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Hotel Industry News In Brief
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Budget furniture retailer Ikea wants to develop at least 100 budget hotels across Europe, according to published reports.
Inter Ikea, which owns Ikea’s intellectual property rights, is looking to build “budget design” hotels in markets including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany. The hotels will be run by an established hotel operator and will not feature the Ikea name. The first location for the new concept, in Germany, is expected to be announced within a few weeks.
US hotel fees, surcharges to hit record in 2012: NYU.
Following the record US$1.85 billion amount collected in 2011, total fees and surcharges collected by U.S. hotels are increasing again in 2012, forecast to total a new record of US$1.95 billion, according to a new report from the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management at New York University. The increase reflects a combination of 3.5% more occupied hotel rooms than in 2011, plus higher fees and surcharge amounts at many hotels, especially resorts. Fewer hotels will have newly introduced fees and surcharges. There were no reported new fees and surcharge categories introduced in 2011, so the increase is primarily attributed to increases in the amounts charged, the introduction of fees and surcharges for some hotels, and an increase in the number of occupied rooms of almost 5%. Fees and surcharges emerged as an industry practice in about 1997 with resort fees (one of the first resort fee was titled, “amenities tariff”). Energy surcharges were introduced for a short period in 2000. Fees and surcharges have increased every year except for periods following 2001 and 2008 when lodging demand declined. Although the lodging industry initiated fees and surcharges before the airline industry, the airline industry collects significantly more than the lodging industry. Examples of fees and surcharges include: resort or amenity fees, early departure fees, early reservation cancellation fees, internet fees, telephone call surcharges, business center fees (i.e. charges for receiving faxes and sending/receiving overnight packages), room service delivery surcharges, mini-bar restocking fees, charges for in-room safes, and automatic gratuities and surcharges. For groups, there have been increased charges for bartenders and other staff at events; special charges for set-up and breakdown of meeting rooms; fees for master folio billing; and baggage holding fees for guests leaving luggage with bell staff after checking out of a hotel but before departure. Most fees and surcharges are highly profitable; most have incremental profitability of 80% to 90% or more.
Israeli hotels return to a star system after more than two decades.
The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee today reinstituted hotel star rating, after more than 20 years during which Israeli hotels were not rated according to the standard international stars system. The committee approved regulations for rating hotels according to 267 criteria, including breakfast, fitness rooms, children’s activities, quality control, and swimming pools. The regulations will come into effect within eight months, but will not apply to bed & breakfasts or apartment hotels. Although Israeli hotels were not rated by the star rating system, this has not prevented travel agencies from marketing them to local and foreign tourists on the basis of ratings as the agencies saw fit, without any official sanction. Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov said that the approval was a historic step for consumers, which would lower room prices in Israel.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce the appointment of Christopher Olivera as Corporate Director of Communications for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, effective immediately. An accomplished communications professional within the hospitality and luxury goods industries, Olivera brings over 20 years of experience to Rosewood. Most recently, he was Managing Director of Marketing Communications and Vice President of Corporate Communications for Le Méridien Group. Previously, he spent seven years as the Vice President of Communications for Smith & Hawken. He began his career with MWW Global as a branding communications strategist, managing a portfolio of clients including Neiman-Marcus Group, Tiffany & Company and Williams-Sonoma. In this role, Olivera will oversee all brand communications and corporate initiatives for Rosewood. Additionally, he will be responsible for managing the brand’s social media strategy, as well as all of Rosewood’s public relations agencies worldwide.
The St. Regis Atlanta, an unparalleled in-town resort located in the elegant enclave of Buckhead, today announced the appointment of Mr. Senih Geray to the position of General Manager, effective August 13, 2012. General Manager Senih Geray is a seasoned hotelier who most recently served as General Manager of The St. Regis Aspen Resort & Residences, where he successfully led that hotel for the past five and a half years. Mr. Geray has excellent experience with both the St. Regis Brand and luxury resorts. Previously Mr. Geray served as General Manager for the Sheraton Voyager Antalya Hotel, Resort & Spa in Turkey from 2002 to 2006, and worked at The St. Regis New York from 1994 to 2002 in various capacities ending as the Director of Finance. He started his career in the hospitality industry at the Sheraton Grande Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California in 1989.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Hilton Brisbane marked the occasion of its 25th anniversary by unveiling a completed $38-million refurbishment across the entire hotel. In one of the single biggest investments made by any of Brisbane's CBD hotels, Hilton Brisbane spent more than $14 million since January 2011, upgrading every aspect of its facilities. Hilton Brisbane first opened on Nov. 10, 1986 as the Brisbane International Hilton. It has been the longest running five-star hotel in Brisbane. The property now has new 319 deluxe and executive rooms; a new flagship restaurant and bar, Vintaged Bar + Grill, which has recently been awarded a Chef's Hat in the Queensland Good Food Guide; a business center with three new boardrooms; and a reinvigorated porte-cochere entrance which features Brisbane's biggest video wall with a three-meter by five-meter digital display. Hilton Brisbane was originally designed by one of the founders of modernist design in Australia, Harry Seidler. Designer Mark Landini oversaw the refurbishments. This is the only hotel Harry Seidler designed in Australia. The renovation is part of a larger scope of major projects by individual hotels above standard annual capital expenditures across the global portfolio of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide. Beginning in 2011, the projects currently total more than $3 billion during a three-year period.
Malmaison is refurbishing the vacant Tay Hotel, a listed city centre landmark constructed in 1889 in the Scottish coastal town of Dundee. Interserve, the international support services and construction group, was appointed as main contractor of the refurbishment project to create the new Dundee Malmaison hotel. Work commenced in June and completion is scheduled in 12 months. The project forms part of the $1.5-billion Dundee Central Waterfront Development, which is part of the city's multi-billion dollar regeneration of its historic waterfront that will include the new $70-million Victoria & Albert museum. The structure is being redeveloped to create an international standard lifestyle boutique hotel. It will comprise a bar/lounge area with whisky snug and wine cellar, a restaurant with a private dining room and wine tasting, and 91 bedrooms and suites. As part of the conservation project, Interserve will replace sash and casement windows and timber shutters, repair a feature lead dome on the building's roof, make good stonework, refurbish a feature staircase and cupola located on the stairs' landing and replace or redress Scottish slates on the building's mansard roof. In addition, the existing structures and fire escape staircase in the atrium were rotten and had collapsed; the company is required to rebuild these. Malmaison's new hotel in Dundee is due to open in May 2013.
Hualuxe, a hotel brand designed for Chinese travellers that was introduced by InterContinental Hotels Group in March, has signed management contracts for eight hotels in China. The hotels range from 282 to 400 guestrooms and include properties in Shanghai and Beijing. The new hotels are expected to open between 2014 and 2016, and all are signed with owners who are working with IHG for the first time, IHG said. IHG says the brand will “focus on the unique aspects of Chinese etiquette, the importance of rejuvenation, status recognition and enabling spaces that reflect local customs and heritage.” IHG intends to make Hualuxe an international brand.
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