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Hotel Industry News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Hotels are still holding on to money-saving habits developed over the past few years, always on the lookout for ways to trim their budget while remaining effective.
That is why the use of radio-frequency identification microchips in hotel uniforms and linens are taking off as a money-saving investment. The chips are designed to track the movement of uniforms or linens to and from washing areas in order to cut down on unnecessary washes, lengthening the life of most fabrics. “The chips themselves outlast the garments,” said William Beatty, linen manager for the Revel Atlantic City. “One of the biggest benefits these chips give us is that it keeps our billing straight. The old system of using bar codes and manually counting linens is out.”The software packaged with the chips allows the hotel to build an individual history with items, allowing it to track them based on the number of times they have been washed and worn and replacing them as they wear down. It also allows the hotel to keep track of loaned uniforms between employees, and better maintain a uniform quality of items. “Using this software has helped cut our losses, and helps us identify those losses better,” Beatty said. “The F&B sector is a bigger culprit than the others thanks to damage to the linens and other things, and now we can track when to replace them or compare them with hard numbers against other linens of the same category. The trick is to build a history with your product, that way you can watch as it develops.” The newest chips used are Ultra High Frequency RFID tags, which allow operators to scan an entire laundry cart from up to 10 feet away. Installation of the system involves the placement of antennas in checkpoint areas for the tags, and minimal training.
The current PTM offers a major change compared to previous shows: Chinese are almost completely absent from the venue with just two sellers from China PRC being registered and a couple more from Macau and Hong Kong. The reason: worsening relations with the Philippines due to a row over a few islets lost somewhere in the South China Sea. Sounds familiar? Yes, indeed. Last week, China had also cancelled its participation at JATA Travel Mart (Japan Association of Travel Agencies) in Tokyo due to the row with its neighbour over another group of unhabited Islets lost somewhere in the East China Sea.
The absence of China at PTM is of course a major blow for PATA but little could be done to attract back Chinese buyers according to Martin Craigs, PATA CEO in an interview to PTM Official Daily.
“That was their decision and we obviously can’t reverse it” he was quoted. It also explains why the PTM was officially opened by PATA Vice Chairman Rick Anderson from Tourism Vancouver instead of the PATA Chairman João Manuel Costa Antunes, also Head of Macau Tourism. It might also send the wrong message to the tourism community. Over the last five years, China has mirrored to Asia –and the rest of the world- all the benefits to open up to Chinese outbound travellers. It is indeed difficult to resist to the possible financial boon that can bring over 70 million of travellers, especially known as enthusiastic consumers of luxury goods and services. But there is also a darker side to it. China found in its 70 million of outbound travellers a new weapon of leverage over other countries. Excepted that the ideology has been replaced by harmless tourists armed only of their cameras and credit cards… But their power is as destructive as any weapon. As soon as political or economic tensions arise between the powerful Asian giant and its neighbours, China officials advise its citizens to avoid visiting one country or another. They never called officially to a boycott but travel companies in China are keen to show their commitment to please China’s political nomenclature. Economic consequences are generally felt immediately. In the past, places such as Macau or Taiwan have already learned that it could be unwise to oppose the big brother. It is now the turn of Japan and the Philippines to experience a downturn in tourism as China’s tour operators and inviduals started to boycott both destinations.
HeBS Digital is proud to be the recipient of two 2012 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, recognizing HeBS Digital for their innovative and industry-leading website design and multichannel marketing campaigns.
Two Silver Magellan Awards were earned for the Shell Vacations Hospitality Black Friday Travel Sale and Revere Hotel (Northwood Hospitality) websites. HeBS Digital received the following 2012 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards:
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
The Rezidor Hotel Group today announced the appointment of Wolfgang M. Neumann as President & Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2013. Neumann currently serves as Rezidor’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. He succeeds Kurt Ritter, President & Chief Executive Officer since 1989, who is retiring at the end of the year. Wolfgang M. Neumann joined Rezidor in May 2011. As he prepares to assume the CEO role, he stated: “I am honoured to succeed Kurt Ritter, and look forward to leading Rezidor in our ambitious Route 2015 strategy. We will continue to focus on meeting the needs of our guests, owners and shareholders while building with our team members on the unique culture of this dynamic company.” Wolfgang M. Neumann (50) was born in Austria. He was educated at the Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management in Klessheim, Austria; and attended Senior Executive Management Courses at INSEAD Management School in France and Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. He spent more than 20 years with Hilton Hotels & Resorts and held various operational and corporate positions including: President, United Kingdom and Ireland, and President, Europe and Africa. Prior to joining Rezidor, Neumann served as the Chief Executive Officer for Arabella Hospitality Group in Munich, Germany.
Hilton Worldwide today announced that John Rogers has joined Embassy Suites as global head of the all-suite, upper upscale, full-service brand. In this position, Rogers will oversee all aspects of brand management including global development, brand performance support, brand marketing and PR, brand sales, revenue management and franchise owner relations. Rogers will be based at Hilton Worldwide’s global headquarters in McLean, VA. Rogers joins Embassy Suites from Hilton in the United Kingdom, which he joined in 2007. He most recently served as regional vice president, overseeing 30 hotels as well as Hilton’s Livingwell leisure clubs and Hilton Spa operations across Europe. His prior accomplishments while in this role include the introduction of three new Hilton brands (Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton) into the UK, the roll-out of four new restaurant concepts and the development and implementation of a revised operating model within the division.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
DoubleTree by Hilton today announced the opening of its second property in Romania, in the historic city of Oradea. The upscale and full-service DoubleTree by Hilton brand, which now features more than 300 hotels globally, brings internationally branded accommodation to Oradea for the first time. Guests of the newly built 147-bedroom hotel will be able to enjoy local visitor attractions, including Canon’s Row, the Moon Church, and the Queen Mary Theatre. For business travelers, DoubleTree by Hilton Oradea will offer some of the best corporate facilities in the area, including four meeting rooms and the Varadinium Ballroom, hosting from 10 and 350 delegates; as well as a business center, state-of-the-art technology and high speed internet access.
The next step in Rosewood Hotels & Resorts®’ ambitious Asia expansion plan will be the end-2014 opening of Rosewood Phuket, as the second Rosewood property in Asia following Rosewood Beijing’s Summer 2013 opening. The resort, including 87 villas, 20 residences and six hideaway homes, will be located on the 1,968-foot (600-metre) Emerald Bay beachfront in Western Phuket, one of the island’s last remaining areas for a secluded beach resort enclave. Here, Rosewood’s A Sense of Place® philosophy will celebrate the landscape, culture and sensibilities of its special new home.
Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris will debut its private cigar lounge, Le Club Viñales, this fall. The lounge offers bespoke leather armchairs, art books, international magazines, and a members-only private terrace. Le Club Viñales plans to strictly limit membership, which will include a key to a private humidor and gifts of cognacs, whiskies, and accessories during the first few months of membership. In addition, members will have access to exclusive concierge service, cocktails, invitations to private tastings and additional benefits when using the hotel’s restaurants and accommodations.
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