. According to Travel Leaders Group’s recent 2017 Travel Trends Survey, 94.5 percent of Travel Leaders Group agents say clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2017. The few who said they were planning to spend less per trip mostly attributed the decline to the strong U.S. dollar, which will allow travelers to get a bigger bang for their buck when they hit the road this year. 

Travelers will be able to spend more on the high seas this year as well, with a slate of new cruise ships hitting the waves. Most notably, this Saturday will see the inaugural voyage of the new, all-suite Seabourn Encore. Seabourn is spotlighting the new ship with some just-released images of Seabourn Encore's spa and public spaces that we’ve compiled here. The ship will have a strong wellness focus, with the debut of the Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil Mindful Living program, as well as a new relaxation area with private cabanas dubbed The Retreat. Other new cruise ships to look forward to this year include the MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, Silver Muse and National Geographic Quest

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