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Hotel News In Brief
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Electronic locks manufacturer Onity is offering major hotel brands a replacement offer tantamount to a recall to replace circuit boards vulnerable to hacking.
In a Thursday article Forbes cited internal memos from Marriott International, IHG and Hyatt Hotels Corp. which detailed the replacement offer from Onity. The memos discuss Onity’s offer to sell the hotel companies and their franchisees replacement circuit boards and offer refunds for mailing back the replaced circuit boards. An excerpted memo from Marriott stated that “Onity will invoice the Marriott franchisee US$11 per board when the refurbished upgraded boards ship and will credit back US$11 for each board returned by Marriott franchisee within 30 days and in good working condition.” Onity told HOTELS that it has has shipped 1.4 million solutions for locks to hotel properties over the past few months.
According to the American Express Global Business Travel 2012 EVP Barometer, 23% of European companies increased their spending on travel this year.
A further 63% maintained their business travel budget at the same level as 2011, with just 14% reporting a cut. This compares with 21% who reduced their budgets last year, 40% in 2010 and 66% in 2009. Looking to 2013, 72% of European companies said they would maintain the same business travel budget as this year, with 16% expecting an increase. Priorities for travel managers next year include cost control, cited by 80% of respondents; optimisation of travel expenses (49%); traveller safety (45%); having an overview of travel expenses (41%); enforcement of travel policy (38%); increased traveller satisfaction (30%); and development of the travel team’s contribution to the overall success of the company (23%). The Barometer was based on responses from 567 people responsible for managing travel budgets in a range of small, medium and large private and public sector businesses. The research was conducted between 18 September and 15 October in 11 key markets: the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
Accor has announced a new brand-based organization of its operations in Europe, effective January 1.
This new organization structure concerns Accor's activities in 15 countries in Western and Central Europe across eight brands: Pullman, MGallery, Mercure, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Ibis, Ibis Styles and Ibis budget. Altogether, this represents more than 210,000 guestrooms and nearly 2,000 hotels — half of the group's global network. At the head of each brand or group of brands is a chief operating officer Europe, assisted by a support team dedicated to the brand and comprising expertise in areas such as marketing, human resources, management control and technical standards. The geographical scope of this organization structure is divided into four main regions: Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Central Europe and France, with a brand SVP for each region. "This organization structure will enable us to develop first-rate specialists in each market segment and rely on teams that are entirely focused on their brands and have perfect knowledge of both their customers and their competitors," said Yann Caillère, president and chief operating officer in charge of worldwide operations. "It is also essential to strengthen our relations with our partners and at the same time it will offer new development opportunities to our employees."
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
MGM Resorts International has announced the promotion of Bill Hornbuckle to President & Chief Marketing Officer. In the newly-created position that will report to Jim Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International, Hornbuckle will assume expanded responsibility to include Gaming Development. "Bill Hornbuckle is widely regarded as one of the most strategic and effective leaders in the hospitality and entertainment industry," Murren said. "Since assuming the newly-created role of CMO for the company in 2010, he has been focused on growing the company's relationships with our customers and guests. He has achieved this with significant success, for example, in the creation and growth of our M life customer loyalty program," Murren added. Murren said the appointment evolved from the execution of the company's strategic plan that included expanding the company's presence domestically and internationally.
Recognizing the importance of Mexico as a destination and source market for its global portfolio of hotels, Marriott International has named company veteran Kevin Schwab, who has spent more than a third of his 30-year career in Mexico, as the country’s first-ever market Vice President. Schwab joined Marriott in 1982 as a sous chef at the Biscayne Bay Marriott in Miami. In 1988, he was promoted to executive chef at the Crystal City Marriott just outside Washington, DC and was subsequently named executive chef and director of restaurants and bars at the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun. In 1996, Schwab was director of food and beverage at the JW Marriott Mexico City and the Marriott Mexico City Airport. Two years later, he was promoted to director of operations at the Marriott Mexico City Airport and then to hotel general manager. In 2000, Schwab was named area director of operations for the Caribbean and Latin America headquarters in Weston, Florida. He then returned to Latin America to serve as general manager at the Panama City Marriott, JW Marriott Mexico City and The Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel before serving a stint in Asia as vice president and managing director of The Ritz-Carlton Macao Studio City. Most recently, Kevin served successfully as vice president and general manager of the Aruba Marriott Resort: he was named general manager of the year, his property was the first outside the United States to win Marriott’s coveted Breakthrough Leadership Training award, and he was instrumental in the successful launch of the training program throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Best Western International has marked its entry into Bahrain with the opening of a new all-suite hotel, BEST WESTERN Al-Olaya Suites Hotel, in the capital city, Manama. Catering for the growing demand for travel to this fast-moving Gulf hub, BEST WESTERN Al-Olaya Suites Hotel will offer 75 spacious suites, ideal for leisure and corporate travelers. With a choice of studios, one- and two-bedroom suites, all offering kitchenettes, relaxing sofas, flat-screen televisions and complimentary high-speed internet access, the hotel is the perfect “home away from home” for both short- and long-stay guests.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has announced the expansion of its luxury hotel portfolio in the CIS with the development of the first hotel in Kazakhstan. The Ritz-Carlton, Almaty is owned by a subsidiary of Capital Partners L.L.C. The 145 room hotel is located in the 37 storey Esentai Tower within the mixed use Esentai Park development project in Almaty which includes an extensive shopping mall, Fitness Club and residential complexes. The hotel, located in the centre of the city, will offer Club and Suite accommodation together with over 10,000 square feet of meeting facilities.
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), today announces the debut of The St. Regis Mauritius Resort, marking the brand’s first hotel in Africa and the 30th St. Regis hotel in the world. The St. Regis Mauritius Resort follows recent openings in Hainan and Shenzhen in China; Doha and Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi in the Middle East; and Bal Harbour in the United States, all within the last 12 months. Having nearly tripled its portfolio in just five years, St. Regis continues its dynamic global growth, further strengthening Starwood’s lead in luxury hospitality, offering guests exceptional levels of service and exquisite experiences in exciting destinations around the world.
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