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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
All of those shiny new amenities you've seen at your hotel lately - fitness equipment, flat-screen TVs and redesigned lobbies - are part of a trend at hotels across the country.
Hotels are expected to spend $5 billion on improvements in 2012, a 33% increase over 2011, according to Bjorn Hanson, a dean at New York University's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. The spending still falls below the high mark of 2008, when the hotel business was booming and the industry spent $5.5 billion. What are hotels spending all that money on? The added amenities include redesigned rooms, new bedding and beds, high-speed Internet access, flat-screen TVs, renovated restaurants and upgraded exercise rooms, Hanson said. Most of the spending has gone to renovate lobbies. "If the lobby looks like it's recently been renovated, it projects on the rest of the hotel," Hanson said. Hotel owners are spending more partly because they are enjoying higher occupancy and daily rates than in the last few years, he said. But also, the managers of big-chain hotel brands are pressing independent hotel owners to make upgrades that had been deferred because of the tough economy. Not to mention, hotel guests have been complaining about tired-looking hotel facilities, he said. "Individual brands and hotels are receiving complaints in comment cards and things like that," Hanson said.
Jean Gabriel Pérès, the President and CEO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, has been chosen as ‘Travel Personality of the Year 2012' in the influential TTG Asia Travel Awards.
The award is recognised as one of the ‘Oscars' of the travel industry in Asia and Jean Gabriel Pérès was selected for his "outstanding achievement in transforming Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts into an inspiring success story". "Together with his team, he has set an industry example of what having true passion and dedication to the industry, integrity to the brand and respect for people can do," said the TTG Asia editorial team that chose Jean Gabriel Pérès for the prestigious award. "One of the most inspiring aspects of this success story is Mr Pérès's ability to find the right talent and motivate them to real breakthroughs." When Jean Gabriel Pérès joined Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in 1999 he inherited a portfolio of 36 hotels. Now there are 76. By 2015 he aims to have 100 properties open worldwide with more than half of the company's 30 new hotels in development opening in Asia.
Bali, named "the Island of the Gods", is slowly turning into the "Island of the Tourism Gods" as hotels are mushrooming all over the territory, a development which seems out of control.
The Bali provincial government is now urging mayors and district heads in the popular resort island to fully obey the temporary moratorium on the building of new hotels in certain areas. "District administrations should give [the moratorium] serious attention," Bali tourism agency chief Ida Bagus Kade Subikshu said last Wednesday according to a report from the Jakarta Post. The moratorium was imposed early last year by Governor Made Mangku Pastika, and covers areas in southern Bali such as Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar. These areas have been overrun with tourists and surfers with new hotels being built at a dizzying pace. That leads to land scarcity, rocketing real estate prices - including for locals-, a war on room rates and above all, a serious degradation of the environment. Southern Bali starts to be now better known for its inextricable traffic jams than anything else. The government now would like to see development moving North which has been underdeveloped. Real estate owners are urged to consider now to move to that area of Bali, which also has a big potential for tourism but lacks the necessary infrastructure.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
The board of directors of the Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic announced the appointment of Peter Bonell as its chief marketing officer. In this newly created role, Bonell will be responsible for overseeing international sales, marketing (inclusive of advertising, public relations and branding ) and revenue efforts at Casa de Campo. Bonell has held prominent executive positions throughout the hospitality industry, most notably including VP of sales and marketing at Grupo Punta Cana; VP of sales and marketing Ginn Resorts; VP of sales and marketing at Colonial Williamsburg; VP of sales and marketing at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts; and VP of sales/director of marketing at The Broadmoor in Colorado. Additionally, as President of Performance Golf Marketing Alliance, Bonell negotiated numerous partnerships with premier names including PGA, LPGA, Champions Tour, Golf Digest, The Golf Channel and ESPN. Bonell has also received the CHME designation from The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International.
Turtle Bay Resort, the landmark property on Oahu's North Shore, has appointed Noel K.M. Marquardsen director of human resources. Noel Marquardsen was previously human resources manager for HawkTree, Inc., a diversified holding company and leader in transportation services in Honolulu. Prior to this she served as area human resources manager for Securitas Security Services, Inc., the largest security services provider in the US and the state of Hawaii, also located in Honolulu. Noel brings 15 years of experience in managing day-to-day human resources operations, developing and executing HR strategic business plans. Ms. Marquardsen currently attends Hawaii Pacific University, where she will complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources Development this fall. She is a native to the North Shore and is very excited to begin her journey at Turtle Bay Resort.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Scandic Fornebu has opened, 10 minutes from Oslo's city centre. The design draws inspiration from its seaside location, and the property's 334 guestrooms have different colour combinations. Doos, which collaborated on the property's design, intended the restaurant and lounge-bar to be reminiscent of a sandy seabed with rolling waves. The ceiling draws inspiration from driftwood. The lobby features blue walls and large windows with views of the Oslo fjord. Scandic Fornebu also offers conference facilities for up to 1,850 people.
The Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer, and the CEO of the real estate company WGF AG, Pino Sergio, today signed a contract by which the Spanish hotel chain will run a new 205-room hotel in the German city of Hamburg under a lease agreement. The hotel has a great location only 800 meters from the main railway station in Hamburg and to the west of the City-Süd financial and business district. The location will connect to the new "Hamburg HafenCity" development area planned for the city. The new Innside Hamburg, whose construction is expected to start in 2013, will open in 2015, providing meeting facilities, fitness centre, bar-restaurant and all the attributes of the Innside by Meliá brand, design and avant-garde urban spirit, designed for a clientele that requires both modern elegance and high tech.
The Rezidor Hotel Group will open the first Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Senegal: The Park Inn by Radisson Dakar. It will feature 122 guestrooms and is scheduled to open in Q4 2014. This signing brings Rezidor's total African hotel portfolio to 49 hotels with 11,000 rooms in operation and under development. The new-build Park Inn by Radisson Dakar will be located between Dakar International Airport and the city's main highway. It will be part of Dakar's most exclusive mixed-use development (Cité Tobago), which includes retail and offices. Besides 122 rooms, the hotel will have a restaurant, a bar, a fitness center, parking and an outdoor swimming pool.
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