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Hotel Industry News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Mac users may be getting steered toward more expensive hotel rooms, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
According to the paper, Orbitz Worldwide has found that people who use Apple's Mac computers spend as much as 30 percent more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is now presenting travel options that can be more expensive than what Windows visitors see. Orbitz executives confirmed that the company is experimenting with showing different hotel offers to Mac and PC visitors, but said the company isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices. They also pointed out that users can opt to rank results by price. The initiative, which is reportedly still in its early stages, demonstrates how tracking people's online activities can use even seemingly innocuous information—in this case, the fact that customers are visiting Orbitz.com from a Mac—to start predicting their tastes and spending habits. Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site's average nightly hotel booking is around $100, chief scientist Wai Gen Yee said. Mac users are 40 percent more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users, Yee explained, and when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms.
The top 10 destination cities in Asia Pacific are estimated to attract 77.6 million visitors via air travel in 2012, up 9.5 percent on year, while their cross-border spending will rise by 15.3 percent to US$ 104.7 billion, according to MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index released last week.
Bangkok, ranks third globally, tops the Asia Pacific region’s cities by visitor arrivals with 12.2 million inbound passengers and 19.3 billion U.S. dollars are expected to be spent in 2012. Singapore came in fourth globally in term of visitor arrivals, with US$ 12.7 billion in cross-border spending. This represent an increase of 12.7 percent compared to last year. The report also shows that Tokyo ranks second in the top 20 fastest growing destination cities in term of visitor number, partly due to its recovery from serious disasters. The cross- border expending in this city will be up 24.2 percent on year, which represents the third growth globally. Meanwhile, Taipei enjoys a visitor number growth rate of 15.1 percent, ranking the seventh fastest growing destination all around the word, which is mainly driven by tourists arriving from Chinese mainland. MasterCard said the global top 20 destination cities will see 184.9 million visitors or 5.7 percent more from last year. They are estimated to spend US$ 241 billion all together, up 10.6 percent on year.
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has launched the Sheraton Social Hour, a brand-wide premium wine program.
The new program offers guests a specially curated menu of premium wines and weekly tasting events at more than 240 Sheraton hotels around the world. Sheraton piloted the program in 19 global properties with positive feedback from guests. Almost all the guests participating said they were likely to attend another Social Hour and would recommend the program to others. In addition, 65% of guests polled said they would be inclined to purchase wine while traveling, if there was a premium wine program offered. The index is calculated from data and statistics of United Nations World Tourism Organisation, International Air Transport Association and International Monetary Fund. There are 132 cities involving in this ranking. MasterCard said the index and the accompany reports are not based on MaterCard volumes or transactional data.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain is pleased to announce that it has hired Timothy H. Wolfe to serve as General Manager. Wolfe has been a member of the Colorado Tourism Office Board of Directors since 2009 and will begin serving as CTO’s Chairman of the Board next month. He served as Chairman of the Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association for 2011, which named him “Hotelier of the Year.” He has been an Adjunct Professor at Metro State College of Denver in the Hospitality, Tourism & Events department since 2008 and is also the co-founder of Journey to Me, a non-profit organization that provides post-adoption education resources and support. Wolfe brings more than 25 years of hospitality industry experience to The Westin Riverfront, most recently serving as the General Manager of the Antlers Hilton in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A graduate of The Ohio State University, he was previously the General Manager of the Sheraton Denver West, the Hilton Denver Tech Center and the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has appointed Steven DeFelice director of sales & marketing for Hotel Contessa, located on the famed Riverwalk in San Antonio. Ted Davis, Benchmark’s senior vice president sales & marketing, made the announcement. Steven DeFelice was previously director of sales and marketing for Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, a Hyatt flagship property located in Santa Fe. Prior to that, Mr. DeFelice was the director of sales and marketing for the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio. He has also held sales & marketing positions for other major hospitality brands at properties located in New Orleans, Phoenix, and Point Clear, Alabama.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, which announced major expansion plans for Latin America in May, has entered into a management agreement with Bienes y Comercio, S.A. for a Grand Hyatt hotel in Bogota, Colombia. Owned and constructed by Organización Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, the hotel will be an integral part of the Ciudad Empresarial mixed-use project, which occupies a prime location in the area of Ciudad Salitre, close to Bogota's El Dorado International Airport. The mixed-used project occupies approximately 925,000 square feet and is planned to have 18 office towers with an aggregate of over 6.5 million square feet of leasable area and more than 226,000 square feet of retail space that will include high-end shops, a cinema, food and beverage outlets, and meeting and conference space. With an investment by Bienes y Comercio, S.A. of approximately $130 million, Grand Hyatt Bogota will offer 297 guestrooms, including 53 suites. Expected to open in early 2015, the hotel will feature two restaurants, a lobby lounge, a patisserie, and more than 24,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 10,800-square-foot ballroom. Additional hotel amenities include a fitness centre, an indoor pool, and a spa.
Carlson Rezidor Hotel and Atlantica Hotels International have opened the Radisson Hotel Belem. The hotel features 156 guestrooms and 14 floors. The guestrooms and suites offer LCD cable TV, A/C, WiFi, a work desk and iPod docking station. The property also offers guests an Olympic-sized lap pool and Jacuzzi, a sauna, fitness facility, business centre and meeting space. Dom Rosso, the hotel’s full-service restaurant, features a wine cellar and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Australian Hotels Association (AHA) WA today welcomed the announcement by Hilton Worldwide that Double Tree hotels will make their Australian debut in Karratha. AHA CEO Bradley Woods said this development is tremendously exciting for regional tourism and business travel to the Pilbara. “We welcome the Double Tree hotel brand to Western Australia, this investment by Hilton shows tremendous confidence in our state,” said Mr Woods. “The eight-story Double Tree by Hilton Karratha is expected to open in mid-2013 with 144 rooms, restaurant and bar facilities. “With a fitness centre, outdoor pool area and three function rooms the hotel will provide the facilities and services modern travellers expect in hotel accommodation. “Double Tree by Hilton Karratha will be the second Hilton property in Western Australia, after the Parmelia Hilton in Perth.”
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