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Hotel News in Brief
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The Fluffies - The UK's finest hotel towels revealed.
The Fluffies, the first award scheme to find the UK's finest hotel towel has announced its inaugural winner. Malmaison fought off stiff competition from rivals to claim the coveted title of UK's best hotel towels after a meticulous three-month testing process. Developed by Methven, global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, the awards will identify, highlight and champion hotels with the finest towels. The Fluffies aims to promote luxurious and relaxing showering experiences, whilst informing consumers where they can find the best hotel towels in Britain. To discover which hotel offers the fluffiest towels, independent tests were undertaken at the 20 biggest mid-high end hotel brands in the UK by industry research organisation, the 59club. Using the latest technology available, including digital callipers and whiteness meters, researchers measured bathroom towels across four key criteria - thickness, whiteness, area size and overall on feel, condition and smell. Each hotel's towels were tested three times and given an average score; this score was then ranked one to 20 in each of the four categories. A number one ranking received 20 points, descending down to a number 20 ranking receiving a single point. The points total across all four criteria confirmed an overall winner. The Malmaison secured the highest score with Park Inn by Radisson a close second and Novotel finishing third. The results were announced at the annual 59club awards event on Sunday 24th February at the Belfry Hotel, Birmingham. All three hotels received official certification, highlighting their credentials as the UK's finest, whilst the Malmaison also collected the sought-after Fluffies award from Methven UK's Chief Executive, Steve Lee.
New research released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows that the UK Travel & Tourism industry has outperformed the UK economy in 2012 by growing its contribution to GDP by 0.5%, compared with 0.1% whole GDP growth.
According to WTTC's research, Travel & Tourism's total economic contribution in 2012 - taking account of its direct, indirect and induced impacts - was £106.3bn in GDP, £8.9billion in investment (4% of total investment) and £25.3bn in exports (5% of total exports). The industry supported more than 2.42 million jobs in 2012 (8% of UK total employment) with a forecasted 1% expansion in 2013. According to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the UK hosted 29.2 million visitors in 2012, whose total spending increased by 2%. WTTC and UNWTO predict that the number of international travellers to the UK will rise by 2% to 29.8 million this year.
According to a survey by Colletts Travel, 40% of over-50s claim to have become more adventurous with their holidays as they have got older.
The poll of 2,000 British over-50s found that 10% go skiing, 25% have cycled while on holiday and 10% have canoed. It also revealed that nearly two thirds take the majority of their holidays abroad now, whereas 20 years ago they would have opted for UK seaside resorts. When asked why they didn't travel overseas 20 years ago, 70% said they couldn't afford to, while 37% had to take child-friendly trips and 10% simply wouldn't have considered flying then. A further 22% said they embarked on a greater number of far flung holidays now thanks to their local airport offering more destinations than it did 20 years ago. Competition among their retired friends was a factor for 5% of respondents, with many trying to out-do each other via their holidays. Half of those questioned had visited America and over a quarter Canada. Other favourite destinations included Australia, Barbados and Dubai. Roy Collett commented: ‘Many adults head off on lots of holidays when they hit retirement, with kids flown the nest, they have already achieved the car, the house etc. ‘Now they want inspiration, to explore new parts of the world and sample new cultures, new cuisines and life experiences.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Katherine Lugar, EVP of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), has been named president & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, effective April 17. "Katherine joins us as the association embarks on a new mandate to become the lodging industry's primary voice for advocacy in the nation's capital," Ron Vlasic, AH&LA chair, said in a statement. "She is eminently qualified to transform AH&LA by significantly strengthening its government affairs and media outreach." Lugar has spearheaded RILA's public affairs efforts for the past six years. Prior to that, she served as VP of federal government relations for Travelers Insurance. She has also worked in numerous roles at the National Retail Federation, ultimately serving as VP of legislative and political affairs. Joe McInerney, AH&LA's current and long-serving president & CEO, plans to stay on through a period of transition.
Ahn Luh, a Chinese hotel management group with plans to open luxury properties in key cities in China, including Chengdu, Shenzhen, Beijing and Tibet, over the next few years, has appointed its first CEO. Akira Moreno, currently the Vice President of Development and Pre-opening Services for GHM, takes on the new responsibility while maintaining his duties at GHM. In his new role, Moreno will oversee the operations and development of Ahn Luh, and will draw on a career that began in his native Canada in 1984 and what he has experienced in Asia since moving to the region in 2006.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Hilton Worldwide is adding to its programme of growth in Egypt following a major joint announcement with prominent investor, Saudi Egyptian Real Estate Development, to introduce the company's sixth property to Cairo. The 257-room Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi will be strategically located in the upscale residential and diplomatic district of Maadi and enjoy direct access to the popular Corniche El Nile. The 23-storey property, which is forecast to open early 2016, will also boast views of the legendary River Nile as well as Egypt's world famous ancient heritage sites, museums and popular tourist attractions.
Mama Shelter Istanbul opens March 1 in the city's Beyoglu district. The hotel offers 81 rooms with Smart LED televisions and individual climate control. Philippe Starck designed the property. Chefs Alain Senderens and Jerome Banctel serve French and Turkish fare, including thin-crust pizzas, a buffet breakfast, and Sunday brunch. When weather permits, the hotel opens a rooftop restaurant and bar with daybeds, communal tables and games.
Rhombus will open its fifth hotel in Hong Kong later this year. Located in bustling Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, Hotel Pennington by Rhombus offers guests a convenient location from which to explore, shop, sightsee and seek out business opportunities.
Atlas Hotels has been creating unique boutique hotels across Israel since 1999 and the company is proud to be adding their first ever boutique hotel in Haifa and their second boutique hotel in Jerusalem to their diverse collection. With over 15 million dollars invested, both hotels encompass a unique concept with inspired design that is the trademark of each Atlas Boutique Hotel. With beautiful design and garden view rooms Bay Club Haifa is situated midway between Haifa Bay and the peak of Mount Carmel. Housed in a historic building surrounded by a picturesque garden the hotel's unique design of old world glamour mixed with the light and airy feeling of famous resort towns, such as Cannes and Monte Carlo, bring to life the theme of a luxurious 1930s Mediterranean Villa.
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