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Mounting anti-Japanese sentiments resulting from a territorial row between China and Japan over the ownership of a cluster of five islands have caused many would-be tourists in Chinese cities to cancel trips to Japan for the upcoming eight-day national holidays.
Tensions between the two countries neared boiling point when the Tokyo governor announced intentions in early September to purchase the islands, known as Diaoyutai in China and Senkaku in Japan, from a Japanese landowner. On September 11, China Comfort Travel Group, one of the country's largest travel agencies for Japan-bound group tours, announced that it would halt its plan to bring 50,000 tourists to Japan, which had earlier been arranged to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the normalisation of China-Japan relations. The company's 220 branches and 5,500 offices across the country had stopped organising tours to Japan and the company would refund all expenses to its clients, said Li Jilie, chairman of China Comfort Travel Group. China National Tourism Administration had also cancelled its delegation to Japan for the JATA Tourism Forum & Travel Showcase last week. A representative of China International Travel Service (CITS) said the company's Beijing office had cancelled all tours to Japan for the national holidays. As the dispute is ongoing, the representative is unsure when Japan-bound tours will be resumed or the extent of impact the move will have on business.
While the eyes of the entertainment world were on the Emmys ceremony in Los Angeles this weekend, the outstanding Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort picked up one of Portugal's ‘national tourism Oscars' at the Publituris Portugal Travel Awards.
The award for best golf course in Portugal was presented to officials from the resort at a gala ceremony held in Coimbra. It was the latest in a stream of recent accolades for the resort which has also been acclaimed the best ‘Private Rehabilitation Project' by Turismo de Portugal, named the country's second-best course by readers of Today's Golfer magazine, become a new entry, at 26th, in Golf World's poll of the Top 100 European Golf Courses, and listed as the third best course in Portugal by Golf Digest, the number one distributed sports title in the USA - and all a little more than a year after being opened. The latest honour was bestowed upon the Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed course by the country's tourism professionals and it was in good company, as other award winners included TAP, Portugal's national airline, easyJet, Europcar, the Sheraton Algarve and Vila Gale Hotels. Onyria Palmares' operations general director, António Pinto Coelho, said: "The Publituris Portugal Travel Awards are known in the industry as the ‘national tourism Oscars' and to be acclaimed by your peers is especially gratifying. There are some truly outstanding, world-renowned golf courses in Portugal and to be recognised as the best is very special."
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Park Place has promoted Carmin Blair to General Manager of the hotel located at 55 Parkstone Place, Jackson, TN 38305. Ms. Blair is an experienced hospitality industry professional with a track record of exceeding goals, boosting sales and increasing revenue without compromising service. She was promoted from Assistant General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Park Place, and prior to that held various positions in the industry in the MidSouth area. Ms. Blair earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Mississippi.
International hotel chain AZIMUT announces the appointment of chief operational officer. Sebastian Kraemer takes over the COO of the united management company AZIMUT Hotels, which operates in Russia, Germany and Austria. Under his responsibility will be further optimization of processes & structures, improvement of standards & awareness and increasing of financial performances. Sebastian Kraemer started his career in the hospitality industry in 1983 with a professional apprenticeship in Germany. He worked in several positions starting from waiter until F&B Manager. Since 1997 he's been holding executive positions at hotels at major hotel chains: Dorint-Sofitel, Kempinski, Starwood, Rocco Forte Hotels, The Three Sisters Hotel. Mr. Kraemer joined us from Reikartz Hotel Group where he successfully developed in the same position a Ukrainian hotel chain. Mr. Kramer graduated from Hotel & Tourism Management Academy Koblenz, Germany. Mr. Kraemer speaks German, English, Russian and French.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
The Palazzo Versace resort on Queensland's Gold Coast in Australia has reportedly been sold for A$68.5 million (US$71.6 million) by Sunland Group to two Chinese companies - one in construction and the other in travel with control of at least three other hotels. The Australian reported that about A$80 million (US$83 million)was initially expected for the Palazzo Versace, which Sunland Group sold because it wants to concentrate on residential property development on the east coast. A portion of the proceeds is supposed to be used to repay about A$27.4 (US$28.6) million of debt on the 200-suite property. Chinese investors are buying Australian hotels and resorts as a result of the boom in leisure arrivals from China. Data shows Chinese arrivals rose a record 19.4% in June and 16.7% for the financial year, to 583,200, becoming Australia's third-largest inbound market. In April, Chinese cable TV magnate William Han paid about A$12 million (US$12.5 million) for Lindeman Island. Han is creating a two-year redevelopment plan for the island, which includes using his cable TV golf channel to market the property to Chinese holidaymakers. Another Chinese group, Nanjing-based Fullshare, is also developing Whisper Bay resort near Airlie Beach, which is being billed as an upscale resort.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide opened the Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central. At nearly 4,000 rooms, it is the largest hotel in Starwood's global portfolio and the biggest hotel to open in Macau. Consisting of two towers overlooking the Cotai Strip development, the hotel is home to the world's largest Sheraton Club Lounge, a main ballroom the size of more than 11 basketball courts, more than 160,000 square feet of meeting space, three signature restaurants and three outdoor pools with poolside cafes. Sheraton currently operates 95 hotels in Asia Pacific and expects to reach nearly 150 hotels by 2016.
The Sheraton New York Hotel is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a US$160 renovation. The redesign updated the property's 1,780 guestrooms and its public areas. The final phase of the project will renovate the hotel's meeting spaces this December. Guestrooms and suites have been given a modern, sophisticated new décor with completely renovated bathrooms. Chaise lounges convert to beds, and guests can turn on the heat or air conditioning year-round with an energy-efficient four-pipe HVAC system. The hotel now features a new fitness centre, as well. The Club Lounge, located on the 44th floor, has expanded seating capacity, many power outlets for business travellers, televisions, and an integrated business centre.
Hotel Leelaventure, Mumbai, India, is planning to launch a 5-star brand Essence by India, via third-party management deals. Vivek Nair, vice chairman and managing director, told New York Daily News that the group is looking to establish six to eight hotels under the brand and "we are looking at tier-two towns. Hotels under the new brand will have 100 or more rooms."
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