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Hotel Industry News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
VingCard Elsafe, the global leader in hospitality security and part of the ASSA ABLOY Group, today announced the introduction of “Essence by VingCard,” an entirely new concept in locking design and technology, patent pending.
Essence takes minimalism to the extreme, eliminating all lock hardware on the door by encasing all electronic components inside the door itself and making security virtually invisible to hotel guests. Although undetectable on the door exterior, Essence by VingCard integrates VingCard Elsafe’s most advanced contactless locking solutions into the interior electronics, including Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC) compatible locking technologies. “Essence by VingCard represents another giant leap forward in hotel design and technology,” said Tim Shea, president of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality. “It not only makes the lock disappear from the hotel door, resolving design challenges for savvy, design-conscious hoteliers, but it also minimizes a variety of other operational issues, such as integration, installation and maintenance. It combines the very best aspects of design and security technology, and is just the type of innovation that the industry has come to expect from VingCard Elsafe.”
The US Department of Labour report for June 2012 reports that the economy added 80,000 new jobs in June. Unemployment remained unchanged at 8.2 percent with a small increase in the travel sector.
"The slowdown has also extended to the travel sector of the economy, where after creating more than 13,000 jobs per month in the first quarter, travel jobs edged up just 2,600 per month in the second quarter, including an increase of just 1,300 in June to 7.6 million. "Still, it is important to note that since the employment recovery began in March of 2011, the travel industry has created 271,000 new jobs and has created jobs at a pace that has been 26 percent faster than the rest of the economy. "Two reasons why employment growth in the travel sector has been outpacing the rest of the economy in recent years are that jobs in the travel industry cannot be outsourced abroad or easily replaced through automation. "With the travel industry more internationally engaged than most sectors of the economy, the current slowdown in employment growth has likely been due partly to the economic slowdown in Europe, which is why it is important for US policymakers to enact sensible long-term reforms that will make it easier for travellers from other areas of the world, such as Latin American and Asia, to visit the United States. And with the spending of every 33 overseas visitors supporting one US job, more visitors will equal more jobs in America."
Concordia captain claims he wasn't in charge when ship hit rocks.
The captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia claimed on Italian TV that another officer was in charge of the vessel when it hit rocks and capsized off the coast of Italy in January. Captain Francesco Schettino also claimed he was distracted by a phone call just before the accident, in which 32 people drowned. Schettino, who is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship while passengers and crew were still onboard, said in an interview with an Italian news programme that "destiny" had played a role in what was a "banal accident". The captain, who is accused of causing the accident by sailing too close to rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio, claimed in the interview that he had saved lives by steering the hulled ship to shallower waters nearer to the port before ordering an evacuation. Later this month a judge will hear further evidence in the case, including recordings from the ship's "black box", before deciding whether Schettino should stand trial.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Asia Pacific has appointed Mr Marc Landgraf to oversee the management and operations of the Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and Spa, effective July 1, 2012. The property, which officially becomes the Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa on November 3, is currently being upgraded and is located in a idyllic beachfront location on a quiet peninsula of Phi Phi Island, midway between Phuket and Krabi in the inner Andaman Sea. Prior to joining Outrigger, Landgraf was General Manager of the Cape Panwa Hotel & Spa in Phuket. He also had successful periods as Group Director of Sales at Aleenta Resorts and Spas, and as General Manager of the Paradise Koh Yao, boutique resort and spa, both in Thailand. His 17-year hospitality industry experience includes senior roles in resorts in the Dominican Republic, serviced apartments in Brussels and with Sodexho Catering and Services in Luxembourg and France.
The PuLi Hotel and Spa is pleased to announce Michael Wilson as the newly appointed Head Chef of the hotel’s signature restaurant Jing’An, adding a touch of exclusivity to the restaurant’s celebrated culinary line-up. Hailing from Australia and Melbourne’s critically acclaimed dining institution Cutler and Co., Chef Wilson will be bringing international flare to the 120-seat restaurant located on the second floor of the hotel overlooking the serene Jing An park. Trained under renowned chef Andrew McConnell, Chef Wilson thrived within the creative environment of the 2010 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide’s ‘Best Restaurant’, Cutler and Co., grooming him for the Head Chef role at The PuLi’s purely epicurean Jing’An restaurant. “I am thrilled to explore all of Shanghai’s culinary offerings,” says Wilson. “The new menu will blend Asian influences with International flavors, highlighting fresh ingredients indigenous to Shanghai.”
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Marriott International has signed an agreement with Weligama Hotel Properties Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of East West Properties PLC, to open a hotel in Sri Lanka, the Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa in 2014 — this will be Marriott’s first property on the Indian Ocean island. The 200-room, 11-storey Marriott Weligama Resort and Spa, will be operated under Marriott’s flagship Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand. Weligama, located 144km from Colombo is a popular tourist destination renowned for its sandy beaches. Famous for its stilt-fishermen perched on a cross bar of a single pole planted into the sea bed, this attraction has been captured in every corner of the world depicting Sri Lanka as a preferred destination of choice for travellers from all over the world.
The Legian Bali reopened on June 1, 2012 following a four-month makeover. Natural light, easy airflow, prime ocean views and inviting green space were all on the agenda as the hotel underwent its most extensive facelift since opening in 1996. The 68-room resort now boasts a new 30-metre infinity lap pool and beachfront sun deck, freshly landscaped gardens, improved lighting in half of its guestrooms, and upgraded views of the Indian Ocean from its private, three-bedroom Beach House. In the first of two stages of renovations, improvement works were focused on the guest rooms. The plumbing was fixed for better temperature control, the air circulation systems were recalibrated, and new lighting was installed on the terraces. The resort's exclusive Beach House was the recipient of a new 20m2 terrace with sunbeds, accessible from the master bedroom, which was also rearranged for better ocean views. More windows were installed to allow more sunlight into the building, while the living room was opened up with two walls of transparent folding doors – giving guests the option to enjoy 180-degree panoramic views. The new infinity pool, the highlight of the refurbishment, was built from the ground up closer to the shoreline than the resort's two other oases. Meanwhile, the new deck space fronting the Ocean Bar delivers peerless views of the sunset.
Last week’s unveiling of the yet-to-be completed The Shard was good news for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, the Hong Kong luxury hotel group which has signed a 30-year lease agreement, its first property in London. The 202-room Shangri-La, accessed by a dedicated entrance at street level, will occupy floors 34 to 52 inside the cone of the "Shard of Glass". The 70-storey building also includes shops, offices, restaurants, residential accommodation and public viewing galleries offering views of the capital. Shangri-La guests, when the hotel opens next year, will enter a double height lobby with uninterrupted London views. Guestrooms, averaging more than 42 sqm, will be amongst the largest in London. Twenty-five suites will feature glass-enclosed "wintergarden" balconies. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano with 95% of the construction materials said to be recycled, The Shard is the 59th tallest building in the world, the tallest being the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. '¨ It is joint-owned by the state of Qatar and the Sellar Property Group.
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