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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
What are hotels doing with all the data they have on guests? Pampering or prying?
“Hotels have always kept logs on their guests, tracking previous stays, comments and complaints, even which pay-per-view movies you ordered,” writes Peter Jon Lindberg of CNN.com. “What has changed, in this brazen new world, is the sheer amount of data that hotels now collect on guests. … A representative for a prestigious Beverly Hills hotel recalls welcoming a first-time guest to the property. ‘We knew very little about her before she checked in, so we searched for her online and discovered she had a dog named Bo,’ the rep says. ‘When she arrived, there was a little doggy gift waiting in her room, with a note card that said “Bo misses you.”’ Creepy? Cute? You be the judge.”
Rome tourism set for Latin America boost.
Tourism bosses in Rome were celebrating last night after a Latin American Pope was chosen for the first time. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, from Argentina, was appointed yesterday. With the continent making up 40% of the world's 483 million Catholics, the move will be seen as a welcome boost to the city's tourism. Of the 10 countries in the world with the largest Catholic population, four are in Latin America. A spokeswoman from the Italian Tourist Office said Rome was already a major tourist destination but the new Pope was expected to bring many more tourists, particularly from Latin America. "Of course we are expecting an increase, absolutely. A wonderful man has been elected and every Sunday at midday there is a blessing from his window and many people from Latin America and all over the world will come to see him," she said. Hotel bookings in the city rose more than 10% when Benedict XVI first announced he was stepping down, and one travel site reported a 60% increase in inquiries from Germany, the International Herald Tribune reported.
Cruise safety fears may lead to price cuts after incidents on the same day on Thomson Majesty and Carnival Triumph.
According to a report from the Daily Telegraph yesterday: ‘The death of five crew from Thomson Majesty and the engine-room fire that immobilised Carnival Triumph were a serious blow to the industry which has been trying to restore confidence after 32 people died when Costa Concordia crashed into rocks and capsized off Giglio in Italy in January 2012.’ According to the Passenger Shipping Association, the number of UK cruise passengers hit a record 1.7m but that was just 1,000 more than in 2011. The Telegraph said: ‘In a survey of 2,230 Americans last month, half agreed air travel was safer than a cruise, while 58% who had never cruised said they were less likely to take one now than a year ago.
‘To try to stem a drop in confidence, Carnival’s UK boss has promised an investigation into what went wrong on Triumph and what can be done to ensure it never happens again.’ Meanwhile, a report in Time said: ‘No one died on the Triumph, but because the ship received so much bad publicity while it was stranded for five days at sea, and because the conditions on board were so atrocious, the widespread assumption was that the episode would damage Carnival’s reputation and sales – and perhaps even hurt the cruise industry as a whole.’ Time‘s straw poll of US cruise agents found that business had not been affected by the Triumph publicity last month – but it noted that other surveys of cruisers found the industry had suffered.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Mr. Didier Gourmaud, General Manager of Le Grande, Pecatu, Bali, is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms. Amanda Natascha Snell as Jakarta Sales Manager for Le Grande Bali, effective immediately. Amanda, of Indonesian nationality, will be responsible for Jakarta sales activities, online and offline travel agents, corporate, group segments and MICE for Le Grande Bali. She graduated Bachelor Degree in Communication Studies STIKOM at London School of Public Relations Jakarta and has been in hospitality industry for almost 5 years, with professional experience including sales and guest relations from many companies in Jakarta. Prior to joining Le Grande Bali, she was Sales Manager at Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jakarta. “With years of experience in the hospitality industry, Amanda has a very strong background in Sales & Guest Relations we certain that she will implement many successful solicitation strategies to targeted customers that meet and exceed our revenue goals.” said Didier Gourmaud, General Manager.
Red Roof Inn has named Brendan P. Foley the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective immediately. Foley brings twenty-five years of CPA and executive experience in both finance and accounting. Previously, he served as CFO of Navigator Management Partners, an IT and management consulting firm. Foley graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has held a series of important leadership roles throughout his career including serving as Vice President, Financial, Planning & Analysis for The Ohio State University and held an array of integral leadership roles at Wendy’s International, Inc. including his tenure as Senior Vice President, Controller and Principal Accounting Officer.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Swissôtel Métropole, Geneva has a new class of rooms — the first of their kind systemwide. The 12 new “Signature Rooms” have a distinctly Alpine inspiration, with parquet floors and custom wallpaper depicting regional flowers by Swiss textile manufacturer Jakob Schlaepfer. The 12 rooms include four different color schemes. All lights and electronics are controlled by a central control panel. The television is hidden within a full-length mirror with a panel guests can use to connect their own devices to the display. All Signature Rooms offer views of either Lake Geneva or the English gardens; they are available with king- or twin-sized beds. The open bathrooms have steam showers or whirlpool baths and bath amenities made by Swiss farmers with oils and local herbs.
Whole Foods Market revealed that it plans to develop a wellness-oriented resort in Austin, Texas. John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-CEO told USA Today that the resort would offer healthy lifestyle education for guests and that the company is currently negotiating for a development site in downtown Austin and securing a hotel operator. Mackey characterized the venture, which would be the grocery chain’s first foray into lodging, as an experiment after an earlier attempt to set up wellness clubs at store locations failed. "It's an experiment, and you never know if experiments will be successful or not,” Mackey told USA Today.
The Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort has announced that it is undergoing a $17 million rejuvenation. Breaking ground in November 2012, the first phase of the renovation is scheduled to be complete April 2013, in time for spring break and summer. The full-scale renovation, which includes a second phase set to begin in late 2013, features an entirely new arrival experience, with landscaping and enhancements to the porte-cochere, cedar shake and wood accents, pendant lanterns and new lighting sconces. The new lobby space will boasts lounge-style concierge areas and vibrant-coloured walls juxtaposed against the white-on-white ceiling. The entire space was also opened. The outdoor experience, complete with views of the Atlantic coastline, includes a renovation of the existing family and adult pools, the addition of a kid-friendly “Splash Pad” and zero-entry pool with ledge seating edging the dune line. The Buoy Bar was also revamped. From the pool area to the Upper Courtyard, new pavers and landscaping lead to the extended dining deck at the hh Prime restaurant. The new deck features a fire pit.
Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG has announced that after 18 months of construction, the four-star Angelo Munich Westpark opened. The Angelo Westpark is the second Angelo brand hotel in Munich. Like the Angelo Hotel at Leuchtenbergring, which opened in 2008, the Angelo Munich Westpark was developed by Austrian company UBM Realitätenentwicklung AG and its subsidiary Münchner Grund Immobilien Bauträger AG. The new 207-room four-star Angelo Hotel Munich Westpark opened in the district of Sendling. The property is said to boast a linear design concept, blending light-flooded architecture and bright yellow, coral red and anthracite tones.
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