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Travel agents are being offered an online training module to help them deal with gay travel enquiries.
The new specialist training mobile will be built and managed by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) tourism's marketing firm - Out Now Global. It follows travel agents and tour operators now accounting for more than 30% of LGBT sales in most markets globally - with the 'pink' pound being lucrative for travel companies. A general LGBT awareness training module is being made available online free of charge at http://ott.travel/LGBT/home.aspx - giving practical advice for agents dealing with LGBT customers. The new destination specific e-learning courses will be free for all travel agents who have completed this initial course. Visit Helsinki, and Tourismus & Congress Frankfurt have become the first destination tourism offices to develop targeted training specifically for travel agents and tour operators aimed at increasing LGBT visitors to their cities. The training modules will be launched in early 2013 in partnership with WTM exhibitor OTT, who will market the training through its database.
David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today's Labor Department report on December 2012 employment numbers:
"After consistently adding jobs during the prior 12 months, travel industry employment edged down in December, falling by 2,900 jobs. However, one month does not make a trend and the travel industry remains a significant job creator for our nation's economy, adding 81,000 jobs in 2012. "Currently employing 7.6 million Americans, the travel industry added more jobs last year than many other industries including educational services, real estate, construction, utilities, information, and mining. Creating jobs 14 percent faster than the rest of the economy, the travel industry has recovered 61 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession compared to 54 percent in the rest of the economy. "The travel industry provides a solid path to a middle-class lifestyle for millions of Americans. U.S. Travel's latest jobs report shows that travel is a top 10 employer of middle-class wage earners in the United States, with more than half of all travel employees earning a middle-class salary or higher."
The deadline for pool and spa accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is just three weeks away and AH&LA is urging members to review their properties for compliance.
AH&LA was able to secure a one-year extension for compliance to January 31. According to current Department of Justice (DOJ) guidelines, all existing pools and spas at lodging facilities must do the following if it is "readily achievable":
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Associated Hotels LLC and Crowne Plaza Hotel & Suites MSP Airport – Mall of America (www.cpsuitesmsp.com) today announced that Beth Stone has been named Director of Sales & Marketing for the 430-room full service Crowne Plaza Hotel & Suites Mpls Airport – Mall of America. Associated Hotels LLC, located in Chicago, IL, manages 15 hotels nationwide with the majority of their portfolio in the Midwest. Stone’s extensive sales and marketing background is strong in the Minneapolis – Bloomington market. She’s worked at Hotel Ivy and The Common’s Hotel in Minneapolis, the Hilton Bloomington, as well as with CSM Lodging. “After being lured into the hospitality industry by a popular television show, I have grown a passion for building my team and gaining personal relationships with my clients.”
Lodging Interactive is proud to welcome hospitality industry veteran Roman Aluisy as Director of Business Development. As the interactive and social media marketing agency continues to introduce new services and robust business models for hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants, Aluisy will use his expertise in business planning, sales and marketing, vendor relations, financial analysis, management, and process implementation to grow the company's portfolio. Prior to joining Lodging Interactive, Aluisy served as sales manager for InnVite CRS powered by InnLink LLC and director of business development for REZlink International. On the hotel front, Aluisy worked as sales and marketing consultant to Vantage Hospitality, regional vice president of franchise sales and development for Country Hearth Inns & Suites, and director of franchise sales and development for both Suburban Lodges of America (Southeast) and Cendant Corp. (now Wyndham Hotel Group). He is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Auberge Resorts unveiled a four-and-a-half-month revitalization of the newest hotel in its portfolio, Aspen's Hotel Jerome. The first ski resort in the Auberge collection of properties, the Jerome reopened with a new restaurant, a new Living Room lobby lounge concept and an Auberge Spa, in addition to completely revamped guestrooms.
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, debuted the St. Regis Mauritius Resort, marking the brand's first hotel in Africa and the 30th St. Regis hotel in the world. Designed by Stauch Vorster Architects with interiors by Trevor Julius of design firm dsgn, the St. Regis Mauritius Resort is said to be modeled on a Victorian sugar baron's manor house set in a historical estate. With terraces, rooms and colonnades, the resort is reminiscent of the destination's colonial past.
Crestline Hotels and Resorts has been selected to manage the Grand Caymanian Resort on Grand Cayman, the company announced this week. The property, which is located at 278 Crighton Drive in Grand Cayman, is currently undergoing renovations to become the Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman in early 2013. Current renovations include enhancements and modifications to the interior and exterior of the resort.
Japanese hospitality company Fujita Kanko, Inc. reflagged its iconic flagship property under a new name, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, after 20 years of operating the property as Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so. The hotel offers 260 rooms and suites; 12 restaurants; 36 meeting and banquet rooms, Tokyo’s most extensive meeting/banquet facilities; and Yu, The Spa, Tokyo’s largest hotel spa.
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