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Hotel News in Brief
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Scottish agency Barrhead Travel is recruiting 75 new members of staff to cope with expansion, while Accor is creating 170 jobs at four new London hotels.
Glasgow-based Barrhead has opened 11 new branches in the past 12 months and is about to open the first in a chain of supermarket concessions, with the first at Sainsbury's in East Kilbride. The group is also recruiting at its headquarters and at some of its other stores, as well as at its call centres in Glasgow and Barrow-in-Furness. It already employs 600 people and the latest announcement comes just two months after the company launched a Modern Apprenticeship scheme, taking on 50 school leavers as trainees. Sharon Munro, chief executive, said: ‘2012 has been a good year for the business, with substantial growth and new store openings creating a number of new sales and support roles across the country. ‘We are always looking at ways to make holiday booking simpler and more accessible for customers and our supermarket concessions are the first of a number of joint ventures we are currently working on.' Meanwhile, Accor is set to open four new hotels in London in October - a Novotel and ibis hotel in Blackfriars; a second ibis hotel in Shepherd's Bush; and a Mercure hotel in Greenwich. The announcement follows recent openings in Croydon, Whitechapel and King's Cross. Thomas Dubaere, Accor UK & Ireland managing director, said: ‘As the market leader in Europe and a key business player in the hospitality industry, Accor has treated this important year as a strategic opportunity to boost our presence in the UK's capital by investing in upcoming areas such as Shepherd's Bush, Blackfriars, Whitechapel and King's Cross, and improving the training and development of young people in the hospitality industry, to ensure a long term legacy for 2012 and beyond.'
HGR Launches ExecSearch by HGR Brand
A new executive search service has been launched by the international recruitment organisation HGR. Entitled ‘ExecSearch by HGR', the brand is positioned as a senior management executive search recruitment service, covering all sectors of the hotel and hospitality industry internationally. Managing Director Jeff Ross summarises that "the launch of this new brand is a very logical step in HGR's organisational growth. It capitalises upon our significant experience of the international executive search market within the hospitality sector over the last decade, and our extensive networks of hospitality candidates and employers". Jeff states that "technology and social media play an increasingly vital role for networking and recruitment within the hospitality industry and ExecSearch by HGR offers an extremely wide reach. This enables us to react quickly to our client's resourcing needs, in presenting the right candidates for management vacancies. Confidentiality, efficiency, integrity, and a thorough understanding of the international hospitality industry are the cornerstones of our Executive Search service. We only present candidates that have specifically expressed an interest in our client's job vacancies, and who have given their express permission for us to present their CVs to those clients. We will never present a candidate to a client without firstly assessing their potential suitability, and secondly determining their level of interest in the job". Supporting Jeff in the management of ExecSearch by HGR is Philip Noel (former hotel General Manager and experienced executive search recruiter) and several strategic international partners. For more information, please visit www.h-g-r.com/execsearch.
Oxford Professor Identifies Africa as a New Investment Hot Spot
Ian Goldin, the Oxford University professor and former economic adviser to Nelson Mandela has named Africa as a new investment hot spot. Speaking ahead of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) this September 25-26 in Nairobi, where he will be describing the economic outlook for Africa in the coming decade, Professor Goldin has made six predictions that paint a promising picture of the continent from a commercial and investment point of view.
He forecasts that in the period from now to 2020:
Professor Goldin said: "The changes taking place in Africa are truly dramatic. For example, in the early 1980s, over 30 countries were ruled by autocrats and there were few democracies; by the late 1990s, that statistic was reversed. In the period 1999 - 2009, the S&P 500 fell by 0.8% year on year however; by comparison, the S&P Africa grew by over 23%". The management consulting firm, McKinsey, is similarly up-beat. It reports that African consumer spending has risen from $860 billion in 2008 to almost $1trillion now, and will reach $1.4trillion in 2020. Prof. Goldin continued: "Africa is now the fastest-growing technology market in the world and new IT businesses are appearing at such a rate that there are stories about a shortage of suitable office accommodation in Nairobi, which is the centre of the emerging IT industry." Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, the company organising AHIF, said: "GDP growth in Africa is around 6%/ year, which is well in excess of most developed Western economies but one wonders how long that can continue. Professor Goldin will help us look in to the future and extrapolate useful implications from the major trends for the hotel sector. For example, with a rapidly growing labour force, will there be strong growth in intra-regional travel and hence a higher demand for hotel accommodation and, if so, by how much? What will happen to property prices and interest rates and what will cause the current explosion in hotel development to slow?" These and many more questions will be answered at AHIF, which is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers. It will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Nairobi on 25-26th September, where the agenda will focus on how to capitalise long-term on the opportunities presented by Africa and strategies to overcome the challenges. For more information, go to www.Africa-Conference.com.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Twenty-five-year hotel veteran Bruno Cristol has been named General Manager of the recently rebranded Traders Hotel, Brisbane. The hotel was rebranded on 7 August 2012, and is now owned and managed by Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. The 191-room property, which is centrally located above the Brisbane Transit Centre and next to Roma Street Parklands, is the first Traders hotel operated by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in Australia. It marks the hotel group's third venture in the continent, following the group's recent acquisition of the 563-room landmark Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney and its majority stake in Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns. Mr. Cristol, a French-Australian national, has worked with the Shangri-La group for more than a decade. His wealth of knowledge and experience includes opening new hotels and restaurants in Asia and Australia. Mr. Cristol first joined Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in 2001, as the Director of Food and Beverage at Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong. Then in 2005, he moved to Australia to become the Resident Manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney. He was actively involved in the renovation and rebranding of the hotel, which led to Shangri‑La Hotel, Sydney receiving the "Best Luxury Accommodation" category award of the New South Wales Tourism Awards and being name the "Best Deluxe Hotel of the Year 2006" by the Australian Hotels Association (AHA).
The Hospitality Industry Network has named Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., chairman and CEO of the Kohler Co., the 2012 Icon of Industry, the non-profit organization's most prestigious honor. Kohler will be honored Monday, November 12, 2012 at the Gold Key Awards breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental New York during the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in November, and then again at the Platinum Circle Gala during the Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference (HD Expo) in May.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Rezidor has expanded its portfolio of hotels in Dubai with the signing of a new Park Inn by Radisson Hotel. The 300-room Park Inn by Radisson Dubai Al Jadaf is scheduled to open in 2015. The Park Inn by Radisson Dubai Al Jadaf is located in the Al Jadaf area, only 5 km from Dubai International airport, Downtown and Business Bay, and only 3 km from Dubai Festival City, Dubai International Financial Centre, the international exhibition centre and the traditional centres of Deira and Bur Dubai. The hotel will be part of a new development that will comprise two further hotels of a more upscale and luxury positioning that will cater for different market segments. Besides 300 rooms, the hotel will offer two restaurants, one lobby-lounge, one bar, a fitness centre and approximately 400sqm of meeting space. "Dubai and the UAE are a promising market for Park Inn by Radisson. We are delighted to partner with Aabar Investments and welcome them to our family. We look forward to our long standing and successful relationship. Our compelling Park Inn by Radisson brand stands for hotels offering a warm welcome, energetic designs, contemporary rooms, good food & beverage, and fine business amenities - all at great value for money and through efficient real estate investment," said Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of Rezidor.
There'll be even more reason to spend summer in the city (if the weather holds) when South Place Hotel opens close to Liverpool Street this September. Opening in September 2012, South Place Hotel is the first hotel from restaurant group D&D London, whose collection includes the likes of Coq d'Argent, Royal Exchange Grand Café, and Skylon, and is the latest luxury hotel to move away from the busy tourist spots to make its home in the City of London. Contributing to its place as a Design Hotels member, no doubt, the 80 rooms and suites will be designed by Sir Terence Conran's design practice Conran, who created the eclectic interiors at Boundary, just up the road, in Shoreditch. Original works of art from local artists will be hung in each of the rooms, which combine comfort (huge bathtubs), modern technology (Bang & Olufsen TVs) and tradition (writing desks). An arty theme runs throughout the hotel, which will host an annual South Place Hotel Art Prize, open to London art school graduates. The winner's work will be displayed in a window on the ground floor, where the public can admire it. Those that weren't blessed with artistic flair can instead wander down to the Barbican, one of the city's many cultural centres, to appreciate the works of others. But it's the food that we're most excited about. There will be two restaurants: a British seafood restaurant called Angler and a private dining room will occupy the seventh floor, and 3 South Place will be an informal restaurant open to the public. Chef Tony Fleming, who devised the menu at One Aldwych, will serve British seafood at Angler (details are guarded, but we're expecting something a bit more upmarket than fish and chips). We're told that there'll be a 'secret' rooftop garden, which we can only imagine will become a summer drinking spot for thirsty city workers. And for those guests that prefer to know what they're getting, 3 South Place Bar, next door, will serve Champagne and cocktails to a party crowd (the bar has a 24-hour licence and a host of top DJs lined up).
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