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Hotel Industry News In Brief
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BBC World News notes Scandic’s work on accessibility
Scandic’s groundbreaking work with accessibility issues, i.e. how the hotels function for guests with disabilities, has attracted the attention of international media. Last Saturday, BBC World News showed wheelchair bound, British journalist Frank Gardner’s trip to Stockholm. Hotel Scandic Victoria Tower in Kista, Stockhom, was selected for its holistic approach to accessibility. The task of the BBC-team during the trip was to find out what it’s like to travel and stay at a hotel in Stockholm for a person with a disability. The program follows the legendary BBC-reporter Frank Gardner, who was injured during a mission to Saudi Arabia and has been confined to a wheelchair since 2004. Scandic Victoria Tower, which opened in September 2011, was the team’s chosen accommodation in Stockholm. Scandic’s Accessibility Ambassador, Magnus Berglund, participated and talked about Scandic’s work with accessibility issues.
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Holiday Purchasing Patterns Market Assessment 2012" report to their offering.
In recent years, a number of factors have affected holiday purchasing, including political upheavals in the Middle East, increasing concerns over the Eurozone debt crisis, rising Air Passenger Duty (APD), changes to the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) scheme and the extension of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to include the aviation industry. As a result, Key Note estimates that the overseas holiday market fell to a value of £21.3bn in 2011, down 10.9% from 2007. Meanwhile, in terms of volume, trips abroad fell from 45.4 million to 36.3 million over the past 5 years. Although the domestic holiday sector accounted for a much smaller proportion of the overall holiday market in the UK, unlike the overseas trade, an increase of 2.9% was observed between 2007 and 2011 from £14bn to £14.4bn in terms of value; while the number of trips within the UK rose by 4.2% from 76.8 million to 80 million during the same 5-year period. This reflects the growing popularity of the 'staycation', which has been observed in the UK in recent years, following the ongoing economic crisis, which resulted in many consumers seeking cheaper holiday options, often within the country. Another growing trend within the UK industry is the preference for purchasing holidays independently, with many consumers now preferring to seek out cheaper deals themselves via the Internet, either by using dynamic packaging or by purchasing separate components of a holiday from different operators, in order to find the cheapest price. This has led to a decline in the number of high-street travel agents operating within the UK, with figures from BP Travel Marketing Services suggesting that the number of travel stores had declined by 24% since 2005 from 8,000 to around 6,000 in 2011.
For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/qlnssw/holiday_purchasing
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Christopher Ivy has joined Interstate Hotels & Resorts as executive vp, development and acquisitions. In his new position, Ivy will focus on sourcing business development projects within the select-service sector. Ivy will report to Interstate's chief investment officer Leslie Ng. Ivy joins Interstate from Hyatt Hotels Corporation where he most recently was senior vp, real estate and development and oversaw a department that was responsible for the development of Hyatt-branded hotels in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
Windsor Capital Group (WCG Hotels) has appointed Paul Francisco COO, effective Sept. 10. WCG Hotels owns and manages 20 properties in 11 states. Its hotel management arm, Windsor Management Services, provides full-service management for upscale, branded properties. Francisco joins WCG Hotels from John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, where he served as regional VP of operations for five years. He oversaw the operations for 16 hotels with nearly 800,000 sq. ft. of meeting, convention and exposition space. The brands under his purview while at John Q. Hammons included Embassy Suites, Marriott, Renaissance, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Casablanca welcomes Sofitel. For the first time, Sofitel is to open its doors in Casablanca, Morocco's economic capital, with Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche. The glass building designed by Belgian architect Patrick Guénard reflects the breath of modernity that the country's largest city is currently experiencing. Situated at the heart of the business district the 24-story hotel stands out in the skyline. Frenchmen Marc Hertrich and Nicolas Adnet were given the job of decorating its interior. The pair have managed to ingeniously mix clean lines with Moorish trimmings. The innovatively designed 141 bedrooms and 30 suites all have a view of the white city. The hotel also offers a variety of dining possibilities. Mourad Mahfoud, Moroccan chef of L'Arabesque restaurant, who trained in Paris, subtly combines French cuisine with local seasonal products in this gastronomic restaurant. L'Atelier Oriental mixes flavours from the Maghreb, Arabia, Persia and Asia. The La Casart bar is the latest addition to Casablanca's reputable night life. The bar lounge is dedicated to art, and its paintings and sculptures fit in perfectly with the decor, in particular René Caussanel's mural "Jaune Soleil" (Yellow Sun). Finally, resembling the apartments on the New-York roof-tops, the Penthouse situated on the 24th floor is a prestigious villa on the hotel rooftop, with protected access. The exclusive suite is breathtakingly decorated and has a 120m² terrace with an unobstructed view of the city.
Ahn Luh signs contract on its first beach resort. Ahn Luh, China’s most ambitious new hotel management company, signed a deal this month to manage a 100-room, island hotel on Xunliao Bay near Shenzhen. Ahn Luh and the hotel’s owner, Huidong County Daya Bay Delta Island Club, expect to open the resort in 2016. Located on Delta Island, a private, 105-square kilometre tract 2.5 hours’ drive from Shenzhen, the new hotel plans to distinguish itself as the country’s first independent hotel group that trades on distinctive, Chinese design and a service culture faithful to its Chinese roots amidst today’s modern influences. The 20,000-square-metre property will feature an all-day dining Asian restaurant with an emphasis on Chinese cuisine, a beach bar, a tai chi centre with a resident tai chi master, an Ahn Luh spa and an Ahn Luh Library. Renowned for its clear waters, white sand and remarkable rock formations, Delta Island will be home to Anh Luh’s first beach resort and will stand as the second property in the hotel group’s fledgling portfolio. In May, the group announced plans for its first property, Ahn Luh Dujiangyan, a boutique hotel to be located near UNESCO World Heritage assets in Sichuan province. The Ahn Luh brand celebrates a fusion of Old World Chinese aesthetics and contemporary elegance. In its service, architectural design and interior décor, the brand intertwines tradition and modernity to present an original, upscale concept that appeals to up-and-coming Chinese today. The Ahn Luh Hotel Management Co. Ltd was borne of a vision shared by Chairman Duan Qiang of Beijing Tourism Group, Whitney Duan of Great Ocean Group and Adrian Zecha of GHM Holdings. Mr. Pan Jun, Chairman and CEO of Delta Island Club and Mr. Douglas Zhao, Chairman from Ahn Luh attended a signing ceremony on the new deal Aug. 11.
The 412-room Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur has opened here, marking the Grand Hyatt brand's entry into Malaysia. Located in Kuala Lumpur's city center and adjacent to the local convention center, the hotel is in walking distance to the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin buildings ever built in the world, as well as the shopping and entertainment district known as the Golden Triangle. The hotel features three dining options, a full-service spa, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool and more than 35,500 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, including a pillar-free grand ballroom. The property was designed by the firm of Bilkey Llinas Design. Guestrooms are unusually large for the Asia-Pacific region, starting at 505 sq. ft.
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