Choice Hotels has launched an online system, Verified Reviews to provide consumers with an added layer of authenticity regarding reviews of Choice Hotels properties.
Unlike other review sites, guests posting reviews on ChoiceHotels.com will be asked to provide their booking confirmation number to verify their stay at the hotel, and thereby provide potential guests with information from real guests in order to help them make their booking decision.
Robert McDowell, senior vice president, global distribution and loyalty, said, "Research indicates that booking decisions for 81 percent of consumers is influenced by comments posted on review websites. Choice Hotels has launched this new system in order to ensure that its valued customers are provided the most accurate information possible."
Verified Reviews on ChoiceHotels.com will feature a star rating scale. The ratings will be from one-to-five stars (five being the best), and will be based on Overall Experience scores.
Reviews and responses to those reviews will be moderated by a third-party company, Bazaarvoice, which will check for appropriate language and other key parameters prior to posting the review. Hotel responses will also be moderated by Bazaarvoice.
"Extreme Resort Makeover" new reality TV series
Lake County Partners has announced that Golden Leaf Pictures ("GLP") and Creative Differences will produce a new reality show, Extreme Resort Makeover at Hoberg's Resort and Spa in Northern California.
This historic resort, once an exquisite 53-acre mountain top property in Lake County California, was founded in 1885 as a lodge with a few cottages, and grew to be one of the largest privately owned resorts in California.
GLP's multi-episode TV program will chronicle the transformation of Hoberg's (which has fallen into disrepair from previous ownership) back to its prime. At its peak in the 1950s, Hoberg's hosted more than 1,000 guests a night. About the program, Gerald Olson, President of Golden Leaf Pictures commented: "In Extreme Resort Makeover, audiences will experience the challenges and triumphs of a colorful cast, as Hoberg's Resort and Spa is revitalized from its historic, yet tired roots to its rebirth, as a modern resort."
Guests can win a cameo appearance in the new Extreme Resort Makeover show coming to Hoberg's Resort by signing up at the Hoberg's Resort or Golden Leaf Pictures' websites. The grand prize is tickets for the VIP Opening Film and Party on March 4, 2014 in Northern California.
InterContinental posts earnings results
InterContinental Hotels Group has released their preliminary results for the year ending 31 December 2013, showing progress in their 10th anniversary year with underlying growth in revenues and profits, reduced capital intensity of business and high returns.
4% increase in revenue to USD1.9 billion
RevPAR up by 3% with rate up by 1.8% and occupancy up by 1.3%pts
6.1% increase in RevPAR in Asia Middle East & Africa (AMEA) with an increasing contribution from developing markets
9.6% increase in RevPAR in South East Asia
Globally, IHG is one of the world's biggest hotel groups with 687,000 rooms across 4,697 hotels and a pipeline accounting for 180,000 rooms in 1,120 new hotels upcoming.
In 2013, IHG opened 5 new properties in South East Asia, including Holiday Inn Bangkok Sukhumvit 22 in Thailand, Holiday Inn Makati the Philippines, Holiday Inn Express Orchard Road in Singapore, Holiday Inn Express Semarang Simpang Lima and Holiday Inn Express Bali Kuta Square in Indonesia.
'Dry Mice' destinations in demand
Demand for Shariah-compliant MICE destinations is on the rise, with many regional and international meeting and incentive groups, as well as corporate groups and business travellers, increasingly looking for meetings facilities that embrace Islamic culture and comply with Islamic law.
Recognised as a regional meeting hub for Islamic groups, many more meeting planners are now looking at Sharjah - a destination that has all of the credentials required to host a Shariah-compliant event and already appeals to a global community of Islamic business travellers, especially those in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as the UAE's corporate community.
Other destinations such as Doha and Dubai also have a number of Shariah-compliant hotel managed properties to cater to the Dry MICE market.
In terms of Shariah-compliant hospitality, it's not just about banning alcohol and pork. It's applying different swimming pool timings for men, women and children, and all food and beverage has to be Halal, with modest dress codes throughout for staff and indeed guests.