Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire in the U.K. Latest HITs: Oberoi, Reliance deal; good news about meetings; more resort fee troubleBy Jeffrey Weinstein | August 25, 2023Share The latest on global development, M&A and key data. Oberoi aligns with Reliance. India giant Reliance Industries has agreed with Oberoi Hotels and Resorts to co-manage three properties. Oberoi-run Anant Vilas in Mumbai and an unnamed planned project in India’s western state of Gujarat, as well as Mukesh Reliance-owned Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire in the U.K., will now be managed jointly by the two companies and mark Oberoi’s entry into the U.K. Reliance last year paid nearly $100 million for a controlling stake in Mandarin Oriental New York. No financial details were provided by Reliance for Thursday's agreement with Indian hotelier Oberoi. New Delhi-based Oberoi Hotels & Resorts operates 12 hotels in India, manages 10 Trident-branded hotels and has 11 additional properties in its portfolio.Good news about M&C. MMGY Global’s Portrait of European Meeting and Convention Travel report found that 2023 is proving itself as a “bumper year” for international M&C travel with figures already at 37% for those that would attend between one and two meetings outside of their home country this year, compared to 38% for the whole of 2022. Fully, 70% of planners are arranging solely in-person meetings and events within the next two years. Germany claims the top spot for past and future meetings in Europe for both event planners and attendees. The United States is the top choice for meetings outside of Europe. Hotels and hotel conference rooms are seeing a revival, with this trend led by the U.K. and Germany, and sports venues are on the rise thanks to the U.K. market. Additionally, cost remains the most important factor for deciding the location of meetings with 72% importance, closely followed by logistics of the venue size and it being an easily accessible location. Sixty percent of attendees are likely to extend a business trip for leisure purposes in the next year, with almost half extending both domestic and international trips for leisure – up from 2022 – and two-thirds inviting their spouse or partner. The likelihood to extend a trip for leisure decreases with age, with those aged 65-plus the least likely.More lawsuits over resort fees. Advocacy group Travelers United last week filed a class-action lawsuit against Hyatt Hotels Corp. over the now high-profile practice of adding junk fees, according to reports. The complaint accuses Hyatt of "false advertising" of room rates by adding fees misrepresented as “destination” or “resort” fees at checkout. The court filing specifically mentions the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel. The case is Travelers United, Inc. v. Hyatt Hotels Corporation, et al., in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Civil Division. The news comes after a similar suit filed against Hyatt in May by the Texas attorney general and Marriott International’s recent $225,000 fine by Pennsylvania's attorney general for resort fee noncompliance. Hotel Investment Today has reached out to Hyatt for comment and is awaiting a response.Asia Pac real estate outlook. Commercial real estate deal volumes in Asia Pacific have been rebuilding at pace, according to new data from JLL. Asia Pacific investment volumes were $26 billion in the second quarter of this year, a 1% decline from the first quarter, according to JLL’s Asia Pacific Capital Tracker. It said a near-record $404 billion of capital in funds is yet to be deployed globally, according to JLL. There is $67 billion specifically designated for APAC. Given this, Asia Pacific investment volumes in 2024 are expected to compare to pre-COVID levels of $176.6 billion in 2019, as well as the levels seen in the post-COVID recovery of 2021 at $177 billion. The outlook is for improving conditions towards the end of the year as inflation moderates and the start of the interest rate unwinding cycle comes into sight, according to the firm. Japan, China, Korea and Australia are expected to drive the rebound in 2024. They have been the most liquid markets in APAC, with $146 billion, $129 billion, $108 billion and $86 billion worth of sales respectively over the past four years, according to JLL.First Hospitality will manage OKC hotel. Chicago-based First Hospitality announced it has assumed management and operations of the Lively Hotel in Oklahoma City, making it the company’s first property in the state. The 132-key boutique hotel will be part of the OAK development, a 20-acre mixed-used district in the city. The hotel will feature 13,500 sq. ft. of retail space, a bar and restaurant with 2,400 sq. ft. of outdoor space and over 2,600 sq. ft. of meeting space. It is also the first Tapestry Collection by Hilton in Oklahoma and is scheduled to open in summer 2024. The OAK development will have 250,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 12 bars and restaurants and 320 luxury residential units.W Hotels coming to Al Marjan Island. Marriott announced it has signed an agreement with Dalands Holding in collaboration with Marjan, the master developer of freehold properties in Ras Al Khaimah, to bring W Hotels to Al Marjan Island. W Al Marjan Island is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2027 and will be W Hotels’ first property in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The hotel is expected to have 300 rooms and suites with beachfront views overlooking the Arabian Gulf. It will also feature three restaurants as well as retail space. This property will mark the brand’s fourth property in the UAE.