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Hotel News in Brief
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The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina, promises an unconventional take on traditional Christmas trees as it blends a focus on art coupled with an emphasis on nature.
The Umstead's Christmas tree displays include "old growth" Fraser firs from the mountains of North Carolina. The 12- to 14-ft (3.7- to 4.3-m) trees are naturally grown and unsheared, leaving space between branches to showcase the hotel's Christmas ornaments. An "old growth" Fraser fir Christmas tree at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. The Umstead's trees feature hand-blown glass ornaments, each unique in size and shape. The hotel's Christmas trees also showcase hung vases filled with exotic flowers. The tree in the Sunroom, for example, holds Goddess Calla Lilies, while the tree in the Main Hall displays fresh-cut amaryllis.
Office for National Statistics figures show there were 2.7m people with jobs in ‘tourism-characteristic industries' last year, accounting for 9.1% of all UK employment.
‘Tourism characteristic industries' include accommodation, food and drink serving activities, passenger transport, vehicle hire, travel agencies, cultural, recreation and sports activities and conference activities. London and the south east accounted for 30% of such jobs last year, with the capital alone host to 16.6% of all tourism-related employment in the UK. Tourism's share of regional employment was highest in London, Scotland and Wales, accounting for 10% of all employment in these areas.
The Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority (MGTCA) has introduced The Passport to Monaco programme in India as part of its plan to grow Indian arrivals by 25 per cent.
Rajeev Nangia, associate director of Monaco's marketing representative in India, Trac Representations, said the programme consists of a folder of coupons that grants free entry to the principality's main attractions and museums. This includes the Exotic Garden, the Oceanographic Museum and the prince of Monaco's collection of antique cars. Useful information about the destination and its best shops and restaurants are also included. "The programme is available for travel consultants to offer their clients on a minimum two nights' stay in Monaco," said Nangia. MGTCA is also looking to collaborate with the Indian travel trade on fam trips, workshops and seminars, gunning for luxury travel, MICE and weddings. Monaco is committing 30 per cent of its tourism promotion budget to BRIC countries. Patrick Medecin, Monaco's ambassador to India, said: "India is increasingly becoming a niche strategic market for us and we are witnessing a good growth in the number of tourists visiting Monaco from India. "Our objective is to showcase Monaco as one of Europe's finest destinations. It is also essential to emphasise that despite its image, five-star hotel rooms Monaco are generally at least 30 per cent cheaper than hotels in London and Paris. Therefore, Monaco is an affordable luxury destination." Tri Star Holidays director, Ankur Khanna, said: "Monaco has an aura of luxury, glamour and exclusivity that appeals to high-end Indian clients. With such emphatic promotion, I expect both leisure and MICE business to grow in 2013 and beyond."
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
The Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel, has appointed Mr. Carl Volschenk as Director of Sales and Marketing with immediate effect. Carl has more than 11 years of extensive experience in the hospitality industry primarily in sales and marketing roles. He has been acknowledged in his performance for the success to the companies. Prior to joining Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel, he was Director of Sales and Marketing at Sheraton Oman Hotel.
Guoman and Thistle Hotels has appointed Andreas Mueller as the new Director of Sales for Germany, Austria and German speaking Switzerland. Andreas has over 20 years of experience in sales and has held positions for a number of well-known hoteliers including Ramada Hotels, Marriot International and Maritim Hotels. Having worked extensively in Germany, Andreas' main role will be to focus on business acquisition in his country of expertise and the surrounding territories. Guoman and Thistle Hotels' Global Sales Director, Ian Barrigan, commented, "Andreas is a very important addition to the Guoman and Thistle Hotels team and promises to be a valuable asset in international markets. He has a broad knowledge of the hospitality industry and a proven track record of achieving results which we hope to capitalise on to grow the business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland".
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said Tuesday that its Sheraton Hotels & Resorts brand has completed more than $230 million in renovations to four of its Hawaii Sheraton properties in Waikiki and on the Big Island, Maui and Kauai. The upgrades include a $188 million renovation of the Sheraton Waikiki, a $20 million renovation of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, a $16 million upgrade at the Sheraton Kauai Resort and a $6.5 million renovation of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Starwood (NYSE: HOT) said in a statement. The renovations to the Neighbor Island hotels followed nearly $1 billion in renovations to Starwood's four marquee properties in Waikiki - the Royal Hawaiian, Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, as well as the 1,634-room Sheraton Waikiki, whose upgrades included new guest rooms and suites, redesigned public areas and new restaurants and bars.
Trans Orient Establishment and InterContinental Hotels Group have celebrated the grand opening of Crowne Plaza Doha - The Business Park. The hotel, the first Crowne Plaza in Qatar, is located in the heart of Doha's banking district. Just two kilometres from Doha International Airport, it is part of the new Business Park area in Doha and features 378-rooms, including 288 hotel rooms and suites and 90 one to two bedroom resident suites.
Best Western International has opened a new hotel in the Bavarian Alps. Located in Oberstdorf, close to Germany's border with Austria, Best Western Plus Hotel Alpenhof offers 61 rooms and suites with wide balconies and terraces offering breathtaking views across the Alpine countryside. All rooms also come equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi. During the summer, the Panorama Restaurant offers a south-facing terrace with stunning vistas across the surrounding hills. In winter, when snow coats the landscape, guests can relax in the cozy fireside bar and lounge, which includes a library.
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