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Hotel Industry News In Brief
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Kuoni Travel and Nuffield Health have revealed 84 per cent of British holidaymakers claim holidays are worth more to them in terms of wellbeing than the money they spend on them.
The UK's largest healthcare charity and Kuoni Travel surveyed 2,845 UK adults between 14 April to 30 June 2012 to find out how a holiday can help to alleviate the effects that everyday life has on the public's mental and physical wellbeing. The research showed that taking a break can improve people's lives in four key ways:
These benefits explain why almost a third (32 per cent) of Britons say that every pound they spend on a holiday is worth 2-4 times more to them in terms of wellbeing, 21 per cent say it's worth 5-7 times more, more than a quarter (27 per cent) say that its worth 8-10 times more, and 4 per cent say it's worth over 11 times more. Interestingly, of those surveyed, 67 per cent said it took up to four days to stop worrying about work, this breaks down into:
From July 27 until July 29, hoteliers across London reported 84.4% occupancy and £224.72 (US$351.72) average room rates, according to new data from STR Global.
“Hotel performance is strong, London hotels are busy. Some but not all are full — there is room in the inn but overall hotels are in a good position,” said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. Historically, Olympic host cities do not sell out, Randall said. Reviewing hotel performance over the past four summer games, back to 1996 in Atlanta, none of the host cities’ occupancy surpassed 90% for the months in which the Olympics occurred, according to STR Global. “During a normal period, hoteliers are able to anticipate demand based on known trends and can therefore plan for short-notice demand to supplement cancellations and no-shows,” Randall said. “When an international event comes to town, these variables are more difficult to control or predict.” Occupancy has been trailing behind last year for most of June and July. Recent days' occupancy achieved around 85%. The Docklands/Greenwich submarket achieved the highest occupancy for the Olympic period through 29 July with 94.9%, followed by the West End with 89.0%. Knightsbridge/Pimlico/Victoria achieved the highest ADR for the Olympic period through 29 July with £399.20 (US$622.24), followed by the West End with £329.27 (US$513.24).
Around 130 new hotels opened in HCM City in the first half of 2012, mostly of the one and two-star classification, with an average of 10 rooms in the former and 20 in the latter, according to the City’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
In 2011, Ho Chi Minh City had 860 hotels. In just a year time, Vietnam’s economic centre has seen total accommodation growing to 1,000 hotels offering over 28,900 rooms. In terms of upscale accommodation options, the city has approximately 26 four- and five-star hotels in operation. They offer respectively some 4,300 five-star and 1,400 four-star rooms. The occupancy rate at three- to five-star hotels in the first six months was 67%, a drop of three percentage points from the same period last year, and the average room rent was VND 1.95 million (US$85) per night. In another development, HCMC city authorities announced that 35 new tour operators and travel agencies providing international services opened in the first six months of the year. Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City brought last year a total of 3.5 million visitors. From this number, 2.65 million travelled by air, up by 6% over 2010 with largest foreign incoming markets being the United States, Japan and China. Tourism generates around US$ 2.75 billion revenue and represents some 11% of the city’s GDP. Despite expecting 3.8 million visitors for 2012, budget for tourism promotion from the city administration remained unchanged compared to 2011, topping approximately US$ 530,000.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has appointed Tom Garcia vice president of operations. Tom Garcia was most recently vice president and regional manager for Noble House Hotels & Resorts, responsible for operational oversight of properties on both US coasts and in the Midwest. Prior to this appointment, he was managing director and regional manager for the company. Mr. Garcia has held leadership positions at several landmark properties and for leading hospitality brands within the United States, including hotels and resorts in Dallas, Houston, Lake Tahoe, Phoenix, Key West, as well as properties within the Caribbean. These assignments included general manager, regional vice president and executive director of food & beverage positions.
Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hospitality company and a member of Dubai Holding, announces the appointment of Donald Bremner as the Hotel Manager for newly opened Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, where he will assist General Manager Klaus Assmann. Donald Bremner joined Jumeirah in 2006 as Director of Front Office Services for Jumeirah Essex House in New York. He then moved to Dubai where he worked as the Director of Development, and later as the Asset Manager for Longwing Asset Management, a subsidiary of Jumeirah Group. In 2011 he joined the pre-opening team for Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. Prior to joining the Jumeirah Group, Donald worked in a number of different positions such as Operations Analyst for Eastern USA and the Caribbean for Six Continents Hotels in New York. He has also worked for InterContinental in San Juan, Puerto Rico and The Barclay in New York.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
DoubleTree by Hilton proudly announces a fresh chapter in the life of the DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan New York City. The historic, upscale full-service hotel in New York, New York, features all-new guestrooms and 12,000 square feet of newly-renovated meeting space. This iconic, 764-room property, perfectly located at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 51st Street in Midtown’s fashionable East Side, is an original design by American architecture maverick, Morris Lapidus. Lapidus broke convention and turned the well-established Midtown grid on its head in 1962 with a design that boasted unusual color, stainless steel design and gentle “Z” shape to increase natural daylight in each room. The newly completed transformation project features interior design that celebrates the Morris Lapidus legacy and incorporates Lapidus-inspired geometric patterns and forms throughout the hotel, from furniture arrangements to carpet patterns. Dramatic upgrades to the hotel’s guestrooms recall the mid-century origin of the building with warm wood tones and stylish, functional furniture, along with brand new window treatments, decorative light fixtures and Lapidus-inspired carpets and wall coverings. Luxurious enhancements to guest bathrooms include all-new tile, plumbing fixtures, lighting and bath accessories.
The Okura Prestige Taipei opens August 3rd as the newest addition to international luxury hotel group Okura Hotels & Resorts. Located in the Zhongshan district in central Taipei, Taiwan, the hotel exemplifies modern architecture with seven stories underground and 18 above ground. The upper floors offer breathtaking city and mountain views. The hotel’s prime location provides easy access around Taipei. It is a 15-minute drive from the international airport and a five-minute walk to the metro station, only one stop from the Taipei Main Station. Business and leisure travelers alike can enjoy the area’s parks and gardens, high-end shopping, a variety of dining options and tourist attractions, including the Martyrs Shrine and Fine Arts Museum. The Okura Prestige Taipei combines elegant oriental and occidental décor in its 208 extra-spacious guestrooms (about 470 square feet), with many modern amenities. The bathrooms are particularly luxurious: separate commode with shower toilet; separate shower area with rain shower and a television.
Four Seasons is expanding the more adventurous part of its operation with its first foray into sub-Saharan Africa and the region’s renowned wildlife safaris, a very popular luxury vacation niche that has traditionally been very fragmented among small independent or quasi-independent luxury camps, with Fairmont Hotels as the only major global hotel brand operating safari lodge properties, with three in Kenya and two in South Africa – until now. The company just took on management of Bilila Lodge, an existing resort in the famed Serengeti National Park, which will be significantly upgraded and re-launched as the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania this fall (2012). Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spanning 5,700 square miles. It features the largest concentration of plains animals in Africa, and while many safari destinations vary seasonally, it offering visitors some the best game viewing drives all year-round, with the famously huge migrating herds of wildebeest, zebra, antelope and gazelle as well as lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffalo, rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, crocodiles and abundant birdlife.
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