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Hotel News in Brief
Sep 19, 07 | 7:46 am
Hotel room occupancy on Hawaii continues to decline, while room rates are still going up. The Hawaii hotel industry snapshot for the week ending Sept. 8 showed a 3.8 percentage point decline to 68.7 percent, as compared to the same week in 2006. Occupancy on Oahu was down 6 percentage points, to 70.4 percent. Maui was down 4 percentage points, to 70.1 percent. Bookings at Big Island hotels also dropped, down 1.5 percentage points to 57.5 percent. Only Kauai managed to post growth in bookings last week, up 7.3 percentage points year over year to 74.6 percent. The statewide average for room rates is up 10.3 percent to $191. Oahu rooms are up 14.1 percent to $173, while Maui rooms are up 7.2 percent to $231. Big Island rooms are up 13.1 percent to 181, while Kauai hotels increased their room rates 2.5 percent to $197. The room occupancy average for all U.S. hotels are up slightly to 58.7 percent, while room rate averages are up 6.5 percent to $100. The Hawaii hotel snapshot is surveyed by Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors. Source: Prtfolio.com
To celebrate International Tourism Day, Lebanon's Tourism Minister Joseph Sarkis presided over a reception at the Dunes Holiday Inn in Verdun on Monday evening. Heralding tourism as an economic sector that is open to the female workforce, the event paid tribute to the pioneering efforts of Lebanese women who have changed the industry for the better in Lebanon. Among those in attendance were Mona Hrawi, May Arida, Roger Edde, May Khalil, Aimee Boulos, George Khoury, Mona Fares, Nadim Assi and others. Source: Daily Star Lebanon
The Westin Kuala Lumpur showcased talent and skills with a collection of medals, and a very special associate emerging tops in a prestigious culinary and food and beverage competition - the distinguished Culinaire Malaysia 2007. It is jointly organised by the Malaysian Association of Hotels in conjunction with Food & Hotel Malaysia. A bi-annual event, Culinaire Malaysia invites all Food and Beverage and hotel associates to prepare and showcase their cold display, patisserie, artistic skills and hot cooking both individually and in teams. Held from 22 August till 25 August 2007 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, thirty categories from various fields including ice carving, wedding cake display, butter sculpture, fruit flambé were up for competition. The Westin associates battled it out with over 1,000 other participants from both Malaysia and Singapore. Chef Chuah Teck Seng made The Westin proud by winning the Gold Medal for the ‘Apprentice Hot Cooking' category. For this category, Chuah had to prepare four plates of main course dishes within an hour of cooking time. Chuah's achievements were further acknowledged when he was awarded the Special Award for ‘The Most Outstanding Apprentice 2007'. The other categories that The Westin's Culinary team received medals in are the ‘Team Event - Battle of the Chef Black Box', the ‘Hot Cooking Fish/Seafood', ‘Hot Cooking Meat/Poultry', ‘Ethnic Malay Cold Display', and the ‘Apprentice Menu of the Day'. The Westin's winning team is led by Chef Farouk Othman, the Sous Chef for The Living Room.
Vantage Hospitality is pleased to announce the hiring of Gino Belmonte as the Midwest Director of Development for The Lexington Collection hotel chain. Belmonte will also serve as the Vice President of Franchise Termination Negotiations for Hospitality Solutions. "Gino knows the Midwest territory and the lodging industry like the back of his hand," Steve Belmonte, President & CEO, Partner of The Lexington Collection said of his son. "Having been in this business myself for over 30 years, I know from experience that Gino, being a phenomenal salesman that he is, will be a valuable player for The Lexington Collection in the Midwest market. In addition, franchisees working with Hospitality Solutions will reap the benefits of his first-rate negotiation talents."
One of Madrid's most luxurious hotels has donated hundreds of used beds, chairs, sheets, towels and bathrobes to victims of last month's devastating earthquake in Peru. The Hotel Villamagna, run by the Park Hyatt chain, is acting at the suggestion of employees who came up with the idea of giving unwanted furnishings - the hotel is closed for a major renovation - to relief groups, hotel director Gorka Bergareche told the newspaper El Pais. About half the material the hotel is discarding will be sent to Pisco, the Peruvian city that was hardest hit in the Aug. 15 quake, which killed more than 500 people. The rest is being taken by NGOs dealing with other countries. Source: The International Herald Tribune/The Associated Press
Raffles Hotel held a gala reception to commemorate its 120th anniversary. It was a birthday party like no other. The grand dame of Singapore's hotels celebrates 120 years of service. And it was a double celebration. The Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, turned 84 on Sunday. Even though the party was not thrown in Mr Lee's name, the hotel brought back special memories. Mr Lee said: "My wife and I had our wedding reception here umpteen years ago." He also played a part in restoring the hotel after it went through what he called "graceful decadence" in the late 1970s. Mr Lee said: "I then gave the owners notice to first retain the Raffles name. Second, the lease that would befall them in time. That unless they get their act together, refurbish the hotel and do it up, the government would acquire both and do it. With that threat, they then put aside their differences and got the place redone." And it is not easy to find a hotel as old as Raffles in Asia. Thailand has one, the 130-year-old Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. But for Raffles, its 120 years of legacy has seen it play host to many important people including the Indonesian President and Hollywood superstar Elizabeth Taylor. It has also been voted the best hotel in Asia by a UK travel magazine. Source: Channel News Asia
The Fuenso group, which includes the brands Hospes Hotels & Moments, Senzone Restaurants & Tastes, Bodyna Spas & Sensations and Atmost Enhanced Experiences, has launched a new website with extensive information on its establishments. The authentic Fuenso Experience is available for discovery at www.fuenso.com, with detailed information on the establishments and services and the offers to enjoy and experience unique emotions, along with hundreds of photos, novelties, articles on Hospes and the other brands published in major media outlets, prizes recognising the group's quality and commitment, the corporative social action plan (Dreams) and the key attractions of each destination.
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