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Hotel News in Brief
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After years of marketing "no resort fees," Caesars Entertainment will start charging the fees at its Las Vegas hotels.
Caesars will begin adding fees ranging from $10-$25 on March 1, covering charges for amenities including Wi-Fi, local calls and fitness centers. Caesars operates nine hotels in Las Vegas, including Caesars Palace, Harrah's, Bally's, the Flamingo, the Quad, Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood on the Strip. It's something guests asked for, said Gary Thompson, the company's director of corporate communications. Until now, Caesars had charged separately for such amenities, instead of tacking on resort fees, which have upset some hotel customers in the past. Now, it seems, the company is hearing otherwise. "This is in response to the increasing demand from our guests to provide a package price instead of the inconvenience of separate fees," Thompson said in a statement today. "We continue to do all we can to provide our guests with the best value, best products and best experiences in Las Vegas." Most visitors to Las Vegas do not pick hotels based on whether they charge a resort fee, according to a recent survey conducted by the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV. In a survey of more than 200 people on the Strip, 88 percent said they did not pick a hotel based on resort fees. "They stayed where they wanted to stay, regardless of the resort fee," said Toni Repetti, an assistant professor at the hotel college. But that doesn't mean hotel guest prefer the fees. Only 30 percent of those surveyed said they valued the amenities they were paying for through the fees. More than half said they'd rather pay what they used separately, as Caesars had been doing. Still, they pay them. "They didn't value the items that came with the resort fee but it didn't change their decision on where to stay," Repetti said. "The attitude was we know we have to pay it, so we might as well suck it up."
The U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration today released the December 2012 data on international travel and tourism to the United States, which shows that exports in this sector hit a record $168.1 billion in 2012.
Travel and tourism exports represent the largest service-export industry within the United States. In 2012, travel and tourism accounted for 8 percent of all U.S. exports and 27 percent of all service-exports, which themselves hit a record in 2012, reaching $632.3 billion. International travel and tourism also helped contribute to the record surplus the U.S. holds in services exports, which hit $195.3 billion in 2012, and the overall record U.S. export figure of $2.2 trillion. "International visitors to the United States are an increasing part of our export success story, which not only continues to reach record levels, but support millions of American jobs," said Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco SÃ¡nchez. "The Obama Administration is committed to support these positive trends by taking concrete steps to attract and welcome international visitors to the United States, which is boosting local economies from San Diego to San Juan.
‘Not travelling enough' is the biggest regret for Britons over the age of 50, a poll by independent online agent, sunshine.co.uk, has found.
The agent questioned 2,107 UK adults over the age of 50 about the holidays they had taken and what regrets, if any, they had in life. Respondents were asked to select all that applied from a list of possible regrets, with the top ten found to be as follows: not travelling enough, cited by 91%; career choice (72%); bad relationship choices (64%); not staying healthy through diet or exercise (55%); losing touch with friends (53%); being careless with money (46%); having children too early (27%); worrying too much (25%); not being a ‘yes' person (19%); and having children too late (8%). When asked how many times they had been abroad, on average, the majority (64%) said ‘less than once a year'. When asked what places they would most like to visit, Australia, the US and South Africa were the top answers, with 78%, 71% and 65% of the vote respectively. Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents said they planned to see more of the world once they had retired. Chris Clarkson, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, commented: ‘Travelling is something that I think every person should have high up on their list of priorities in life, because, as this poll has shown us, it'll only lead to regrets if they don't.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has named Frank Scannicchio as Global Account Director. Frank joins the growing global sales team for Sonesta and is responsible for overseeing corporate transient sales focused on clients from the East Coast. Frank brings to Sonesta over 20 years of experience in the lodging industry, having held national and local global sales management positions with Millennium, Swissotel, Cendant, Embassy Suites, and most recently as Director of Corporate Sales for Langham Hospitality Group. He has been involved in all aspects of hotel sales, directing property specific, regional and national efforts.
Three years after joining GHM as executive assistant manager at The Chedi Muscat, Andy Kunz is trading the sands of Arabia for a riverside perch in one of Thailand's most compelling destinations. Kunz succeeds Stefan Noll as general manager of the GHM property when Noll departs for cooler climes and a new position as hotel manager and head of task force with the pre-opening team at The Chedi Andermatt. Set to open in December, the Swiss development is one of two GHM debuts scheduled for this year.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Hilton Worldwide announced the opening of its first DoubleTree by Hilton property in Phuket, Thailand. The 250-room DoubleTree Resort by Hilton - Surin Beach is located on the west coast of the island on Surin Beach, which is approximately 24 kilometers from Phuket International Airport. "Hilton Worldwide has been in Thailand since 1983 and we currently operate six hotels in key destinations including Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Hua Hin and Phuket. Thailand is a key focus market for us due to its enormous potential for growth and as we continue to expand our footprint here, the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton - Surin Beach marks the entry of one of our fastest growing brands, DoubleTree by Hilton, into Thailand," said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.
Centara Hotels & Resorts will soft open its first hotel in Sri Lanka in April 2013. Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa Sri Lanka is set on Passikudah Bay, on Sri Lanka's north-eastern coast, where shallow waters are ideal for windsurfing and kayaking. Resort accommodation comprises 126 rooms and suites, each featuring a private balcony or terrace.
Best Western International - the World's Largest Hotel Chain® - has announced the launch of a new beachfront hotel on Vietnam's golden coast. Located on the shores of the South China Sea, the BEST WESTERN Sea & Sun in Nha Trang offers exactly what its seductive name suggests - a perfect combination of tropical sun and azure seas, in one of Asia's most up-and-coming beach destinations, Nha Trang.
Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts is planning to open Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Bodrum, a luxury lifestyle beach front boutique hotel in Bodrum, Turkey, in 2014. The property will be designed by GAD, a New York- and Istanbul-based architectural firm, and feature 57 suites and villas, with private pools and decks; a large infinity-edge pool with views of the bay; Café Nikki, a bistro; and The Sunset Lounge.
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