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Hotel News In Brief
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Australian hotels are foregoing hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue every year because of empty rooms, according to new hotel haggling website, GraysEscape.com, with potential losses in Sydney alone at more than $250 million a year.
A reluctance to offer discounts that upset rate parity or dilute brand image contribute to the vacant rooms and have made the hotel industry less competitive than it was a decade ago, according to Gary Berman, the General Manager of GraysEscape.com, which allows hotels and consumers to privately haggle for rates lower than on other booking websites. Mr Berman said hotel occupancy in Sydney was around 85 per cent but this still left almost 4000 hotel rooms in the Greater Sydney region empty every night, or over 1.4 million vacant rooms per year which equated to more than $250 million in potential lost revenue per year. Across Australia, the average occupancy was 65 per cent, he said, which left around 100,000 rooms with beds unused every night.
Qantas has cited a lack of customer interest for dumping its plans to provide wireless Internet access on flights.
The trial on six of the airline's A380 superjumbos on long-haul flights to London and across the Pacific to Los Angeles lasted nine months. A spokesman told The Age that customer take-up of the wi-fi service on flights during the trial, which ended last month, was extremely low. He also said providing the service was expensive. Qantas charged between AUD12.90 and AUD39.90 for its data packages on board. The average take-up of the service was less than 5%, according to the airline. The spokesman also said that, as most of the airline's A380 services operated at night, passengers preferred sleeping to surfing the web.
VingCard Elsafe, the global leader in hospitality security and part of the ASSA ABLOY Group, proudly announces that Prague's most glamorous hotel has selected RFID security technology among its launch amenities.
One Room Hotel-located 66 meters above the ground in Prague's tallest building, Tower Park Prague-opened in October as one of the world's most exclusive hotel destinations and the most sought-after guestroom in the Czech Republic. As its name suggests, One Room Hotel is a single suite of 6-star quality that commands a breathtaking view of Prague's historic Zizkov district. Following a complete renovation of the iconic Tower Park Prague, the building now features an upgraded lookout observatory, restaurant and bar to complement One Room Hotel.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
The Dolder Grand Resort in Zurich, Switzerland, announced Mark Jacob as the new Managing Director following Thomas Schmid. The management change, occurring on January 1, 2013, will still include Thomas Schmid as part of the top management, as he will be overseeing the Dolder Waldhaus and acting as Resident Manager. The Dolder Grand Resort comprises the Dolder Grand luxury hotel, the Dolder Waldhaus four-star hotel and Dolder Sports. A talented hotel professional with a proven track record at the company, Jacob joined the Dolder Grand at the beginning of 2007 as Director of Purchasing in charge of initial furnishing during the conversion and renovation of the hotel. In fall 2008, he was assigned the position of Director of Rooms Division. He was promoted to Resident Manager and has since acted as Schmid's deputy. Born in Montreal, Jacob earned a Bachelor's Degree from the Hospitality Management School in Lausanne and later attended the General Managers Program at Cornell University. He spent part of his childhood in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where his parents run the Suvrette House. He has worked at various luxury properties during his hotel career, including Le Bristol in Paris, Hotel Hassler in Rome, the Turnberry Isle Miami and The Fairmont San Francisco.
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading US-based independent hospitality management company, has appointed Colleen Pace director of sales & marketing for Cheyenne Mountain Resort, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Colleen Pace was previously Benchmark Hospitality’s director of sales for the Four Diamond Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Prior to this, Ms. Pace held the position of director of group sales for the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa in Vail, Colorado. She has held similar sales leadership positions at major brand hotels throughout Colorado.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Two famed hotel brands--The Raffles and Fairmont--opened their doors at exactly 3:33 p.m. on Wednesday with simultaneous ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Cutting the ribbon for the Fairmont hotel were Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Mayor Jejomar "Junjun" Binay of Makati City, Ayala Corp. Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel, Ayala Land Chairman Fernando Zobel, Ayala Land President Antonino Aquino, Managing Director Tom Meyer of Raffles and Fairmont in Makati, together with hosts, Executive Vice President David Roberts of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and SVP for Human Resources Carolyn Clark. The guests and executives then proceeded to the Raffles entrance at the opposite side of the building to also cut the ribbon. Joining them was President John Johnston of Raffles Hotels and Resorts. Jimenez said that the presence of the hotel brands in the country is a "stamp of approval" on Philippine tourism. "When you have these brands, obviously [it means] you have the staff, the environment, everything you need so that these brands are able to project the same quality they are known for around the world. That's a very significant signal," he added.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts officially arrived on the shore of ‘China’s Hawaii’ this week with the opening of the 337-room Shangri-La Hotel, Haikou on Hainan Island. Located seaside amidst a sprawling lush tropical garden, the luxury hotel offers spectacular sea views, a full range of urban resort amenities, and extensive event and meeting venues. Hainan Island has been tapped to become a leading international tourism resort destination, and the provincial capital of Haikou is its tourism and cultural center and transportation hub, making it ideal for leisure and business travelers. The Shangri-La Hotel, Haikou caters extensively to the meetings and wedding markets with stunning venues and a convenient location adjacent to the Hainan International Exhibition Center.
The Rezidor Hotel Group, a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, announces the Radisson Blu Beach Resort & Spa, Sochi. The property featuring 508 rooms is scheduled to open in Q4 2013. It will have the largest upscale spa & leisure facility in the Russian Federation with a 2,000 square meters spa, 2,400 square meters of outdoor pool surfaces, and direct access to a 450 meter stretch of beachfront. The Radisson Blu Beach Resort & Spa will be situated on the Black Sea coast and enjoy a subtropical climate. It will also be located in the vicinity of the spectacular Caucasus Mountains, easily accessible with the modern high speed railway. In addition, the extravagant spa services combined with the spacious conferencing facilities will attract visitors all year round. Besides 508 rooms with Radisson Blu signature services like free high speed internet access, the hotel will offer three restaurants, two bars, three conference rooms, a business centre and an additional 1,540 square meters of dedicated conferencing space.
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