DirectoriesAdd Your Business
News Archive Search
Hotel Industry News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
When the stars come out tonight above New Zealand, the skies will have an extra sparkle as the world’s newest and largest dark sky reserve has been named.
The news that New Zealand’s Mackenzie Basin has been designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) is expected to bring many more stargazers from around the world to the Canterbury region and significantly boost local tourism. The announcement made at the opening of the Third International Starlight Conference confirms New Zealand’s place as one of the world’s top stargazing destinations. The new reserve is the world’s third International Dark Sky Reserve category, following on from Canada’s Mont Megantic, and the UK’s Exmoor National Park. Since the New Zealand reserve was officially recognised, a fourth dark sky park with gold rating has been announced in Namibia. Another 14 places worldwide have received lesser ‘dark sky’ ratings. The creation of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve - which includes the lakeside town of Tekapo, Mt Cook Village, Twizel and the highest peaks of the Southern Alps - is also lofty recognition of a community-inspired initiative that has been working towards this goal since 2006. Covering 4300sq km over Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park and the neighbouring Mackenzie Basin, the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve forms the world’s largest such reserve. It is also the first awarded the top gold level status - recognising the quality of the almost light-pollution-free skies - and the first such reserve in the southern hemisphere. "To put it simply, it is one of the best stargazing sites on Earth," according to executive director Bob Parks of the International Dark-Sky Association - an international movement based in Arizona and dedicated to protecting dark skies.
Green Globe Certification and Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts today announce major reductions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and significant water savings by all Mövenpick properties across the Middle East.
After the first year of Green Globe certification of hotels in UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, analysis of energy and water consumption reveals the reduction of 11,765 tons of CO2e and savings of 129,346 m3 of potable water in the last 12 months. Green Globe Certification CEO Mr. Guido Bauer said, “This is absolute proof that certification by Green Globe leads to great outcomes for the environment as well as utility savings for hotels and resorts.” “These reductions are equivalent to saving one Olympic pool of water per week, each week for a year. The GHG saved by Mövenpick hotels is the same as the emissions of five non-stop round-trip flights from Dubai to London.’ Green Globe Certification has been contracted by Mövenpick to certify all their hotels and resorts worldwide. The certification process covers all sustainability criteria including the key environmental indicators of energy and water.
Travel to Greece, Portugal and Italy has fallen sharply and Britons are even avoiding perennial favourite Spain, according to latest figures released by airports operator BAA.
They show that there was an 11% drop in the number of people flying between Heathrow and Portugal and Greece last month and a 9% drop in the numbers flying between Heathrow and Italy. Travel between Heathrow and Spain was 2.5% down. Overall, total traffic for all BAA's UK airports was down just 0.1% compared with May 2011, a drop which was attributed to last year's late Easter and the Royal Wedding which boosted travel in May 2011. BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said the decline in travel between the UK and the cash-strapped eurozone countries demonstrated why it was vital for Britain to build air links to long-haul destinations whose economies were growing. "The continued resilience of our airports in the face of economic turbulence is encouraging. But the impact of the eurozone crisis is still being felt with sharp falls in passenger numbers to the worst affected countries and reduced cargo traffic. "This is why the UK needs to urgently build better links to the countries whose economies are growing such as China, India and Brazil. But with the UK's only hub airport, Heathrow, already full, France and Germany are forging ahead and we are being left behind." British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh, a harsh critic of the Coalition's aviation policy, said this week they were "top of the list of governments who don't get it".
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Ed Riley general manager for Costa d’Este Beach Resort, located oceanside in Vero Beach, Florida. Costa d’Este Beach Resort is part of Benchmark Hospitality’s Personal Luxury Resorts & HotelsSM. Greg Champion, Benchmark’s chief operating officer, made the announcement. Previously, Ed Riley was general manager of the Harbor Hotel on Lake Seneca in Watkins Glen, New York. During his tenure there the property achieved Four Diamond Award status. Mr. Riley has also owned and operated The West Dover Inn, an historic Vermont property, which he successfully repositioned as one of the leading destinations its market. Earlier Riley served as vice president and general manager of Hampshire Hospitality Group. He has also previously held leadership positions at the Equinox, The Fountainbleau Miami Beach and The Copley Plaza.
Catherine McKenna, CMP, CMM, has been appointed Director of Sales, North America, for Adare Manor, the five star castle hotel & golf resort located near Limerick, Ireland; and The K Club, the five star manor house estate, golf & spa resort near Dublin. In her new role, Ms. McKenna will focus on developing incentive & group business originating from the United States and Canada for both extraordinary properties, which serve as important venues for the group meetings segment. Ms. McKenna will operate out of offices in Chicago. Catherine McKenna was most recently director of global accounts for Peabody Hotels, responsible for a 16-state region throughout the Midwestern United States. In this role she successfully developed new business strategies, generating over $4 Million in annual revenues. She has previously served in senior-level sales positions for Destination Hotels & Resorts and Marriott Hotels and Resorts, at properties in Illinois and California. Ms. McKenna gained important destination sales and marketing experience through positions with Visit Charlotte, the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Charlotte, North Carolina; the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau; and the Evanston, Illinois, Convention and Visitors Bureau. In these roles, her sales strategies generated substantial travel revenues for each destination.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Today, Mercure, Accor’s brand of midscale hotels with individual styles and personalities, celebrated the opening of its first hotel in Russia, the Mercure Arbat Moscow. The hotel, which is owned by ARD, is operated by Accor under a management contract. The hotel is ideally located in the city’s historic district in a pedestrian street famous for its artists’ workshops, boutiques, cafés and restaurants. It has 109 rooms, including 18 Privilege rooms and four Suites. The hotel has a restaurant, “La Promenade”, which serves Franco-Russian dishes; a bar; a fitness center and meeting rooms. All of the hotel’s rooms have free Wi-Fi and tea and coffee making facilities. The Mercure Arbat Moscow is Accor’s twelfth hotel in Russia. The group has been in Russia since 1992 and is now among the top five hotel Group in the Russian market. Accor intends to continue and step up its expansion in the coming years. For the Mercure brand alone, it plans to open two other Mercure hotels in Russia by the end of the year, including one in Sochi, host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The introduction of the Mercure brand of non-standardized hotels will enable Accor to accelerate its expansion in this country. Accor intends to have a network of 50 hotels (nearly 10,000 rooms) by 2016 in the Russia-CIS region. The group currently has 14 hotels (3,500 rooms) in the region in Russia, Ukraine and Turkmenistan. It plans to expand into new countries, notably Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. The Sofitel, Novotel, ibis and now Mercure brands are already established in the region and the group also plans to launch Pullman and Adagio there in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Six Senses Resorts & Spas has signed a partnership with The Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland to develop and manage the hotel’s spa. Scheduled to open in December 2012, The Alpina Gstaad is set in the heart of the Bernese Alps and will offer an intimate and discreet haven for discerning local and international guests in search of an authentic and indulgent Alpine experience. With 56 rooms and suites, numerous possibilities for dining, relaxation and cultural enrichment, this boutique hotel will deliver a new level of distinction, while nurturing the local mountain traditions. The 2,000 sqm Six Senses Spa will be expertly integrated into the hotel’s cosy yet luxurious setting and its simple design will infuse the Alpine spirit of the surrounding environment with an Eastern flair, creating secluded, warm and natural ambience.
Thai-based Centara Hotels and Resorts will open two four-star properties in Sri Lanka this winter. The 126-room Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa will be located in Passekudah, east of Sri Lanka, while the 166-room Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa will open in Bentota, the oldest resort hub in the country, said Centara officials based in Bangkok. The Thai chain joins a plethora of hotel brands that are emerging in Sri Lanka during the post-war period, including Raffles, Sheraton, Marriott, Shangri-La, Six Senses and Movenpick. India’s ITC Hotels is also establishing a Luxury Collection property under Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
Visit our sponsors