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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
In-room iPads have become practically standard in the luxury marketplace, but what about tablet walls?
Spain's Serrano Brothers sought to design the "hotel of the future" when they debuted the "ITH Room Xperience," a model hotel room made of Microsoft Surface Tablets, multiple screens and interactive surfaces, all of which are controllable via smartphone. It's not the first use of the concept we've seen (recall the Corning Glass commercial?) but this is a first of its kind in the hotel world. The concept is currently on display at Fiturtech International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid, Spain.
When it comes to leisure, travellers say location and price are the most important issues in selecting a hotel, according to a nationwide survey conducted by GO Airport Express, which provides airport shuttles to and from O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport.
More than 250 people responded to the request to rank seven factors in order of importance. Eighty seven percent chose price or location as the most important criteria. The number of stars a hotel has and amenities were next with 85% splitting their choices between third and fourth place in rank. A close fifth place was service, followed far behind with the ability to earn points through a loyalty program. The ability to use frequent flyer points was clearly the least important, with 91% picking it last or next to last with the vast majority ranking it last. "The survey shows that convenience and affordability are the most important factors when choosing a hotel for vacation accommodations," says John McCarthy, president, GO Airport Express. GO Airport Express, one of the oldest companies in Chicago, traces its founding to 1853 and the Parmelee Transportation Company, which provided a carriage service between Chicago's railroad stations and the downtown hotels. It is a founding member of The GO Group LLC, the nation's largest airport transportation provider, serving some 60 airports in North America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe and transporting more than 13 million passengers per year.
Hotels continue to see a steady increase in occupancy and revenue performance, according to data from the January 2013 TravelClick North American Hospitality Review (NAHR).
When looking at Q1 2013 through Q4 2013, the current outlook is for moderate growth, with continued improvement in average daily rate (ADR) being the key driver. “Based on TravelClick data, ADR continues to be the main source of RevPAR growth heading into 2013,” said Tim Hart, executive vice president, enterprise research and development, TravelClick. “While both ADR and occupancy are growing – occupancy is improving more slowly while ADR is increasing at a slightly more rapid pace.” Committed occupancy across all segments, for January 2013 through December 2013, is up 2.0 percent compared to a year ago. Based on reservations currently on the books, ADR is up 4.9 percent, compared to the same time last year. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) is up 4.1 percent.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Today Digital Alchemy, the pioneer of customer relationship management and e-marketing solutions for the global hospitality market, announced that Don Hay, Chief Executive Officer, has been named to the 2013 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Americas Region Board of Directors. Hay has been an active member of HSMAI since becoming involved with the hospitality industry in 1992. Hay's unique background that combines over 20 years of hospitality industry experience with 35 years of technical expertise will contribute an innovative vision and strategic direction to the HSMAI board. As Founder and CEO of Digital Alchemy, Hay has used that same vision to develop the comprehensive suite of integrated e-mail CRM offerings and mobile apps which have helped the company establish a reputation as the leader in hospitality CRM solutions.
Catherine Salerno, a leading hospitality executive, returns to New Jersey as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Hamilton Park Hotel and Conference Center. In her new position she will lead the property's sales team, develop and direct its marketing strategy and develop new accounts for the 219-room hotel. Most recently, Ms. Salerno was Area Director Sales for HEI Hotels and Resorts in Virginia, responsible for the Marriott Hanover, Embassy Suites Tysons and Le Meridian Arlington. In her home state of New Jersey, she held executive sales positions at Crestline Hotels and Resorts, overseeing sales at the Hilton Parsippany and Hampton Inn Parsippany, and at the Headquarters Plaza Hotel in Morristown. In addition to extensive work as an independent hospitality consultant, Ms. Salerno held management jobs with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Walt Disney World and as a food and beverage consultant for the Department of the Navy.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Best Western International — the World’s Largest Hotel Chain® — has continued its exciting start to 2013 with the launch of a stunning new resort in Malaysia. Located in the popular coastal town of Port Dickson, just 40 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and 90 minutes from KL, the BEST WESTERN Prima Inland Sea Resort offers an exciting new option for leisure travelers and corporate groups. Set within 23 secluded acres, this stunning 300-room resort is set upon Malaysia’s largest manmade beach - a palm-fringed paradise the size of five Olympic-sized swimming pools! Taking advantage of this tropical environment, BEST WESTERN Prima Inland Sea Resort is centered on a huge, lagoon-style swimming pool, complete with waterslides, pirate ships, whirlpools and waterfalls.
Hard Rock International, in collaboration with Kittridge Hotel Management, will open the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs this Fall. Formerly the Hotel Zoso, the 160-room hotel will offer a VIP rock star suite, Rock Spa, Body Rock workout facility, Rock Shop, featuring iconic Hard Rock merchandise, dining options and a lobby bar. It also features 20,500 sq. ft. of ballroom and banquet facility space, as well as a business centre. Music memorabilia will line the hotel walls, featuring both local and global icons.
Apple Tree Group is targeting April 15 for the soft opening of the highly anticipated tented luxury lodge located in the heart of historic Bagan, Myanmar. Located near the eastern shore of the legendary Irrawaddy River, the property offers 85 air-conditioned rooms in three classes of accommodation, ranging from 261 square meters for the Courtyard Suite, to 72 square meters for the Deluxe Tented Rooms. The hotel’s design aesthetic melds classic Burmese brick design with contemporary flourishes and tented roofs. Its principal restaurant, the Tiffin Box, delivers a range of culinary fare from authentic Burmese to western cuisine. Afternoon tea is served in the Lobby Lounge, and the Pool Bar offers up snacks and cocktails.
PPHE Hotel Group Limited, owner and operator of primarily full service upscale and lifestyle hotels including Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts in Europe, has announced that it will extend its Park Plaza Histria Pula property, Croatia, bringing the room-count total to 368. The development is a close collaboration between PPHE Hotel Group and Arenaturist, which PPHE Hotel Group operates and part owns, and will be completed for the 2013 summer season. The additional 127 newly renovated rooms and suites will bring the total of rooms in the award-winning Park Plaza Histria Pula, which opened summer 2012, to 368 making it the ideal location for large events, conferences and incentives.
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