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International tourism to US up 7 percent in first half
International visitors continue to give a solid boost to tourism in the United States, new government numbers show. In June, the number of international visitors to the country rose 7 percent from a year ago to 5.3 million. It’s the 15th straight month of increases in international tourism to the USA. Top markets in June continued to be Canada, up 9 percent, and Mexico, up 2 percent, from a year earlier. Arrivals from Brazil jumped 13 percent from a year ago, said the federal government’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. For the first half this year, international tourism to the United States rose 7 percent to 30.5 million, the agency said. New York was the top port of entry for international visitors and Miami second in the period, the data showed. International visitors make up roughly half of overnight tourists in Miami-Dade, more than 25 percent in Broward and more than 10 percent in Palm Beach counties, according to travel bureaus from the three counties. The international visitors account for even a bigger share of tourist spending in South Florida, because they generally stay longer and spend more than domestic tourists, research shows. By Doreen Hemlock.
Hotels Fight Night Noise
From advanced technology that alerts guests making a racket in the hallways to keep it down, to human monitors knocking on doors when the snoring gets too loud, two hotel chains in the U.K. are cracking down on noise. Premier Inn is installing “ssshhh-o-meters” in 620 hotel locations, the Daily Mail reports, that will be triggered when a certain noise decibel level is exceeded. When triggered, the meters, installed in hotel corridors, will flash as a reminder to guests to lower their voices. Last year, Crowne Plaza began trialing a more low-tech way of ensuring guests have a quiet stay. According to Reuters, the chain launched “snore patrols” in six hotel locations in England, whose sole purpose is to wake up noisy sleepers in designated quiet zones. According to the Reuters article, the job of the snore patrols is to listen for “offensive noises,” then knock on the door of offending guests. If a guest repeatedly snores too loudly, the hotel may ask him or her to move to a room outside of the quiet zone. The patrols can be found in hotels in London, Leeds and Manchester. By Dori Saltzman.
Stockholm's Spirit Museum, A Bizarre Museum
Sweden has a strange relationship with alcohol. After going through a period of prohibition in the early 20th century, booze officially resurfaced but under strict government control. Today, for example, you can only find three brands of vodka on store shelves: Absolut, Good ol' Sailor, and Explorer. If you want a more high-end variety – say, Karlsson or Purity – you'd have to find it in a bar or order it online. Whatever the case, you might need a bit of vodka before visiting the new Spirit Museum, or as it's officially written, Spiritmuseum, in Stockholm. This is not a place dedicated to the ghoulish and ghostly; it's all about alcohol. You won't, though, learn much about the history of booze in Sweden. You won't learn, for example, that Swedish Protestants played a large role in implementing Prohibition in the United States. Or that in Sweden, a "bar," as we know it cannot exist: the establishment has to serve food. Or even that in the 1950s the Swedish government had ration books that kept track of how many bottles of booze you were purchasing. Instead, you'll enter a bizarre booze-themed fantasyland, created by someone who most certainly was under the influence of a Swedish spirit. The bi-level space is separated by seasons and guests are given a packet of spirits and to drink at each the season. In spring, I tasted an orange liquor. Summer was elderflower, late summer was caraway and dill, and autumn was wormwood. And each room/season had a particular theme: spring had fake trees and the summer room contained two campers, like the kind you pull behind your car – the back windows of each showed videos of people singing Swedish drinking songs. Upstairs there's a "hangover room," a small space bedecked to look like someone's apartment. As soon you shut the door, a recording of a hung-over woman begins. She's talking to herself about how crappy she feels until the recording culminates with the woman vomiting. In the next room, you're encouraged to lounge on a cozy banquette and watch a video of a guy's night out. The show takes us on a journey through his inebriation, labeling each stage: sober, tipsy, loaded, hammered and wrecked. By the time we get to "gone," he's passed out in the snow. By David Farley – Click Here for more.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Darryl Jett has been named the new General Manager for W Dallas – Victory hotel. The position marks Jett’s return to the W brand. He was General Manager of W Atlanta at Perimeter Center for four years and Director of Operations at W Chicago Lakeshore, where he helped launch the W concept in the Chicago market. Jett brings more than 25 years of hospitality leadership to W Dallas - Victory, including his most recent experience as Hotel Manager for the 1,068-room Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta. He also held positions overseeing rooms, convention services, front office operations and facilities with Westin and Sheraton hotels in the Chicago area. Jett earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management at Lewis Clarke State College.
White Lodging is pleased to announce Carrie Rosencrans has been named the new regional vice president of operations for the Denver, Colo. region. "I am delighted to be joining the team at White Lodging. White Lodging is a dynamic hotel management company with great plans for growth," said Carrie Rosencrans. "It excites me to have the opportunity to contribute to their ongoing success." With over 28 years of experience with Marriott International, Rosencrans has held managerial positions with a variety of Marriott hotels and resorts and select service and extended stay hotels in areas such as food & beverage, sales & marketing, event management, sales skills training and operations. Her hospitality career started at the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort after attending Illinois Wesleyan University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Psychology. She has also held positions with Marriott in Fla., Calif., Ill. and Marriott's Corporate Headquarters in Bethesda, Md.
The Latest in Hotel Opening
Sheraton announces $230M renovation of Hawaii properties. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. announced that its largest brand, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, and its owners invested over $230 million to refurbish its four Hawaiian properties. The large-scale, multi-year project was completed with the recent unveiling of the Sheraton Kona Resort. The revitalization projects include the $188-million renewal of the Sheraton Waikiki, the $6.5-million renovation of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, a $16-million upgrade to the Sheraton Kauai Resort and a $20-million refresh of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. The Sheraton completed its nearly $188-million renovation of Sheraton Waikiki’s 1,636 rooms with a theme of “contemporary Hawaiian sophistication.” The renewal starts at beach level and reaches to the top of the 31-floor structure, offering new guest rooms and suites, redesigned public areas with new landscaping and pools, renewed convention facilities, new restaurants and bars, and a new back-of-house equipment to increase service efficiency. The resort introduced to Waikiki the first infinity-edge pool and the only oceanfront adult-only pool, complete with a swim-up bar. Guests can enjoy family fun at the Helumoa Playground, which offers a 70-foot-long waterslide, two whirlpools, and chaise water sunning benches spread around a 12,500-square-foot area. With the recent grand opening of the million-dollar Leahi Club, Sheraton Waikiki is home to Hawaii’s only Sheraton Club Lounge, offering guests views of Diamond Head and the Pacific.
The Park Hotels plans to open The Park Kochi in the spring of 2013. Lotus Group designed the 28-floor, 168-key hotel with a blend of traditional and contemporary influences. The reception area includes an upturned “hull” that pays tribute to Kerala’s seafaring traditions. Netipattam elephant decorations inspired lights in the entrance, while six-story-tall brass mobiles are based on traditional Kasava dance outfits. Located on the 27th floor, the Aqua poolside bar will offer views of Old Cochin. The Aura Spa will launch in January. The spa occupies the hotel’s 20th floor and a separate four-story structure designed to have the look of a glowing lantern. The Park Kochi also offers a rooftop heli-pad and three restaurants serving Keralan and Asian fare.
Hilton to Open in Peru. The Hilton Lima Miraflores is expected to open later this year; it is the first Hilton Worldwide-managed hotel in Lima. The hotel, currently under construction, features a design that pays tribute to the country's history and architecture. The carpets in public areas features a pattern representative of the country's colonial era and handmade tiles evoke different areas of the city. It offers 207 rooms, including 44 executive rooms, 17 suites and a presidential suite. All guestrooms and corridors feature individually created lattice woodwork. The property offers more than 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space including nine meeting rooms, a business center and a nearly 3,700-sq.-ft. ballroom. It also features a rooftop terrace, a heated outdoor swimming pool, two whirlpools and a fitness center by Precor.
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