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ehotelier Hospitality News Archives: June 2005
Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 30, 2005
Controlling 41 luxury hotels and resorts in locations around the world is not enough for Raffles Holdings. It plans to buy or lease more hotels and to take on management contracts for properties it does not itself own.
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A new report, authored by CeME (Center for Marketing Effectiveness) and produced in collaboration with Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), was released to HTNG members last week in Los Angeles at the Hotel Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC). Entitled “The Guest of the Future: In-Room Technology Preferences Today and Tomorrow,” this 6 month research effort defines the profile of the guest of the future and the impact this changing profile has on in-room technology decisions.
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The latest study from the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), Leisure Travel Planning: How Consumers Make Travel Decisions, shows that leisure travelers decide where they want to go and for how long before they even consider the price tag. The study helps travel industry professionals better understand leisure travel decision making among U.S. residents and the role of pricing in a highly competitive environment.
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The first half of the year has seen over 51,000 rooms already change ownership totalling an investment volume of €6.4bn. The activity was mainly driven by public hotel operators disposing of assets for strategy reasons such as the disposal of non-core assets or the return of capital to shareholders.
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Hyatt Is First Hotel Chain to Provide Satellite Radio Free-of-Charge at Properties From Coast to Coast
Hyatt is the first hotel chain to offer complimentary satellite radio at properties across the continental U.S. Hyatt guests will be able to listen to XM's 150-plus digital radio channels of commercial-free music and premier sports, news, talk, and entertainment on custom-designed XM tabletop radios located in each guestroom. An XM channel guide and promotional information will be available with the radios.
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Far East Organization (FEO) announced the appointment of Mr Arthur Kiong, 45, as Director of Hotel Operations. Mr Kiong will head the newly created Hotel Division within Far East Organization to oversee the operations of the five hotels under the organisation, namely Albert Court Hotel, Changi Village Hotel, The Elizabeth Hotel, Golden Landmark Hotel, and Orchard Parade Hotel. Mr Kiong will also hold a concurrent appointment as Director of Hotel Operations in Orchard Parade Holdings Limited, which owns Albert Court Hotel and Orchard Parade Hotel.
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Marriott Named a 'Best Place to Work in Information Technology' by Computerworld for Third Consecutive Year
Marriott International, Inc. announced that it has been recognized by IDG's Computerworld as one of the "Best Places to Work in IT" for the third year in a row.
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In the last decade - and especially since 2001, when Beijing was announced as the host of the 2008 Summer Olympics - growth in the Chinese capital has taken off at warp speed. Today, Beijing seems light-years away from the days when armies of workers in Communist garb rode the streets in throngs of bicycles.
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Regent International Hotels today appointed Tom Manno as senior director of sales and operations. In his new role, Mr. Manno will focus on developing and executing sales, marketing and operations plans for Regent International Hotels in the Americas. Mr. Manno will report to Monica Neumann, vice president of operations for Regent International Hotels.
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Carlson Hotels Worldwide announced that its global portfolio of brands opened 19 new properties during April and May. The company has opened an average of nine new hotels per month since the start of 2005. These additions bring the company's total number of properties to 895 in 68 countries. Carlson hotel brands include: Regent International Hotels, Radisson Hotels & Resorts®, Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlsonsm and Park Inn®.
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The good climate continued for the UK hotel industry in May with increases in room yields for both Regional and London hotels, according to the latest figures from PKF hotel consultancy services.
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The Marco Polo Hotel Group has appointed Henk Meyknecht as General Manager of the soon to open Marco Polo Shenzhen in China and James Ong as General Manager of The Marco Polo Omni Saigon.
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Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort Hotel opened its CHI Spa Village, the first and largest spa resort of its kind in the Philippines last June 22. The 10,000 square metre facility was launched with a rousing ceremony with the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the guest of honor
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 29, 2005
The art of Hospitality includes two aspects by definition: reception and entertainment for the Guest in a generous and kindly manner. We market our entertainment factors aggressively, crafting the experience we believe our Guests require, but fail miserably on the other aspect, how they are received – that crucial first impression which sets the tone. By John R. Hendrie, CEO, Hospitality Performance, Inc.
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Is your hotel room smarter than you? Mine often is. "It looks like a spaceship," said Leslee, my 9-year-old cousin, as she pointed to the coffeemaker in our Colorado cabin. Apparently we're no rocket scientists. It took three adults and one child a half-hour to decipher the alien apparatus, which seemed to us to possess more parts than a Chinese puzzle and more gauges than a jet cockpit. I later learned it came with a 44-page manual. By Jane Engle, San Francisco Chronicle
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U.S. and other Western hotel companies are expanding rapidly in China, as the country emerges as an economic superpower and prepares for the 2008 Olympics. Working with local developers, Marriott, Hyatt, St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton are some of the five-star U.S. brands pouring billions into the country.
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Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR), CTF Holdings Ltd., Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. (NYSE: SHO), Walton Street Capital, L.L.C., and Tarsadia Hotels announced that they have substantially completed the set of purchase and sale transactions originally announced on April 27, 2005 involving 29 Renaissance Hotels & Resorts and three Courtyard hotels, and certain joint venture interests.
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Absolute Asia, the leading provider of private luxury travel to Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific, has conducted a comprehensive study of worldwide spa offerings, and has compiled a list of the Top 10 “Absolute Must Try” spa experiences for sophisticated travelers. Absolute Asia is confident that the list represents the most deluxe, innovative, and exciting spa experiences available today.
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Marriott has appointed Ms. Belinda Pote as senior vice president international marketing, reporting to Ed Fuller, president and managing director for International Lodging.
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The Grand America Hotels and Resorts Appoints Bruce Fery to Executive Vice President of Hotel Division
The hotel division consists of independently owned properties by Earl Holding including, The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah; Little America properties in Arizona, Wyoming and Utah; and The Westgate Hotel in San Diego, California.
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There's not much basic about Hôtel du Petit Moulin, the boutique hostelry designed by Christian Lacroix that opened early this year in the Marais district. The fashion designer, known for his creative exuberance, has had a field day with fabric, furniture, wallpaper, paint, accessories - and that's just the lobby. The lavishly Lacroixian touches continue throughout the 17th-century building. Each of the 17 guest rooms has a different look. Walls might be covered in haute-couture sketches, starry skies or giant carnations. Furniture ranges from antique to pop to zen, sometimes in the same room. It's lodging as theater.
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Scott Pierce has been appointed president and COO of the Educational Institute (EI) of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF).
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 28, 2005
Luxury hotels in central and eastern Europe are experiencing a boom as tourists discover the eight former communist countries that joined the European Union last year, officials say. They attribute the influx of travellers to EU enlargement and to the growing number of discount airlines laying on cheap flights from the rest of Europe, saying tourists skimp on airfares so they can afford grand hotels.
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Yeoh Siew Hoon is rather tickled by the notion of a Qantas-Singapore Airlines merger.
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According to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, investor interest in Australian hotel assets is set to continue through the second half of 2005. The firm’s recently released Hotel Investment Outlook report confirms that in Australia, Asian hotel owners are looking to take advantage of the favourable exchange rate and the strong investment market by divesting in 2005.
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Benchmark Hospitality International has announced the appointment of Sam Haigh as president & chief operating officer for the leading hospitality management company. Burt Cabañas, chairman and chief executive officer, made the announcement.
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Grand Hyatt Dubai’s Grand Gourmet Summit signs up with world’s top organiser of gourmet events. The Grand Gourmet Summit, an event created by Grand Hyatt Dubai running from 13th -18th November 2005 has confirmed association with the World Gourmet Club, the umbrella organisation for all top level gourmet events around the world, including the World Gourmet Summits in Singapore and Las Vegas, and the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival.
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In-room hotel entertainment has long been a backwater of technology. That's beginning to change. Though the lobby lounge is really fabulous, technology lovers who stay at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City may never want to leave their rooms. The hotel, which opened a year and a half ago, decked out its rooms with all the latest gear: flat-screen TVs, state-of-the-art speakers, 97 channels—including 10 in high definition—and scores of on-demand movies.
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....at Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square. Being a member of the staff at Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square means that you will be given access to training programs, highlighting career development, financial assistance, non-formal high school education and scholarships. These development programs help create job satisfaction and a sense of belonging.
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Six months after the Dec 26 tsunami hit Thailand's Andaman shoreline, and with the peak tourist travelling season over, the region that once was the country's most popular destination is still almost dead quiet. There is barely a sign of business activity, particularly in those tourism and hospitality sectors.
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Alain Brière has been appointed Area Director of Sales and Marketing of Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai. In this position, Mr Brière manages and oversees the Sales and Marketing Division, comprising of Sales, Events Management, MICE and Communications.
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Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R) have just announced the signing of a management contract for a major new project in Qatar's capital, Doha. The pioneering agreement is the Swiss domiciled company's first diversification in the Middle East from the concept of a city or resort hotel: the property is planned as a Residence and is due to open in 2006.
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At its 12 annual conference held this week, the Hospitality Information Technology Association (HITA) sought to advance the use of information technology to not only boost business profitability, but to enhance the guest experience. Mandarin-Oriental CTO/CIO Nick Price, a leader in the use of technology as a business strategy, was the Keynote speaker and shared Mandarin’s success and approach in applying technology to enhance the customer experience.
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Asset managers provide a wide range of management oversight, analysis, and support to hotel owners. The specific scope of services is tailored to each owner. Compensation is usually a flat fee or a fee that is a percentage of gross revenues. By Mark Lynn, HVS International
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This report is a survey of the fees charged by the major hotel franchisors in the economy, mid-rate, and first-class market segments, enabling hotel owners to easily compare the total cost of one hotel franchise with that of another.
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Rezidor SAS Hospitality has renewed its partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) for a further two-year period. As part of the extension of this European partnership, Rezidor SAS will further support MPI in increasing its’ brand awareness throughout Europe.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 27, 2005
Hilton International Hotels' new Chief Executive, Ian Carter, has announced a new structure for the business, effective 1 July 2005. As part of the process of developing his strategy for the global hotel operator, the structure aims to provide the foundation for Hilton International's growth over the next three to five years.
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Having just pulled off the biggest logistical challenge of your life, paid to put your caterer's children through law school, danced with your most hirsute in-laws and made some rather sweeping promises in front of everyone you know, is there a better time to get out of town? In the past, the honeymoon used to be a chance for a newly married couple to get to know each other better. Today, it's a chance to recuperate. By Sophia Banay, Forbes.com
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Yeoh Siew Hoon gets caught up in Olympics fever as she returns from a top contending city to one that will host those who will decide the winner. Bottomline: Everyone behave please.
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Check the tab. Here's a sampling of what you would be expected to pay at the Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street, as opposed to comparable items at a nearby Duane Reade store:When all 1,946 rooms in the Marriott Marquis were occupied, it took 20 housekeepers seven hours to check the minibars, whether guests drank a Pepsi or not. So about a year ago the Times Square hotel yanked the little refrigerators, leaving an empty space in the armoires and a void in Leslie Lennon's experience as a guest.
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Latest results from the HotelBenchmark Monthly Profitability Survey for London reveal this year is off to a cracking start for hoteliers across the capital. Year-to-April 2005 results show Income Before Fixed Charges (IBFC) has grown 7% per-available room (PAR) adding an additional £450 PAR to the bottom line. Total revenue has also increased by 7% but despite this, the profit conversion ratio remains virtually unchanged from the same period last year at 43%.
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Say hello to summer, sisters, and while you're at it pack your bags and get ready for a vacation of a lifetime -- but leave the men at home! According to Liberty Travel, one of America's largest travel agencies, all-girl getaways are one of the hottest trends in travel, as more and more female bonding trips are being booked at places far away from home with no men in tow.
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One of the world’s most wanted men, a Colombian conman who absconded from a prison in Britain, was arrested in Dublin yesterday. Juan Carlos Guzman-Betancourt, 29, who has conned his way into hotel rooms around the world, went on the run from an open prison in Britain earlier this month. He was being hunted by gardaí in Dublin following a burglary at the Merrion Hotel last week, in which jewellery, credit cards and tens of thousands of euro were taken
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San Diego State University today announced a $1 million contribution to its acclaimed Hospitality and Tourism Management program from California hotelier Terry Brown, president of Atlas Hotels Inc. The gift will endow an Executive-in-Residence program that will bring top hotel industry executives to the classroom.
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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group today announced that it will manage an exclusive hideaway resort currently under development in the secluded Barefoot Beach area of Grand Cayman Island in the British West Indies. The project will extend the Group’s successful hideaway concept, designed for sophisticated travellers in search of tranquility, serenity and luxury, to a premier travel destination in the Caribbean. The resort is scheduled to open in 2007.
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Francisco Zinser, current Business Unit Director of Las Americas of NH Hoteles, has been named Chief Operating Officer and member of the company’s Management Committee.
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In a mid-year update, iExplore announces the list of "Top Ten World Travel Destinations" in 2005 (to date) as determined by bookings of its adventure and experiential travelers between January 1, 2005 and May 31, 2005.
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Smaller, independent hotels throughout the Asia Pacific region are looking at going online at a faster rate than ever, according to the regional head of hotels for leading online travel service, Travelocity®.
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Already demand has exceeded expectations for the new Le Cordon Bleu Master of International Hospitality Management attracting students from across the globe. Launched in January this year intakes for January and July 2006 are already filled, culminating in the offer of an additional September 2006 intake. This September intake will allow more students to take advantage of this exciting program, which offers students a comprehensive exposure to the dynamic hospitality industry.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 24, 2005
Are global hotel brands in danger of boring planners with sameness in guarantees and standards for successful meetings, or are they still able to innovate their meetings programmes? Raini Hamdi takes a look.
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Wireless Internet connections are becoming as common in hotels as cable TV and a free newspaper on the doorstep. Tech-savvy travelers are looking for hotels that have added wireless "hot spots" throughout the property -- from public spaces and meeting rooms to individual guest rooms.
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Leading industry leaders and academic administrators appointed to the Joint Advisory Board of Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Cornell University have appointed industry stalwarts and leading academic administrators as members to the Joint Advisory Board of the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management (CNI). CNI is an alliance between Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and NTU’s Nanyang Business School, offering a first-of-its-kind joint graduate degree program in hospitality management.
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Benchmark Hospitality International, which manages 28 award-winning resorts, conference centers and hotels in the United States and Japan, has announced the launch of a unique employee recognition program. Called Best of the Best, the program involves inducting top performing employees into a special "club" that provides ongoing recognition and rewards to this exceptional group of employees - forever - so long as the individuals remain members of the Benchmark team in good standing.
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Carlson Hotels Worldwide today announced the promotion of Yvonne La Penotiere, formerly executive vice president of brand marketing, to the position of president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide-the Americas. The appointment was announced by Jay Witzel, president and CEO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide and CEO of Carlson Cruises Worldwide.
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Hotels are re-thinking the most important meal of the day, spending millions to make their complimentary breakfast programs more appealing to guests
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Domina Hotel Group is fast making a name for itself as one of the most dynamic operators in the world of hospitality, and is now showing further enterprising spirit by announcing the global launch of four new hotel brands, which will add up to over 250 properties by 2015.
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Chedi and Omani architecture go well together. Both are marked by clean lines, an uncluttered look and gleaming white facades. This is unmistakably a match made in heaven. And heaven it was during my recent stay at The Chedi, Muscat. By Raini Hamdi, TTG Asia
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Asia Pacific's leading luxury hotel group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, will open a new hotel in Manzhouli city of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region late 2007. This is the third property the group will develop in the region, in addition to Shangri-La Hotel, Baotou opening mid-2007, and Shangri-La Hotel, Hohhot opening early 2008.
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Bali Hilton International has achieved Green Globe 21 Certification. This certification is the result of three years of intense effort to address key environmental issues within the hotel.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 23, 2005
Jumeirah International, the Dubai based luxury hospitality group, announced that from today the company will be known as ‘Jumeirah’. The group also unveiled a new corporate identity, and announced that it will rebrand its existing portfolio of luxury, award-winning hotels before year end in an aim to create a single, memorable identity for the company
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The Chedi Muscat gave the sultanate a chic image. This year, Shangri-La will add to the glamour with its Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, and next year Six Senses with its Evason Hideaway. Raini Hamdi discovers the new appeal of Oman. By Raini Hamdi, TTG Asia
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For more than 75 years, The Peninsula has been Hong Kong's favorite luxury hotel. With a helicopter landing pad on the roof, 14 private Rolls-Royces (including a vintage 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom) and a fleet of trademark white-uniformed pageboys, The Peninsula Hong Kong sets the gold standard of hospitality--Asian or otherwise. The 300-room hotel is the oldest in Hong Kong, having opened in 1928, when it catered mainly to overland traders stopping on their way to China or Europe via the Trans-Siberia Railway. By Sophia Banay, Forbes.com
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The first hotel on Dubai’s newest residential location, Dubai Marina, the 45-storey Grosvenor House West Marina Beach by Le Meridien, has opened its doors to hotel guests and apartment residents. The hotel, which has been just over two years in the making, is a mix of furnished apartments and hotel, and general manager Pam Wilby said: “This is a total lifestyle property, and all the facilities have been created to answer what the modern guest or resident truly wants.
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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which claims to offer "unrivaled luxury and legendary service," is surveying properties across Saudi Arabia to establish its presence. "We're interested in properties in Riyadh and Jeddah, and of course in Makkah," Marc F. Dardenne, Ritz-Carlton's vice president and area general manager based in Dubai, told Arab News on the sidelines of a Gulf-wide road show.
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Read 'boutique hotel' and you will probably picture ultra-plush and original decor, grand architecture, an award-winning restaurant, luxury spa, wellness centre, lush gardens and perhaps even a putting green on the side. Indeed, it is a genre of hospitality that one generally associates with luxury and leisure, and not corporate travel. Boutique properties are, however, increasingly positioning themselves as primarily business hotels and business travellers are responding positively to the shift.
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The long and beneficial association between Smith Travel Research (STR) and Cornell University has been strengthened with the announcement that STR has become a Partner with Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). “This is an excellent next step in our relationship,” said STR co-founder and CEO Randell Smith.
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Trainee chef Emma Aboud of Sydney’s Courtyard by Marriott North Ryde has progressed to the Grand Final in the 2005 Hospitality Training Network and Meat and Livestock Australia Culinary Competition.
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Accor Asia Pacific announced several General Manager appointments in Thailand and Indonesia.
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Starwood Hotels introduces its first Westin in India with the signing of the Westin New Delhi Hotel & Residences
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc and Vatika Group, real estate and hospitality players in India, announced an agreement to build The Westin New Delhi Hotel & Residences in Gurgaon, India. Scheduled to open in 2007, and managed by Starwood, the hotel marks the entry of the Westin brand into India and its continued expansion in Asia.
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CNL Hotels & Resorts, Inc., the nation's second-largest hotel real estate investment trust ('REIT'), announced today it has completed its previously announced sale of 30 non-strategic hotel properties to certain affiliates of Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE:AHT) for $465 million. The total net gain to CNL Hotels & Resorts is an estimated $37 million
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 22, 2005
Researchers agree. Smiling can actually help boost tips for servers. So can telling jokes, patting customers on the arm and forecasting good weather, according to a recent report published by Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research.
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Tokyo again topped the list, with Osaka moving up to second from fourth, pushing London down one place to third. Moscow also dropped one place to fourth, while Seoul rose from seventh to fifth. Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, retained its position as the cheapest city in the survey.
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A recent Cornell University Study found '..hotels that price above their local competitors to be the most aggressive revenue managers. (This study) … also suggests that those hotels which are best able to extract high REVPARs are most likely to engage in revenue management practices.'Most (not all) hotels want to be able to sell rooms at higher rates resulting in increased REVPAR. If aggressive revenue management is the key, as the article suggests, many will be looking to institute or upgrade their revenue management systems. By Carol Verret
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Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the premier manager of ultra-luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world, is commemorating a milestone this year with the 25th anniversary celebration of the company.
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Most hotel executives and investors expect strong occupancy and revenue levels to continue through 2007, according to a survey of more than 170 hospitality executives, investors and real estate professionals attending the New York University 27th Annual International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference here this month.
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U.S. hotel investors and lenders are the most optimistic they have been since the mid-1990s, according to a recent study published by a leading hospitality consultant. The purchase and lending criteria used in this year's lodging transactions indicate a community of buyers willing to pay higher prices and financiers offering liberal lending requirements.
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In a special issue of its Lodging Development Forecast and Trends report for attendees at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference 2005 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California, Lodging Econometrics, the Industry Authority for Hotel Real Estate, announced that nearly 15,000 New Hotel Rooms are scheduled to open in Southern California in 2005-08.
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EHOF, the European Hotel Operations Forum, will next year focus on technological innovations. Now in its’ 3rd year, EHOF will bring together senior European and Middle Eastern hotel IT executives to network, discuss new products and develop business partnerships.
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Summer Rates Cut by 25 Percent at 2,200 Utell by Pegasus Member Hotels Through Worldwide GREATRATE Promotion
Signature Program Discounts Rates by as Much as 50 Percent at Prominent Independent Properties; Travel Agents Can Access Rates Via UI Code on all Major GDSs
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Dusit Hotels & Resorts Chief Operating Officer, Khampi Suwanarat, is pleased to announce the appointment of Sam-Erik Ruttmann as the Regional Vice President of the newly-set up Dusit Middle East Regional Office in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 21, 2005
As distribution becomes more divergent, the need to be more targeted in communications and marketing becomes more critical. Raini Hamdi observes how Accor Asia-Pacific achieves this with the World of Accor roadshow. By Raini Hamdi, Editor, TTG Asia
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Recent room development plans unveiled by Hilton Hotels Corp. and Marriott International indicate that the U.S. hotel market, with strong revenue growth and limited opportunities for new property construction, this year will see an unprecedented boom in renovations and amenity upgrades.
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As the tourism business recovery in the Tsunami hit areas from Thailand is still very slow and is impacting the lives of thousands of people in those regions in a terrifying and un-human way, a nation-wide debate is in progress about the quality and quantity of the present and past recovery efforts. By Bert van Waldbeek, CEO, The Winning Edge
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Yeoh Siew Hoon is rather disappointed with Russell Crowe and his phone-throwing antics in New York.
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Supervisory board established to advise leading global hotel sales, marketing and distribution company. WORLDHOTELS, one of the world’s leading global sales, marketing and distribution companies for the hotel industry, today announced the formation of a supervisory board made up of leading industry players including former Opodo Chief Executive David Scowsill and Hasso von During, CEO of TUI Leisure Travel, one of Europe’s largest travel organisations.
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Online booking of airline tickets by managed corporate travelers continues to advance in Europe, but the rate of that acceleration and the reasons for it are grounds for industry argument.
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A hotel in Budapest, Hungary, and a seaside Thai resort topped the annual "Best of the Best" list in this month's issue of Robb Report.
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Corinthia Hotels International launched its next generation corinthiahotels.com website, featuring a more modern design and the latest technological advancements that allow for easy browsing and a more streamlined hotel booking facility.
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Great Hotels of the World is delighted to announce that it has a new member hotel opening in Mallorca , Spain . Nestled on 900-m stretch of seafront on the eastern coast of Mallorca , near to the pretty fishing village and marina of Porto Petro, Blau PortoPetro Beach Resort & Spa is set to open on 18th June this year
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Hilton Sydney will re-open for business in the heart of the city on July 15 2005, with a spectacular and ambitious new design, contemporary dining and exclusive bars, and state-of-the-art conference and events facilities. The new hotel follows in the footsteps of the sleek new Hilton Kuala Lumpur which opened in September last year and which raised the benchmark for Hilton in the Asia Pacific. Hilton Sydney will also adopt some of the concepts successfully initiated by Hilton Kuala Lumpur including Zeta Bar.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 20, 2005
Forget about trendy restaurants and lounges, the pool is the new hot spot at U.S. hotels. Not only can you lounge poolside with a cocktail in hand, indulge in luxuriant massages in your own private cabana, and swim up to floating bars while listening to music underwater, but, you can return at night for the hottest party in town. Miami started the wet trend with its sexy nighttime sanctuaries and now you can enjoy the same sultry poolside scene at hip hotels across the country
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Since the 1999 death of the revered Jay Pritzker, tensions have quietly roiled Chicago's wealthiest family. Here is a look behind the scenes.
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The Travel Distribution Summit in Europe 2005 took place in the Business Design Centre in Islington, London between the 7th and 8th of June and highlighted a number of issues related to the travel and tourism industry.
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Boutique promotes a new standard of excellence for intimate, design-savvy properties of 150 rooms or less. Leveraging the strength of the Preferred Hotel Group, Boutique provides a dynamic combination of sales, marketing, distribution, and technology solutions designed to deliver maximum benefits and value to the world's premier boutique hotels. As Managing Director of Boutique, Lindsey Ueberroth believes that the emphasis on service and quality assurance standards is one of the most important aspects of Boutique.
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There's no greater prize for any city than winning the honour of hosting the Olympics Games and Paralympic Games. The Games are the world's greatest show, they are watched by a TV audience of some four billion, while hundreds of thousands of visitors will come to a city just for the Games. There is no doubting the short-term benefits for hoteliers, all these visitors need to stay somewhere, but what of the longer term?By Jamie Talmage, Visit London
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With all the convincing reports of how the number of reservations made online is soaring, there seems to be an opportunity to be seized. In general, strategies such as investing in a branded hotel name, working with online travel agents and optimizing a hotel’s own websites are ways to exploit the online market. All are sound strategies and will result in a very positive outcome when a hotelier is precisely aware of his product, the market and what competitors he faces.
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Online industry leaders collaborate to launch Bezurk - Asia Pacific's next generation travel search engine
Senior executives from top internet travel and lifestyle companies - Expedia, Priceline.com, chinadotcom, Fairfax Digital and Yahoo South East Asia have banded together to launch Bezurk in the Asia Pacific Region. Bezurk is a travel "Search Engine" which is the next generation application for the online travel industry.
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Sir Terence Conran's hopes of owning London's Great Eastern Hotel suffered a setback last night as Blackstone, the US private equity group, bought its parent company for $ 3.24 billion (£1.8 billion). Sir Terence, who owns 50 per cent of the fashionable city hotel through his Conran Holdings company, has been in informal talks with Wyndham International, Great Eastern's owner, for months about buying the hotel outright.
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Based in Shanghai, Mr. Dogan is responsible for nine of the group's 19 mainland China hotels, ensuring that these properties meet their financial performance targets and comply with corporate operational standards. In addition, he oversees four new hotel projects in Chengdu, Xian, Shenzhen and Ningbo in mainland China.
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Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels is pleased to announce that Amora Group Pty Ltd has conditionally agreed to buy the companies that own and operate the three Duxton Hotels in New Zealand from the current owners, Low Keng Huat (Singapore) Ltd.
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts names Sean Hunt as Vice President & Area Managing Director, Australia Starwood Pacific Hotels, and M D of Sheraton On The Park
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has recently announced the arrival of Mr. Sean Hunt, as Vice President & Area Managing Director, Australia Starwood Pacific Hotels and Managing Director of Sheraton On The Park.. Mr. Hunt will champion some of the Asia Pacific region’s most valuable assets in his new role being responsible for all aspects of Starwood Property management in Australia. He will work closely with the General Management Team in the 10 hotels throughout the region further strengthening the position of Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and W Sydney in their respective markets.
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Overseas visitors increase by 26% in first quarter of 2005. The rebound of the tourism industry in Toronto continues to gather momentum, according to figures from Statistics Canada released today by Tourism Toronto, the industry-led group responsible for marketing the Greater Toronto Area to the rest of the world.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 17, 2005
Europeans are planning their summer vacations and Yeoh Siew Hoon fears Asia will be far from their minds this year.
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Automated sales and catering systems have grown in popularity and are weaving their way into ever smaller independent and franchised hotels. Once exclusive to the larger properties with considerable public space, these marvels of technology have proven themselves to be a good investment, over and over again. By: Neil Salerno, Hotel Marketing Coach
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Dorchester Group today announced the appointment of Ezio Attilio Indiani as General Manager of its Milan property, Hotel Principe di Savoia. In this role, he will oversee the progressive refurbishments currently underway at the hotel and take the Principe, one of the five exclusive luxury properties owned and managed by the group, to the next stage in its history. He will report to François Delahaye, the Group Operations Director based in London
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A hotel guest has bought a bottle of whisky for £32,000 and drunk it in one night. The anonymous regular at the Pennyhill Park Hotel in Bagshot, Surrey, was joined by a group of friends who helped him put away the world's most expensive single malt in the oak-panelled surroundings of the establishment's Ascot bar.
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Pelican Events have announced that the fifth SIBEC ASIA will be held from February 23rd-25th in Bali. The actual venue will be announced shortly, but the organisers believe that the time is right to stage this unique wellness forum on the “Island of the Gods”
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Hilton International (HI) has signed two new management contracts for Beijing, including the first Conrad hotel in China and the first Scandic by Hilton outside Europe. Together with the existing Hilton Beijing, the three hotels will make Hilton history by offering for the first time, a complete lineup of HI brands in a single city.
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John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger with JQH Acquisition LLC. The merger agreement provides that, upon the consummation of the merger, each outstanding share of the Company's class A common stock will convert into the right to receive $24.00 cash per share.
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St. Regis Hotel, Shanghai recently received its fifth award,' The World's Best Top Hotels For Service', in World's Best Awards 2004 voted by Travel + Leisure. We are honored to be the only hotel in China that received this award.
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Hilton Garden Inn Salutes Best of the Brand at Annual Hotel Performance Awards Ceremony. Hilton Garden Inn(R), the award-winning upscale mid-priced brand targeted to today’s growing segment of mid-market travelers, proudly saluted its top hotel performance award winners for 2004, during a presentation held at the brand’s Focused-Service Brand Conference on February 14-17, 2005, in Las Vegas.
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Coarse grain and a night in a cave don't feature in most holiday brochures, but the remote town of Yan'an hopes to earn a fortune from "red tourists" eager to relive the tough experiences of China's Communist pioneers. Yan'an was a dusty but secure home to Mao Zedong from 1935 to 1947 and where he coined the motto "serve the people" and welded his party into a fighting force capable of winning the civil war. But since the troops left, its main industry has been reliving the past.
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Industry First: The Concierge Assistant System Gains Real-Time Website Interface for Improved Guest Service
Guests Use Property’s Website, Enter Requests Directly into Concierge System Without Email. Gold Key Solutions, provider of The Concierge Assistant tm software application, announced today it has developed and implemented the industry’s first real-time bridge to the hotel’s online concierge guest service system. Hotel guests may now enter any requests or inquiries directly into the property’s website and this information is automatically sent to The Concierge Assistant system without resorting to emails
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 16, 2005
Robert Burns, Chairman of Robert H. Burns Holdings; Georg Rafael, Managing Director of Rafael Group and Adrian Zecha, Chairman of Amanresorts will be awarded the Innovation Award at the upcoming 16th annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), scheduled for 12-14 October 2005 at the InterContinental Hong Kong.
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The industry is in a healthy recovery. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, Americans will be traveling in record numbers this summer, building on the momentum in travel recovery from 2004 with an expected 2.3 percent increase in leisure travel. Nevertheless, you might find yourself asking, “The hotel market is finally booming; so why is everyone’s revenue up but mine?” By Kelly Blake and Bonnie Buckhiester
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Franchisees attending the Ramada Worldwide annual conference here today learned that the brand plans to strengthen its consumer value proposition and boost incremental room night sales through targeted marketing.
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Sheraton New York Becomes First Hotel in Manhattan to Use Environmentally-Friendly High Temperature Fuel Cell Technology
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced today that Allentown, Pa.-based PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL - News) has completed the installation of a clean, reliable, high temperature 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant at the 1,750-room Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Sheraton's largest and flagship property, in midtown Manhattan. This is the third DFC power plant to complete the installation in a Sheraton hotel, and similar to the other two plants located at properties in New Jersey - the Sheraton Edison Hotel and the Sheraton Parsippany.
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PKF Study Finds Premiums Doubled Since 1999. Insurance premiums have become the fastest growing expense for U.S. hotel owners. Despite a slight decline in 2004, the payments made by hotel managers for general liability and property insurance have more than doubled since 1999. Given the impact of recent natural disasters, as well as the continuing threat of terrorism, it is feared that this cost will continue to rise at a greater pace than other expenses in the future.
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This years International Travel Expo (ITE), opened on June 9 by Mr. Stephen Ip, Secretary for Economic Development and Labour of the Hong Kong SAR Government, recorded record numbers. The first two trade days drew 9500 buyers and trade visitors, up 13.1% over 2004, which is on top of the 20% growth seen in 2004 over 2003.
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A UK company is looking to use existing electrical cables to deliver broadband services to public areas such as hotels. Unlike powerline technologies that compete with DSL by delivering broadband over electricity cables to homes and business, the Cibersuite service needs a broadband connection in place already.
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Hilton Hotels Corporation announced that it has sold two Hilton Suites and one Embassy Suites Hotel to Bethesda, Maryland-based RLJ Urban Lodging Fund, LP, an affiliate of RLJ Development, LLC, for $72 million in cash.
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The governing body of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) has given strong support to current Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli in his bid to be re-elected for a further four-year term. Twenty of the 28 votes cast at the WTO Executive Council meeting in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort town of Nessebar on Monday (13 June) were in favour of Mr. Frangialli.
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Travel agents have proven to be far more resilient than they've been given credit for. They've survived airlines cutting their commissions. They've weathered wars, SARS and economic downturns. And it appears they're holding their own against the biggest threat of all: the Internet. With consumers booking their own travel online, conventional wisdom held the traditional travel agent was doomed to extinction.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 15, 2005
Private equity group Blackstone has agreed to buy hotel owner and franchiser Wyndham International Inc. (WBR.A) in a deal valued at $3.24 billion, Wyndham said on Tuesday. The Dallas-based company said Blackstone will pay $1.15 per share as part of the deal, while holders of Wyndham's preferred stock will receive $72.17 per share in cash.
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Ramada President Keith Pierce, addressing franchisees at their conference here today, announced the launch of Phase II in a systemwide repositioning that aims to establish the brand as the 'global leader in mid-market lodging.'
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For the year ended March 31, 2005, the Company reported 26% growth in revenues at Rs 873 crores as against Rs 694 crores achieved in the previous year. For the quarter ended March 31, 2005, the revenue was Rs 270 crores compared to Rs 221 crores in the corresponding period of the previous financial year, a growth of 22%.
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HSMAI's World Quest agenda includes international protocol and latest trends in planning international meetings
An impressive line-up of speakers from various aspects of the international meeting and event planning industry will headline the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International's (HSMAI) 2nd annual World Quest conference, a three-city tour taking place July 22-29, 2005 in Washington, DC, New York and Chicago.
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Five of the United Arab Emirate's most distinctive boutique hotels and one of Oman's most unique resorts are now members of Boutique Hotels & Resorts International", Chief Operating Officer, John Sears, announced today. "We are pleased to welcome these spirited, genuine boutique hotels. Boutique enthusiasts will be delighted with these hotels in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Al Barka, said Sears."
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Accor announced its most significant expansion in Thailand and Vietnam since it entered the region`s hotel market more than two decades ago , with six new hotels and beach resorts added to its fast growing regional network.
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APVC invests $30million in three new properties in Hunter Valley, Mt Buller and the Swan Valley. Accor Première Vacation Club (APVC) has accelerated its acquisition trail, today announcing three new property purchases in the Victorian High Country, the NSW Hunter Valley and the Swan Valley in WA.
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New hotel brand to compete with the best of the best. Danat Hotels & Resorts is accelerating the pace of its expansion plans, less than a year after its formation as the hospitality division of Abu Dhabi-based National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels (NCT&H). The group, which has launched two new hotels in the past six months, is mapping out a strategy to capitalise on the government’s aim of increasing visitor numbers four-fold within 10 years.
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First class hotel brand introduces balanced lifestyle cuisine. Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, part of the fast-growing, Brussels-based Rezidor SAS Hospitality, is introducing a dedicated healthy diet menu in its Middle East properties as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to responsible business practices.
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Monthly data provided by large hotels around New Zealand is the most accurate indicator of the sector’s performance and must be shared to keep the market informed. New Zealand Hotel Council (NZHC) Chairman, Steve Kirkpatrick, says that trends from eight years collection of monthly occupancy and room rate statistics provide essential information for people looking to expand or build new hotels.
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Revenues amounted to 750 million euro for the period, compared with 784 million euro in first-half 2004 , representing a 4.3% decrease as reported and a 3.1% decline like-for-like (at comparable scope of consolidation and exchange rates).
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 14, 2005
Most hotel executives and investors expect healthy occupancy and revenue levels to continue through 2007, according to a survey of more than 170 hospitality executives, investors and real estate professionals attending the New York University 27th Annual International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference held in New York this week.
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The Mediterranean-style interiors of the first 10 towers to be built around Porto Arabia, the main marina of The Pearl- Qatar, the US $2.5 billion island being reclaimed off the coast of the Qatari capital, Doha, have been unveiled.
The luxury interiors, designed by Seattle's Callison Architecture Inc., reflect what will be Porto Arabia’s traditional lifestyle.
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TravelCLICK and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) honored excellence in electronic marketing for 2004. Top honors went to Hyatt International. TravelCLICK also recognized outstanding career achievement in electronic marketing and regional excellence within several additional “E-Marketer of the Year” categories. The winners in these categories included, a hotel brand, a hotel group and four individual hotel properties.
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With a luxury hotel heritage dating back to the 19th century, the Langham brand celebrates its 140th anniversary in June this year. The Langham legend began as the original Langham Hotel was opened in London by the Prince of Wales on 10 June, 1865. The Langham was Europe's first truly 'grand hotel' - preceding The Savoy by 23 years and Claridges which was rebuilt between 1895 - 1899.
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The Conrad Hotel Bangkok last month initiated an e-learning programme to help middle management employees improve skills and advance their careers.
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What is the most common item left behind at a hotel pool? At the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, thanks to their free WiFi, it’s the laptop. Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai has announced Wireless connectivity throughout the award-winning five star luxury hotel property. And it’s free.
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A new web-based management tool published by The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell has been developed to help lodging practitioners accurately compute all of the costs associated with the departure and replacement of an employee.
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BMR Hospitality International announced the results of their first country house hotel survey. This survey, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, concentrates on the performance of individual country house hotels, a significant sector of the UK hospitality industry, and their major issues of concern.
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Philadelphia hotels are going through more pillow mints. Average occupancy rates at area hotels are expected to surge through at least midyear, helped by major conventions, the Salvador Dali exhibition, more corporate travel and, at the same time, having fewer hotels in the city. Through midsummer at least, the outlook looks good.
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David Simpson has been appointed Director of Acquisitions and Development, Pacific region, for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific Division. In this role, David is responsible for overseeing acquisitions and development in the Pacific region.
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China's tourism administration and travel agencies are doing their best to help restore Indonesian tourism market, after it was hit by the monstrous tsunami last December.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 13, 2005
The timing could not have been better--at least for Europe's travel industry. Just in time for the kickoff of the summer holiday season, the failed bids in France and Holland to ratify the European Union's constitution last week have pushed the euro to its lowest point against the dollar since last October.
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While the hospitality industry as a whole reeled from the one-two punch of a recession and the downturn in travel after 9/11, the "Heavenly" franchise -- extended to include shower heads, bathrobes and pet bedding -- was a cash cow, bringing in $4.3 million in 2003, a year when many hotels struggled to break even. Now competing chains have caught on, engaging the hotel business in an all-out war for upscale travel dollars. Among the contenders are the Hyatt chain, which has produced the Grand Bed; Radisson, with its Sleep Number Bed; and the Marriott, which is rolling out an unnamed luxury bedding package this year.
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Shareholders of the owner of the Pierre hotel have approved Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces as its new operator to replace Four Seasons Hotels Inc. Four Seasons said Friday in a release that it had been notified of the approval by shareholders 795 Fifth Avenue Corp., the hotel's landlord. Four Seasons had been in discussions with 795 Fifth Avenue to end its lease on the property after its profits were squeezed by higher compliance costs under new accounting regulations and restricted pricing capacities at the hotel in New York City.
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So many hotels, so many stories. Sometimes hotels immortalise people, sometimes it is the other way round. Somerset Maugham is inseparably linked to Raffles and the Oriental, Dorothy Parker to New York's Algonquin. Martin Luther King had his dream at the Willard in Washington. The Ritz in Paris will always remind us of the doyen of this industry, the charismatic Cesar Ritz.
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Julia Hands, who created the award-winning Hand Picked Hotels four years ago, was today hailed a trailblazer in the First Women Awards to recognise women who have broken new ground in British business life.
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Since day one the markets have said the shareholding of the daughters of PV Doyle and their close associates would ultimately determine the future of the Jurys Doyle Group. Between them, the three Doyle sisters: Bernie Gallagher; ER Monahan and Anne Roche hold 22% of the equity, while former director Walter Beatty has a near 8% stake.
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PricewaterhouseCoopers Hospitality & Leisure Practice has issued its revised U.S. Lodging Forecast with few changes from its prior forecast. RevPAR (Revenue per Available Rate) will increase 7.8 percent in the current forecast compared with 7.3 percent in the previous forecast. PricewaterhouseCoopers issues regularly scheduled updates every quarter.
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Ultimate Resort today announced the appointment of Dana Percival to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Ultimate Resort, recently selected as the finest luxury destination club in 2005 by Panache Magazine, is designed to provide individuals, families and corporate members with virtually unlimited access to 100 luxury residence club properties planned over the next few years, each averaging $1.5 million in value.
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Toronto-based InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust said today that it has agreed to purchase seven mid-market hotels--four Radissons, one Delta, one Holiday Inn and one independently branded hotel--from partnerships controlled by the Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds and the Westmont Group for $85.3 million plus transaction costs. The acquisition, which is expected to close by mid-August, will bring the REIT's total portfolio to 132 properties, or 14,600 rooms across Canada.
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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it will manage a new 250-room luxury hotel and 50 branded residences which are planned to open in Chicago in early 2008. The project provides the Group with a unique opportunity to establish its luxury brand in another important American city.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 10, 2005
Yeoh Siew Hoon shares a note of caution about mobile technology and how it could affect your mental health.
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According to the world’s leading climate change expert, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, global warming is now at an extreme danger level. Whilst the main cause of global warming is the high levels of carbon dioxide caused by industrial emissions, there is no doubt that travel and tourism organisations can play a critical role in helping arrest environmental degradation.
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Millennium & Copthorne Hotels & Resorts announce the appointment of Mr Sudheer Raghavan as its President for the Americas. Sudheer, a Singaporean who has a Master of Science Degree from Cranfield Institute of Technology in the UK, will take up his appointment on 1 August 2005.
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Steve Bollenbach, the co-chairman and chief executive of U.S.-based Hilton Hotels Corp., has dashed hopes of an imminent merger with Hilton Group PLC, which operates the brand outside the U.S., the Financial Times reports in an article on its Web site Thursday.
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InterContinental Hotels Group, the world’s largest and most global hotel company, continues to grow distribution in the Americas, with a heavy emphasis on franchising the Crowne Plaza brand. “Crowne Plaza growth started off strong in 2005, on the heels of a year where more Crowne Plaza properties were added to the portfolio than during any of the past five years,” said Kirk Kinsell, senior vice president and chief development officer, the Americas, IHG.
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Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore has for centuries been a bridge between the East and West, bursting with culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. The country ranks among one of the smallest and most densely populated in the world. However, this has not stopped Singapore from thinking big.
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During the past few years a lot has been said about the cutting edge new vacation ownership models, but a “belly button” approach has been undermining the possibility of expansion of this concept into new markets. Europe, Middle East and Africa, including the Indian Ocean offer an entire new portfolio of opportunities including some of the most desirable destinations and prestige locations. So why has it been so difficult for the new wave of hospitality real estate concept to penetrate these regions?
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HORECA this year will take place from June 21-24 at BIEL, marking its 12th year with a significant number of confirmed international exhibitors and an expected high turn out of local and foreign visitors. The Levant’s largest and most regional hospitality and food event is believed to be a significant catalyst in jumpstarting a promising hospitality season.
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Luxury hotel operator Hilton has set its sights on expanding in Ireland. Executives are looking at new locations in Dublin and Cork after signing a contract to operate the Mount Wolseley Hilton Hotel, Spa and Country Club in Co. Carlow
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Preparations are ongoing in the twelve host cities with the construction and renovation of stadiums and hotels for the three million visitors expected to attend the 2006 FIFA World Cup from June to July 2006.
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Locals dominated hotel accommodation during weekends in Nadi leaving very little room for tourists and transiting visitors.
Fiji Visitors Bureau chief executive Viliame Gavoka said in The Fiji Times that while this did not pose a problem during the off season, the busier months could see a shortage of rooms.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 9, 2005
We wanted to know how the new hotel beds compare to some longtime favorites. Peter Jon Lindberg volunteered for duty.
Hotel chains are spending millions of dollars and countless hours of market research to enhance your "sleep experience," but does that necessarily mean you'll rest easier? To find out whether these efforts are actually working, I checked into six properties in New York and Miami, pitting newcomers in the luxury-bed world (Crowne Plaza, Marriott, Grand Hyatt) against the original branded bed (Westin) and two luxury gold standards (Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons). By Peter Jon Lindberg, T+L editor-at-large
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Teams with IBM to Debut Industry-First Guestroom Mapping and Airline Check-In Features.Building on its rich history of technology innovation, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts today embarked on a plan to revolutionize the guest registration process by announcing plans to install self-service kiosks in its hotels in North America. Deployed to service the ever-evolving expectations of business and leisure travelers alike, the brand's latest technology initiative will commence with an installation at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York
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Four Seasons Hotels Inc. (TSX Symbol "FSH.SV"; NYSE Symbol "FS") and Urban Investment ("Urban"), a subsidiary of JMB Realty Corporation ("JMB"), indirect owner of the Ritz- Carlton Chicago, confirmed today that they have agreed to begin a process to sell all or part of the ownership interest in the Hotel. Four Seasons and Urban have also agreed that, upon completion of the sale, Four Seasons will cease managing the Hotel and will be entitled to receive payment, an amount which Four Seasons believes will compensate it for the value of its long-term management contract.
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Holidaying in dream-like resorts that cater to the well-heeled usually comes with a hefty price tag. But since tourism was hit by last year's tsunami, luxury has become more affordable. Phuket, where most resorts were at best half full in the four months following the disaster, has been the most aggressive in its attempt to lure back spenders, big or small.
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Spanish hotel chains are taking control over their ecommerce distribution by making several important decisions to their strategy. Online distribution is a market that has developed from nothing into one of the main resources of reservations for hotels in Spain in the last 5 years. From being used to work with the classic tour operators the hotels have been slightly taken by surprise by the growth of the ecommerce market at first. In no time it represented 20 to 40% of their market mix. It is a very powerful distribution channel.
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Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. on Monday said it has five hotels under contract for sale to four separate buyers. The deal is worth $29.85 million, Ashford said. The sale of three of the hotels is expected to close this month, yielding proceeds of $18.85 million. The remaining two hotel sales are expected to close before Dec. 31 for proceeds of $11 million.
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Shangri-La guarantees its customers that no other website will offer a better room rate than what is available on www.shangri-la.com. Should an online booker find a lower room rate elsewhere within 24 hours of making a reservation online, the hotel will not only match the lower rate but apply a further 10% discount.
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According to the UK’s Economist Intelligence Unit, 28.5m tourists will fly out of China this year. This will rise further, following last year's decision by the Chinese government to increase to 90 the number of destinations worldwide approved for its citizens to visit. By 2007, the country is expected to replace the US as the largest originator of world tourists.
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Tourists traveling to Beijing will have to pack their own toothpaste and brush beginning June 13 as 13 rated hotels in the city announced they will stop supplying the toiletries in their guest rooms. The phasing out of toothpaste, toothbrushes, slippers, bath soap, shampoo and combs in hotel rooms will help protect the environment by reducing waste, said a managing official with the Jianguo Group, a hotel conglomerate in Beijing.
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Businesses in the Whiteface Region will be the first to sport a new Forever Adirondack Quality Assurance Logo in the coming months. The region is leading the county in a progressive Quality Assurance initiative that aims to increase consumer confidence in area businesses and enhance the brand of the region as a competitive visitor destination.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 8, 2005
The opportunity to sell rooms or generate reservations online (through web-based protocol) has evolved tremendously over the past few years. Many, if not most, hotels worldwide are aware and try to take an active part in online reservations yields promising results. Nevertheless, hotelier has to keep in mind that online reservations can in fact be made from many sources: they could have come from third party portals (intermediaries) or as well from a hotel’s own website.
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With the DNA of W Hotels, ''Project XYZ'' to Introduce Style, Design and Whimsy at Comfortable Rates Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. will debut a new hotel brand to provide style, design and energy at comfortable rates. The brand is being developed by the team that created W Hotels, widely regarded as the most successful new hotel brand in decades.
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One-of-a-Kind, Show Stopping Residences With All the Benefits of a Unique World Class Hotel to Offer an Unprecedented Level of Luxury Services Simply Not Available Any Place Else
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As global hotel giants such as InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) slog it out with the third-party online distributors, small groups and independents are happy to sit back and watch their hotels fill up with savvy internet shoppers who have researched and booked their rooms through the likes of Expedia and Priceline. While the big boys are struggling to regain lost ground and revenues, the smaller players look at the online intermediaries as welcome partners who are giving them a fighting chance to compete on a level playing field. By Steve Shellum Editor/Publisher of Hotel Asia Pacific
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Malcolm Ross has been appointed deputy chief executive of Macdonald Hotels and Resorts. He joins from Le Meridien Hotels where he was vice president, Europe
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InterContinental Hotels & Resorts rolls out the red carpet for guests with the latest Luxury Escapes promotion designed to make every stay an exceptional experience. Currently available until 1 September 2005, Luxury Escapes offers discerning guests a range of luxury accommodation and attractive privileges at more than 130 InterContinental hotels and resorts globally.
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A lot of attention has been paid in recent years to the remarkable profusion of top-shelf five-star luxury hotels operated by major chains in cities here and around the world. Now domestic hotel companies are trying to get you to pay more attention to the category one star down the ladder. With business travel up and prosperity returning to the lodging business, business travelers are edging back to four-star hotels. So the big chains are scrambling to liven up and clearly define their four stars, whether they be a Sheraton, a Marriott or, in the case at hand, a Hilton.
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The Westin Kuala Lumpur Hotel & Residences, which turns two this September, will initiate some changes over the next three months that could help the hotel reach its RM72 million revenue target in the current year ending December 31 2005. This would represent a 27 per cent revenue increase over the RM58 million chalked up last year.
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Doubletree Hotels announced that between January and June of this year the brand has added nine new hotels to its growing roster. This rapid growth pattern puts Doubletree on a solid development pace that could potentially add nearly 20 hotels to the brand's current collection of 160 full-service properties during 2005.
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Hilton Hotels, Suites and Resorts is proud to announce the opening of the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, the first Hilton in Croatia, which began welcoming guests on May 1. The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik is the outcome of a 25 million Euro investment made by the shipping company Atlantska Plovidba, Hilton International and the Austrian construction company Bau Holding Strabag. The hotel is strategically positioned on the edge of the historic city walls that enclose the old city, set in a beautiful garden and boasting a great sea view.
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The Procaccianti Group said on Monday it had signed a deal to buy three Doubletree Guest Suites and two Doubletree hotels from GE Asset Management for $300 million
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 7, 2005
Most of us can reasonably define Hospitality, but the Romans certainly knew how to establish expectations with QED – Quad Erat Demonstrandum, translated as, “which was to be demonstrated”. QED is an acronym we see in use quite frequently, although never applied to the Hospitality Industry. But, that is what it is all about, Demonstration, present, past and future tense, how we frame an experience for the Visitor and Guest, how we deliver on that promise, and how we move forward, further exceeding their expectations.By John R. Hendrie, CEO, Hospitality Performance, Inc.
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In a survey in March of 1,000 Americans, commissioned by Hilton Hotels Corp., fewer than one in five said they relied on a hotel's alarm clock when traveling. Most brought their own or ordered a wake-up call. When it comes to user-friendly technology, there is room for improvement in the lodging industry, said Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a frequent traveler.
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Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) Hotels plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Tsang Jat Meng as the Chairman of CDL Hotels New Zealand and CDL Investments New Zealand with effect from 25 May It is believed that Mr. Tsang is the only Singapore-born Chairman of a listed group in that country.
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An Irish businesswoman is accusing The Waldorf-Astoria hotel of nearly killing her — with a feather pillow. Eileen Boulger, 36, a bridal-shop owner with a deadly allergy to feathers, is suing the swank hotel for $20 million for allegedly placing a feather pillow and duvet in her hotel room last month, causing an allergy attack that almost took her life.
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French hotel group Accor said Friday that occupancy in its two properties on the southern Thai island of Phuket has recovered from 10-15 percent in the aftermath of the December tsunami to almost 50 percent over the past month, close to last year’s level for this season.
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Market share per continent Europe had the largest global market share in 2004 with 60%. Asia’s market share rose from 16% in 2003 to 18% of the total number of meetings in 2004, at the cost of Europe, which dropped by 2%. Other regions of the world remained relatively the same.
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Myra H. deGersdorff was named the new Area General Manager for The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of New Orleans which includes The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, The Maison Orleans and The Iberville Suites hotels.
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Manhattan to exceed 2000 occupancy and average rate levels by year-end 2005 - Manhattan market showed very robust increases in 2004 and is forecast to achieve a RevPAR increase of nearly 17% by year-end 2005
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Various issues related to the hospitality sector in Qatar and ways and means to improve the experience of visitors to Qatar came up for discussion at the first meeting of the Qatar Tourism Authority's newly established Hospitality Management Group that was held recently at the Inter-Continental Hotel. The meeting also discussed what efforts should be made to raise the overall levels of service quality and standards of hospitality in the country.
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New southern Thai resorts show confidence in post-tsunami recovery. Accor announced today its most significant expansion in Thailand and Vietnam since it entered the region's hotel market more than two decades ago, with six new hotels and beach resorts added to its fast growing regional network.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 6, 2005
Symon Bridle has been appointed chief operating officer of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific's leading luxury hotel group. In this new position, created in response to the company's rapid growth, Mr. Bridle will supervise the hotels' vice presidents to ensure optimal operational and financial performance among existing and opening hotels, as well as represent the management company to owners and shareholders.
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Customization is King. From Casual dining concepts offering mix-and-match dinners, to Hoteliers like Joie de Vivre providing first time guests a tour of San Francisco completely tailored to the desires of the guest, brands are seeing the value of giving the guest both a choice and a role in creating the outcome. This is not new. Fuddruckers' original success was a direct result of giving the guest a chance to "make the World's Greatest Hamburger".
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The latest global update on executive staff movements....
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The world is full of beautiful beaches. Many of them are located in idyllic, out-of-the-way locations that are best reached by boat, or at least via a long walk through the underbrush. The drawback to these beaches, though, is that the accommodations are usually a tent, you have to cook your own food and the local nightlife has either wings or fur.
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The term "design hotel" does not typically conjure up images of three interconnected 14th century buildings in a near perfectly preserved medieval town. But one probably also wouldn't expect this same town to harbour a vibrant nightlife, cutting-edge fashion and design, and gourmet cuisines behind its centuries old facades. The Three Sisters hotel in Tallinn, Estonia shows that special properties sometimes come in unusual packages in unexpected places.
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European and Asia/Pacific markets continued to make positive gains in March 2005, although overall international travel to British Columbia decreased slightly, with overnight customs entries declining 1.2 per cent in March compared to the same month last year, and year-to-date entries decreasing 1.6 per cent to 770,069.
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More guests of Hilton, Doubletree and Embassy Suites Hotels will begin their day with delicious Starbucks(R) beverages and pastries now that Hilton Hotels Corporation has entered into a master licensing agreement with Starbucks that will enable selected Hilton Family full service hotels to operate Starbucks licensed stores. The hotel-based stores will provide new outlets for Starbucks customers to enjoy Starbucks brewed coffee and espresso drinks, Frappuccino(R) blended beverages, Tazo(R) teas, and a variety of pastries.
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Within four months of its launch, swissotel.com’s room night bookings have grown by more than 50% while daily hits grew by over 150% over previous year. Growth of revenue gained through swissotel.com, at over 60% over previous year, is outpacing the industry average of about 30%.
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Destinations Press Ltd., publisher of the popular Travel Memories series of destination gift books, has announced that it is developing a new book series for America`s historic hotels. Each book in the series will feature one legendary hotel, telling the story of the hotel`s rich history by bringing it to life with lively text and beautiful illustrations.
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Discounts of up to 20% or more with Senior Citizen rate. Senior travellers can enjoy year-round holidays at WORLDHOTELS’ independent hotels and resorts, following the introduction of special Senior Citizen rates at properties worldwide.
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Sleep has become serious business and competition is heating up with Sheraton Hotels & Resorts announcement of the roll out of more than 40,000 new beds in over 100 Sheraton Hotels across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
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Singapore welcomed 702,170 visitors in April 2005, registering a 7.5% growth over the same period in 2004 . This improvement resulted in an estimated S$858 million in tourism receipts in April 2005, a 17% increase over April 2004.
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Hotels in this Indonesian capital are beefing up security following a warning from the US embassy that extremists could target hotels frequented by foreigners, reports Xinhua. The Jakarta Police Friday asked hotel operators to be on the alert for possible terrorist attacks and to increase security measures.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 3, 2005
Hotel operator Marriott International Inc. expects earnings to rise at a compound annual rate of 17 percent to 22 percent through 2008, based on strong increases in room revenue this year, followed by more modest gains.
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Dust collectors. That is what employees at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers call their new automated check-in kiosks, as one guest who has repeatedly tried to use them found. "I was checking in, and try as hard as I might, the kiosk wouldn't cooperate," Henry Harteveldt recalled. He flagged down a staff member and said, "This doesn't seem to work." "Oh," she shrugged. "You mean our dust collector? It never works."
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Yeoh Siew Hoon goes whale-spotting at the Jones Lang LaSalle conference in Singapore,
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Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, operator of the luxurious Peninsula hotel chain, said yesterday that business so far this year was ahead of the same time last year and predicted a rosy outlook for Hong Kong's tourism industry in the long-term.
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Darrell Metzger, Chief Executive of the Sentosa Island Resort in Singapore, is one of the key speakers at this year’s HOTEC ASIA, which will be running for the 5th time from the 31st October to the 2nd November. Since his appointment in 2002, Metzger has spearheaded an extensive, ten-year programme to re-organise the business and transform Sentosa island into a world-class lifestyle destination
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The AZ Chapter of the Cornell Hotel Society has announced their Second Annual Spa Educational Conference-Celebrity Chef Weekend to be held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort over the weekend of June 23-25. Following on the very successful Inaugural Spa-Celebrity Chef Weekend last year, the chapter was urged by participants to follow up in 2005 and make the weekend an annual affair. Details are available at www.chs-spa.com.
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Europe had the largest global market share in 2004 with 60%. Asia`s market share rose from 16% in 2003 to 18% of the total number of meetings in 2004, at the cost of Europe, which dropped by 2%. Other regions of the world remained relatively the same.
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Travel buyers this month told BusinessTravel News that tougher hotel rate negotiations for 2005 have made them rethink their approach to negotiations this fall for 2006 rates. Strategies run the gamut from seeking chainwide deals to providing negotiated rates in more markets to better ensuring the equitable application of last room availability provisions.
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Barbara Bell Coleman and senior financial services executive Christine Garvey have joined Hilton Hotel Corp.'s board of directors.
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Hotel rates in seven U.S. gateway cities are projected to increase an average of 10.8 percent in June and 6.4 percent in July, compared to the same months in 2004, according to projections made today by JP Morgan Chase. The data is the latest evidence that buyers can expect stiff rate negotiations for 2006 in the markets where they are likely to have the greatest volume.
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"Wine and Dine in French countryside", "Sahara trip in Libya", and "Arctic Adventures in Finland" are some of topics that will be presented in travel seminars at the International Travel Expo (ITE) in Hong Kong this year. In addition, attendants will also be able to learn about chartering a cruise in the Mediterranean or cruising around the World, cultural tour in Latin America, driving tour in New Zealand, Safari and eco-tours in South Africa, to name but a few.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 2, 2005
Following the signing of a Letter of Intent in 2004, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and EMAAR Hotels & Resorts LLC are pleased to announce that their respective Chairmen, Mr. Giorgio Armani and Mr. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, have today executed the formal contractual agreement between the two companies for the development of a unique international collection of 'Armani Hotels and Resorts'.
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Last month's most viewed Newsletter articles.... check it out.
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Kempinski Hotels & Resorts unveiled details of its regional expansion programme according to which the opening of two new five star properties in the UAE and Jordan scheduled for completion over the next 12 months and the launch of two more Middle East hotels, which are currently on the drawing board.
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Entering 2005, news of oil exceeding $50 a barrel and gasoline rising far above $2 per gallon made hotel owners and operators wonder whether rising utility costs and declining demand will stymie the industry recovery. Fortunately, it appears that the U.S. lodging industry will not experience any significant negative impact from the recent spikes in energy costs.
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Fast cars, galloping thoroughbreds and world-class athletes are contributing to a new wave of tourism in the Middle East . With countries in the region investing heavily in attracting international sporting events, the boost to the `sporting tourism sector` has been phenomenal, acknowledges the InterContinental Hotels Group.
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According to new figures from TRI Hospitality Consulting, revenue per available room (revPAR) at UK hotels increased by 11.3% year-on-year to £55.36 in April 2005.
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Accor is to manage three new Sofitel hotels in China, located in Hangzhou, Haikou and Liyang. Two of the hotels are scheduled to open by the end of 2005, which will extend the number of Sofitel hotels opening in China this year to eight.
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KOU, a unique new lifestyle boutique designed in the style of a luxurious mansion is to open in mid-June, bringing a totally new and exciting concept in shopping to Hong Kong.
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The award-winning Emirates Towers Hotel, part of Dubai-based luxury hospitality group Jumeirah International, announced the launching of the Middle East`s first hotel floor exclusively for women . In the first initiative of its kind, the ladies-only floor was launched in association with Chopard, featuring amenities by Chopard exclusively.
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Global hotel group Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts is collaborating with Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and has launched a Professional Development Programme designed to improve the strategic management, knowledge and skills of high potential employees from hotels and corporate support offices worldwide.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: June 1, 2005
What is it about a swimming pool with water that appears to flow right over its edge, to infinity? It is the WOWfactor, says Mary Gostelow, editor-in-chief www.WOWtraveler.net. Here are some favorites.
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Ring the unmarked doorbell at 5, rue de Moussy, a small street in the chic Marais district of Paris, and you'll encounter a new breed of luxury accommodation, a concept so new that it has yet to be properly labeled. Minihotel? Lifestyle suite? Haute B & B?
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Only 5 percent of Americans have caught on to a free, easy-to-use technology that will permanently change how people get information online. That technology is Really Simple Syndication, or RSS. It works by pulling feeds from Web sites and blogs, making new content available as it’s posted. Underlying RSS is Extensible Markup Language (XML), whose main purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured text, data and information across the Internet.
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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company will open its first 332-room hotel in Moscow in the middle of 2006. “Our expansion into Russia signifies an exciting strategic move for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
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The number of foreign tourists arriving in Chile has been increasing at an annual rate of 15%, and Magallanes Region stands above the national average revealed Oscar Santelices, head of the Chilean Tourist Services Board during an international meeting taking place in Punta Arenas.
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For those of you still wondering why an old-line media mogul like Barry Diller wanted to pay roughly $2 billion for an underdog Internet search engine like Ask Jeeves, Diller himself is happy to try to explain. At the D3 Conference, the media mogul told a roomful of geeks that in today's world of technology, content guys are more important than ever.
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Celebrating its 10-year anniversary as the first hotel company to take online reservations, InterContinental Hotels Group is offering 20 percent or more off room rates for summer travel around the world.
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Internet`s influence, business development, latest travel trends were hot topics at 5th Annual Resort Management Conference
The latest buzz words and travel trends, such as "Togethering" and "Strategic Control," along with forecasts, a lodging outlook and more than a dozen breakout sessions to educate resort management professionals headlined the agenda at the 5th Annual Resort Management Conference. Other hot topics were Internet marketing, de-mystifying distribution, building business health, and marketing to meeting planners.
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Rezidor SAS Hospitality, the international multi-brand hotel management company, is launching interactive destination guides for its Radisson SAS and Park Inn brand websites. The guides are being provided for five launch destinations (Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Oslo and Paris) covering 16 properties initially, and will be rolled out to other Rezidor SAS destinations in several phases.
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