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Hotel News in Brief
Oct 24, 12 | 12:09 am
Some current conversation starters...
PhoCusWright's Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview report has revealed that while the majority of Asia Pacific travel sales are handled offline, travellers are increasingly turning to the internet, predicting online penetration to reach one quarter of the total travel market this year, up from 22% last year.
Online travel bookings in the region are expected to account for $90.8 billion by 2013. Australia and New Zealand have the highest online travel penetration in Asia Pacific at 36%. Online bookings will account for 41% of Australia and New Zealand's total travel market in 2013.
While the Orient-Express Hotels board of directors promised to respond to Tata Group's buyout offer within three weeks, the luxury hotel company could see competing offers from its other shareholders.
British newspapers reported that U.K. billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, who control 6.2% of Orient-Express, consider Tata's offer of US$12.63 per share to be undervalued and may counteroffer at US$16 a share. Tata subsidiary Indian Hotels Co., Mumbai, India, announced on Thursday an unsolicited offer to buyout Orient-Express Hotels, Hamilton, Bermuda, at a 40% premium. Indian Hotels Co. said it would finance the buyout, which would reportedly total US$1.86 billion, with both equity and debt. Indian Hotels Co. also entered into an agreement with Charme II, a private equity fund managed by Montezemolo & Partners, Rome, to sell a minority stake in Orient-Express for US$100 million should the buyout proceed. Orient-Express Hotels founder James Sherwood is reportedly backing the offer from Tata.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific's leading luxury hotel group, received the highly coveted title of Best Business Hotel Brand in Asia-Pacific plus six other titles at the 2012 Business Traveller Asia-Pacific's 21st Travel Awards.
Regarded as one of the travel industry's most anticipated events, the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Readers' Poll is held annually, surveying its readers mainly in Asia Pacific, both frequent business and leisure travellers. For the 12th consecutive year, the title of Best Business Hotel in the World went to Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, and the title of Best Business Hotel in Manila went to Makati Shangri-La, Manila. ?Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong won Best Business Hotel in Asia Pacific and in Hong Kong; Futian Shangri-La, Shenzhen and Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai each won the Best Business Hotel awards in their respective cities.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
White Lodging Services is pleased to announce Chris O'Donnell as the new regional director of operations for the newly created Region 16 where he will oversee seven hotels in Indiana and Ohio, specifically Fishers, Carmel, the Indianapolis airport and Milford. O'Donnell has been with White Lodging since 2007 when he joined the company as the general manager of the Courtyard Hartford-Farmington. He also served as the dual general manager of the Courtyard and Fairfield Inn & Suites Phoenix-Chandler. Most recently, he was a regional director of sales and marketing. Prior to joining White Lodging, he worked for Marriott International at numerous hotels in a variety of roles such as sales manager, regional sales specialist and general manager.
Waterford Hotel Group has announced the appointments of Tina Fleming as Regional Hotel Director in the company's growing hotel management portfolio. In her role as Regional Hotel Director, Fleming's duties include developing and maintaining relationships with ownership and franchise partners, budgeting, associate development, guest satisfaction scores, maintaining Waterford and brand service standards, and the overall performance of the hotels she oversees. Fleming has served in numerous capacities for Waterford Hotel Group since joining the company in 2002, and most recently served as General Manager for the Courtyard by Marriott in Cromwell. Previously, Fleming also served as General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott in Norwich.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
SilverNeedle Hospitality on Friday launched its SilverNeedle Collection, a group of independently owned and branded luxury boutique hotels across South East Asia. The Collection debuts with three properties: 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai, Thailand; Riva Surya, Bangkok; and Kiridara Luang Prabang, Laos, Cambodia. Iqbal Jumabhoy, MD and Group CEO of SilverNeedle Hospitality, said the Collection is on track to reach its goal of 15 hotels in the Asia Pacific region by 2016. Among the Collection's defining attributes: authentic destination experiences, optimum sleep and shower experience, distinctive food and beverage options, seamless communication and concierge services and entrepreneurial management practices. "As owners ourselves, we recognize the requirements and different business cycles within the independent boutique hotel sector in the Asia Pacific region," Jumabhoy said. "It is with the foundation of this understanding that we have identified the need for a platform like SilverNeedle Collection. Flexibility is key to the way we operate." SilverNeedle Hospitality, founded by The Nadathur Group, an investment firm owned by Nadathur Raghavan, co-founder of Infosys Technologies, currently operates over 4,000 keys in the Asia Pacific region.
SJM Holdings announced on Friday that it is set to build a 2,000-room casino-resort on Macau's Cotai Strip after securing a land lease from the Macau government. The news came just a day after MGM Resorts China's announcement that it also secured a government lease to build a 1,600-room casino-resort on the Cotai Strip. Despite SJM's history, having been founded by Macau gaming tycoon and SJM chairman Stanley Ho and operating 20 of Macau's 35 casinos, this will be the company's first property on the Cotai Strip. "SJM's acceptance of the proposed draft land concession contract is a milestone development for the company as it offers the opportunity for the group to expand its existing operations from Macau Peninsula to Cotai," said Ambrose So, SJM CEO.
Dusit Thani Maldives is now open on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll, 35 minutes from Malé by seaplane or 10 minutes from the new domestic airport by speedboat. The resort offers 100 villas and residences. Most villas have private pools. Ocean Villas have decks, private pools, and daybeds. The two-bedroom Ocean Pavilions and Beach Residences have larger private pools and indoor and outdoor dining facilities. The Market restaurant offers international cuisine and a buffet breakfast and dinner. Benjarong serves Thai fare, while Sea Grill serves fresh seafood and steaks. Sand Bar offers poolside snacks, and the Sala Bar extends over the water and serves Asian tapas. The Devarana spa has six elevated treatment pods between the tops of palm trees and two additional pods below.
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