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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
W Hotels ranks first in the third-annual Digital IQ Index: Hotels from L2 Think Tank, New York City. The report benchmarks the digital competence of 57 hotel brands on more than 675 data points across four dimensions: site, digital marketing, social media and mobile. The top 10 hotel brands, according to L2, are:
Egyptian police officials say a cruise ship has run aground on the Nile River near the southern city of Aswan, but all 120 people aboard are safe.
The officials said the ship was travelling to the city of Luxor, north of Aswan, when it hit rocks and took in water before running aground on Tuesday. Local villagers and police helped rescue all 120 Egyptian passengers and crew. None of the passengers were injured, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
Banquet divisions in some luxury hotels in China are looking for new clients because of a sharp drop in bookings ahead of Spring Festival, the peak season for the industry.
The fall in bookings follows moves announced by the central government last month to combat extravagance and corruption. "All banquet bookings at our hotel have been canceled," said a staff member from the banquet division at the Beijing Friendship Hotel, a hotel designated for government conferences. He said the hotel catered for at least two or three banquets a week during peak season in the past, but the number has fallen to zero this year.
Clients — mainly government departments and State-owned enterprises — canceled their bookings in response to the new government regulations. It had been tradition for government departments to hold annual "greeting meetings" in high-end hotels before Spring Festival. The Beijing Friendship Hotel spokesman said: "The cancellations are too sudden and we do not have a way to make up the losses yet. My team is trying its best to look for other clients."
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Turnberry Isle Miami, an Autograph Collection Hotel, announces Paige D. Koerbel as managing director of the Forbes four-star, 408-room resort & club. A distinguished leader and hotel veteran with over 30 years of hospitality experience, Koerbel is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the 300-acre retreat. Koerbel spent 33 years with Marriott serving in various roles including most recently general manager of Doral Golf Resort & Spa, formerly a Marriott property, where he led the property’s resort-wide renewal leading up to its 50th Anniversary in 2012. Koerbel’s previous positions also include regional vice president of Renaissance Hotels North America, Midwest general manager for Renaissance Hotels and also general manager for Marriott in Chicago, Detroit and Dayton, Ohio. The South Florida-resident has received numerous accolades throughout his celebrated career including General Manager of the Year twice with Marriott Worldwide as well as Leadership Excellence Awards.
Destination Hotels & Resorts announced today that Julie Duchin has been named director of national sales for the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets. Julie began working with the company in April of 2009 as the director of national accounts for Terranea Resort, a 582-room luxury resort that opened in June 2009 and is managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts. Julie now joins Destination’s six established national sales offices and will be located in Washington D.C. Her focus will be within the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions as well as select accounts in the Northeast. “Julie’s experience, expertise and professional relationships across a diverse cross section of corporate and national association business segments make her an ideal addition to our national sales offices across the country,” said Curtis Bova, vice president of sales for Destination Hotels & Resorts. While at Terranea Resort, Julie launched the resort with a focus on positioning and selling the resort experience in corporate segments including pharmaceutical, cosmetic, financial, insurance, investment, legal, incentive and some national associations on the East Coast and Canada.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
The $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort project in the Bahamas is on track to open in December 2014, said Baha Mar Ltd. Senior Vice President Robert Sands. The casino-hotel will include 1,000 rooms and three other properties with a 1,200 room total that will open in spring 2015. The complex will eventually total 3,450 rooms including previously existing properties and the largest gaming facility in the Caribbean at 100,000 square feet.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced that its global powerhouse Sheraton plans to open 30 hotels over the next 12 months. Half of the new Sheraton hotels will open in China, lengthening Starwood’s lead as the largest upper-upscale global hotel operator in Asia Pacific. Sheraton is also picking up momentum in several other emerging markets including Latin America, the Middle East and Turkey.
Marriott International has signed seven management agreements with TCC Hotels Group to operate seven TCC hotels across Thailand. The seven hotels are:
The agreement will add 3,000 rooms to Marriott International’s existing 12 hotels of 3,110 rooms across Thailand. TCC Hotels Group expects to invest approximately US$500 million for the seven hotels including an extensive refurbishment of the existing Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok, and the Imperial Adamas Phuket Beach Resort before they are rebranded and opened under the Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand in 2016.
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