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Marriott sells interests in Renaissance Barcelona for €78 Million
Marriott International, Inc. has announced that it has sold its leasehold interests in the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel to an affiliate of the Qatar Armed Forces Investment Portfolio (QAFIP) for approximately €78 million including €45 million ($62 million) cash and the assumption of €33 million ($45 million) of related obligations. The hotel will continue to be operated by Marriott under a long-term management contract.
Opened in April 2012 following a major renovation, the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel is located in Barcelona's vibrant Eixample District and close to some of the city's most extraordinary cultural attractions including two of Gaudi's architectural masterpieces: La Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera. It is also within walking distance of Paseo de Gracia, the city's renowned avenue filled with impressive architecture and exceptional shopping.
Ritz-Carlton extends its mentoring program for at-risk youth
Developed in partnership with America's Promise Alliance, The Ritz-Carlton formulated a core curriculum which leveraged the company's embedded focus on training excellence and created "Succeed Through Service" which, since launching in 2009, has benefitted over 15,000 students. To expand the program's reach and impact, The Ritz-Carlton is now making the curriculum available to the private sector, non-profits and educators on an open source, non-proprietary basis.
Through Succeed Through Service, Ritz-Carlton employees mentor students in low income communities to follow their passions, imagine futures not previously envisioned, understand the value of giving back to their community, and learn valuable life skills that will help them forge a path of success.
The Succeed Through Service Open Source Toolkit is a practical resource to establishing a comprehensive youth engagement program. It provides a roadmap on how to successfully partner with a school; engage and prepare employee trainers and mentors; set the stage and inspire the students; implement the curriculum and evaluate its impact. The curriculum includes modules on the value of social skills (eye-contact, a great smile and a firm handshake); healthy eating habits and how to safely handle food; group presentation skills; and the importance of teamwork and collaboration. The Toolkit also provides lesson plans and supporting PowerPoint presentations enabling volunteers to easily deliver the content in an informed, compelling manner, leveraging their own skills and competencies.
For more information on Succeed Through Service, please contact Sue Stephenson, vice president, Community Footprints (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to download the Toolkit visit Succeed Through Service Open Source.
Hawaii's tourism industry sets new record in spending and arrivals for 2013
Tourism in Hawai‘i continued to be a major driver for the state's economic recovery in 2013, surpassing records set the previous year.
Visitor spending reached $14.5 billion (an increase of 2 percent from $14.3 billion) contributing $1.5 billion in state tax revenue, and 8,235,510 visitors (an increase of 2.6 percent from 8 million) came to the Hawaiian Islands in 2013 according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) today.
"While our core U.S. market remained strong, there were significant increases in arrivals and spending from the growing Other Asia (China, Korea and Taiwan) and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) markets," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. "Supported by double-digit increases in air seats to the Hawaiian Islands from these two regions, we will continue to focus our efforts on these developing markets with tremendous growth potential."
Gains in visitor expenditures and arrivals during the first half of 2013 offset the weaker performance in the latter half of the year. International arrivals through 2013 also helped to maintain the momentum experienced through the year.
Despite the gains in arrivals and spending in 2013, the HTA fell short of targets of $15.3 billion in visitor expenditures and 8.48 million visitor arrivals. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates, tax and fuel charges have impacted growth and caused the leveling off during the second half of the year. The HTA anticipates this trend to continue during the first half of 2014.
"We will work with our global marketing partners to review and adjust our plans to stimulate the market in light of current economic and global trends. It is also important that we continue to work with our industry partners to balance the needs of our community while strengthening our tourism economy in 2014," added McCartney.
Jetsetter adds 600 luxury properties - grows inventory by nearly 50 percent
Jetsetter.com has announced a significant addition to its hand-selected collection of worldwide hotels and resorts. The addition of over 600 properties moves the Jetsetter 24/7 permanent collection to more than 1,900 hotels. The Jetsetter correspondent network and editorial team hand selected every hotel to feature, ensuring they all meet the company's rigorous quality standards. This wide range of new hotels includes:
General Manager Shaun Stewart was excited to note, "With the 'retail' section of Jetsetter accounting for 60 percent of total transactions, it is clear our members value our curation and hand selection of the ultimate in lodging options globally. Our new additions allow us to further improve the options available for all 20 million members as they plan their travel for 2014."
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