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Hotel Industry News In Brief
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Eating wild and gluten free among top five hotel dining trends.
Benchmark Hospitality, the US-based hospitality management company says that trends like foraging, creative gluten free options and ingredient-transparent cooking all top the charts across the board at the company's portfolio of 35 hotels and resorts. Along with these trends, Benchmark also says molecular gastronomy and interaction between chef/kitchen and guest round out the top five dining trends in 2012. "Dining is a global experience, with chefs integrating culinary aspects from multiple countries into a single meal, " said Benchmark's vice president Tom E. Garcia. "Those that further this during the next year and beyond will do so with a profound understanding and integration of all aspects of a dynamic, global marketplace."
Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Texas, won the 2012 Social Hotel Award for best Twitter account, property.
The hotel’s Twitter account is monitored seven days a week by the in-house social media team, which creates content such as “Concierge Recommends” showcasing events around the city, and behind-the-scenes details about the hotel. The team produces an average of six to seven tweets per day. The hotel also used the account to address concerns or complaints posted via Twitter and leave care packages to Twitter followers staying at the hotel. The hotel has grown its @FSAustin followers to more than 5,000 in three years, with an 81% upsurge of 2,200 followers from January 2011 to March 2012. The account receives on average 20 to 60 retweets per day and 10 to 40 mentions per day. It maintains a Klout score between 50 and 56 and averages nearly 125,000 weekly impressions.
For the fourth year running it is celebration time in Limpopo, South Africa - as Legend Golf & Safari Resort - toasts a double gold in the biggest travel awards in the world.
And it's a hat-trick of sporting wins as the unique resort has been named Africa's Leading Sports Resort and South Africa's Leading Golf Resort at the prestigious World Travel Awards - for the third year running. Hailed as the "Oscars of the Travel Industry", the World Travel Awards is the most influential and comprehensive awards programme for the travel sector. What's new for 2012 that has kept Legend Golf & Safari Resort as Africa's finest? Perhaps the opening of the world's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage has captured the imagination. Perhaps the opening of a new 600-seater conference and events venue has impressed the judges. Or maybe a new fleet of 50-plus vehicles, a new pool area, more rooms and a continued passion for conservation have shown a commitment to driving customer service levels and guest experiences. Peet Cilliers, CEO of Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resorts, said: "As I said last year, and the year before and the year before that - it is a great honour that our vision and passion have been recognised by our peers in the global travel and tourism industry." "We don't pretend it's easy. We don't pretend tourism and leisure don't have their challenges. We don't pretend that we don't have the same hurdles to face as others. "But we don't have to pretend that we love what we do. Four years ago we were a small resort with a big vision and we were overwhelmed to be rewarded with our first World Travel Award - we thought we may be onto something special."
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Mr. John O’Shea has been appointed General Manager, The Langham, Xintiandi, Shanghai effective immediately. A distinguished hotelier, John has more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry, 18 of which were as a General Manager or Managing Director of high profile hotels in his native country Australia as well as Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and China. Throughout his career he has consistently shown strong leadership skills which have seen many of the hotels under his guidance win international and regional awards during his tenure. Although he has been based in Shanghai since 2007 and worked as Managing Director of a leading five-star hotel in Pudong, The Langham, Xintiandi is his first appointment as a General Manager with the Langham Hospitality Group. In his new role, John will be responsible for overseeing the Langham Xintiandi, a 357 room hotel with three restaurants and bars, 2,000 sqm of meeting space and Chuan Spa. In addition, he will also oversee 88 Xintiandi, a 53-room boutique hotel located within the vibrant Xintiandi entertainment district.
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), today announces a staff appointment in Dubai to develop programs and the HSMAI brand in the U.A.E. and Middle East. Erin O’Neill has been named managing director of the HSMAI U.A.E. O’Neill is the founder of Hot Hoteliers, a hotelier networking organization with more than 4,500 members across Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi, and partner and Chief Imagination Officer of Serindipity Event Solutions , which builds brands through special events, public relations and marketing initiatives. Additionally, O’Neill has experience working in sales and marketing for Movenpick and Starwood Hotels and Resorts in both Europe and the Middle East.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
James Bond's favourite Edinburgh hotel re-opens after makeover. Sir Sean Connery's favorite Edinburgh digs, the historic Caledonian Hotel, reopened this week after a 24 million pound investment and renovation program. The hotel's redesign is based on the 1903's property's Titanic-era heyday. The hotel now joins the Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts group as well as a growing list of classic "grand tour" hotels like the Mamounia and The Ritz in Paris which have undergone recent makeovers. The Princes Street hotel renovation includes public spaces, bedrooms, spa, restaurants and bars. The Caledonian is often seen as the friendly rival to the equally luxurious, nearby Balmoral Hotel, where J.K. Rowling wrote parts of the Harry Potter saga. The addition of the Caledonian to the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts growing portfolio of luxury properties brings its number to over 20 properties worldwide.
Marriott International, Inc has announced plans to open its tenth hotel in Turkey, the 110-room Renaissance Izmir Hotel, set to open in late 2012. Renaissance Hotels is the signature lifestyle brand within the Marriott International global portfolio. Recognized for its signature guest programmes including R Navigator and RLife LIVE, Renaissance Hotels currently has over 35 hotels throughout Europe. With a population of over three million, Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey after Istanbul and Ankara. Heralded as the “Pearl of the Aegean”, Izmir is located on Turkey’s west coast on the stunning Aegean sea. Izmir’s natural port is popular with not only tourists but also one of largest export-import hubs in Turkey. Izmir’s fascinating 8,500-year history has earned the city international recognition as a site of historical and cultural importance. Izmir is home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the famed Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, as well as a myriad of Roman ruins, ancient churches, and lively bazaars located within the city and neighbouring towns. The Renaissance Izmir Hotel will be located in the heart of downtown Izmir, just moments from the “Kordon”, the city’s famous sea front promenade lined with cafés and shops.
Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Corp., Kuala Lumpur, has announced plans to build a 186-room Four Seasons hotel in Kyoto, Japan, for an estimated US$318 million. Berjaya said that Malaysia's RHB Bank Bhd is financing the project, joining another luxury project by Ritz-Carlton set to open in tourist-rich Kyoto by 2014. "I see a big potential for those five-star hotels to succeed in Kyoto because there is a steady leisure demand for high-class accommodation," Tomohiko Sawayanagi, managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, told Reuters on Tuesday. "Kyoto already has some high-grade Japanese style inns called ryokan, so the market for luxury accommodation already exits." Kyoto currently attracts a substantial 40 million tourist a year.
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