Monthly Archives: August 2012

Digital Marketing Agency Unveils New Hotel Internet Marketing Division

BeeSeen’s newly launched Hotel Internet Marketing division works with hotels, resorts, inns and bed breakfasts to reach their target customers in a pool of over 250 million people booking their travels online each year. This branch offers hospitality internet marketing and sales strategy to hotels looking to drive their businesses online.

People searching online to book travel and hotel arrangements is becoming mainstream, as travel agents are slowly being phased out. The internet is the most important sales and marketing channel for reaching new customers. Approximately $288 billion dollars will be spent in the travel industry for 2012, of which 39% will be from online customers.

BeeSeen’s new division will offer affordable, high quality internet marketing services to deliver the best value and ROI for its hotel customers. Services provided include Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Cloud-based Property Management System (front desk and online reservation management solutions), Mobile Marketing and Website Development. The focus will be to drive actual sales and hotel room bookings, while delivering a measurable return on investment.

In the month of September 2012, BeeSeen’s Hotel Internet Marketing team will release its first big push at tapping into the travel industry. This leading initiative will offer Bed and Breakfast Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing services within the San Francisco Bay Area. The special introductory offer for new BB clients will be a Free Initial Consultation + Free $100 Google Advertising for signing up in September 2012.

BeeSeen’s Hotel Internet Marketing division operates as the virtual partner and/or virtual staff member of its hotel clients. This division will provide industry knowledge expertise and best practices, with the ultimate goal of helping these travel lodging businesses grow their revenue and build brand awareness. BeeSeen will act proactively to continuously improve online sales performance for its clients by optimizing online sales channels for higher occupancy and revenues.

About BeeSeen, Inc.:

BeeSeen, headquartered in San Francisco, CA, provides results-driven digital marketing services to their clients, helping companies increase their online visibility, and more importantly increase their sales. BeeSeen offers a full complement of E-Marketing services that combine the best of business consulting, Internet expertise and technology competence – all combined in an upfront and comprehensive service and pricing model that delivers maximum value and a measurable return on investment. The following is a breakdown of some of BeeSeen’s core capabilities: Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, E-Marketing Strategy, Display Advertising, E-mail Marketing, Revenue and Conversion Lift Consulting and Website Analysis and Reporting. More information on BeeSeen can be found on their website: http://www.beeseen.com.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/8/prweb9856579.htm

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Asian pair vie to buy Hilton

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Moscow’s Hotel Metropol sold at auction

By JIM HEINTZ
Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) – Michael Jackson slept there. Vladimir Lenin harangued Bolsheviks there. Over the past century, the Hotel Metropol has seen the extremes of Russian life, from austere revolutionary fervor to flashy pop indulgence.

The hotel was sold Thursday for $275 million – slightly more expensive than the starting price of $272 million – after an auction organized by the Moscow city government as part of its privatization program.

The buyer was Azimut, a major Russian hotel chain that rented the Metropol from the Moscow city government, Russian media reported.

Moscow, with a perpetual shortage of hotel rooms and a business culture that adores ostentation, is an attractive market for high-end hoteliers and the Metropol offers plenty of curb-flash.

Situated catty-corner from the Bolshoi Theater and an easy stroll from Red Square, the location is prime for any guest who wants to feel in the very center of the city’s heaving action.

It’s one of Moscow’s most distinctive buildings as well, a cheery Art Nouveau confection in a city where buildings mostly seem to glower. Although at six stories it’s one of the city center’s more low-rise structures, it stands out with sinuous curves, friezes of women en deshabille and bands of brightly colored majolica tiles. Several elaborate mosaics top the building, the most noted being Mikhail Vrubel’s “Princess of Dreams,” showing a dying knight sailing through a crashing sea to a vision of his beloved.

Then, there’s the historical cachet. When it opened in 1901, it was a paragon of Russians’ growing prosperity and confidence, but 17 years later took on a far different role. When Bolsheviks decided to move their government from St. Petersburg to Moscow, the hotel was appropriated to become the Second House of the Soviets.

A large plaque on the exterior notes that in 1918-19, Lenin “many times gave reports and speeches at sessions and party congresses” in the hotel and chatted there with members of the “prodotryad,” armed squads of workers who forcefully appropriated food from the bourgeoisie. Another plaque commemorates a 1921 meeting in the hotel that resulted in a friendship agreement with Mongolia.

In the chaos of World War II, the Metropol became home and office for almost all the foreign journalists allowed to work in the USSR. “Gloomy and cavernous, Mother Metropol was like a college fraternity house” during that time, Whitman Bassow wrote in his book “The Moscow Correspondents.”

The auction winner will get all that, but won’t get the hotel’s elaborate array of antique furnishings and paintings. How much of that might be available for separate purchase is unclear. Natalya Bocharova, head of the city property department, said this month that an array of objects from the hotel will be turned over to museums.

The furnishings are a major part of the hotel’s appeal. Jackson, during a 1993 stay, reportedly was so enamored with a lamp featuring a bear figure that he agitated unsuccessfully to buy it.

Despite its storied history and reputation, hotel review websites suggest the Metropol’s rooms often are in need of spiffing up. Tikova said privatization should ensure the hotel gets an upgrade.

“It allows for more efficient management, it allows timely renovations,” she said.

____

Oleg Yuriyev in Moscow contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

High-End Hotel Investment Sales Getting Hot Again After Six-Month Lull


After trading at a blistering pace last year, high-dollar hotel investment sales cooled off considerably in the first half of 2012. However, early third-quarter transaction activity suggests that lodging sales should finish the year on a strong note, according to CoStar sales data and comments from leading hospitality CEOs.

Total volume of sold hotel transactions valued at $25 million and above was $2.5 billion in the first six months of 2012 — well below the strong $6.4 billion recorded in the first half of 2011, according to preliminary sales transactions analyzed by CoStar. Thanks to a handful of hotels that sold for top dollar, sales volume has already surpassed second-quarter 2012 and about equaled first-quarter figures just a month into the third quarter. The average price per key remained strong at around $233,500 at midyear.

The uptick in sales in recent weeks come as the U.S. hotel industry heads into the Labor Day weekend, traditionally one of the busiest travel and vacation periods of the year, and reflects what lodging analysts say is the continuing and growing strength in fundamentals in spite of this year’s slow economic growth and fiscal uncertainty.

In an updated lodging forecast released this week, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) expects the recovery in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to continue through the end of the year, with slightly stronger gains in both demand and room pricing than previously anticipated.

Despite the slow economy, U.S. business and leisure travel continues to recover, including stepped-up corporate meetings and a greater number of international visitors, with hotels experiencing solid demand and room rent gains in the second quarter.

Along with year-over-year gains in group bookings in place for the balance of the year, these improvements have resulted in an expected RevPAR increase of 7.2% in 2012 and 5.6% in 2013. Overall, PwC expects lodging demand in 2012 to increase 3%, while the still-restrained supply of rooms will grow at just 0.5%, boosting occupancy levels to 61.5%, the highest since 2007.

Buyers, Sellers Get Off the Sidelines

Such numbers are prompting sellers to get off the sidelines. Evident of the boost in third-quarter sales activity has been a pair of large sales in recent days of W branded hotels by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT).

Annapolis, MD-based Chesapeake Lodging Trust last week acquired the W Chicago Lakeshore, a 520-room property at 644 N. Lakeshore Drive, from Starwood for $126 million, or $242,308 per room. Two days later, Starwood announced the sale of the 258-room W Los Angeles at 930 Hilgard Ave. in the Westwood submarket, to Pebblebrook Hotel Trust for $125 million. That’s a whopping $484,500 per key.

Also this week, a GE Capital affiliate sold the 472-room Sheraton Nashville in downtown for a reported $47.5 million to private owner/developer JRK Hotel Group.

The sales activity at the high end of the market mirrors especially strong fundamentals for luxury properties. While hotels across the spectrum are benefiting from the recovery, those in the higher-priced tiers are expected to see the strongest gains, according to PwC.

Occupancy levels at hotels in the luxury, upper-upscale and upscale segments are expected to meet or exceed each segment’s 2007 peak. Hotels in the lower-priced segments have not experienced as solid of a recovery in occupancy but are still expected to realize increased room rates as demand gradually strengthens.

“With occupancy surpassing recent prior peak levels in the luxury, upper upscale, and upscale segments, the lodging recovery is intact,” said Scott D. Berman, principal and US industry leader, hospitality leisure, PwC.

Starwood Pursues Asset-Light” Strategy

Starwood has pursued an “asset-light” strategy in recent years, opting to focus on fee income from hotel operations and management. During a recent call with investors, the company laid out plans to unlock $4 billion to $5 billion in cash by selling its hotels and Bal Harbour condominium residences.

The majority of that cash will come from eliminating most of Starwood’s owned hotel portfolio, said Frits van Paasschen, CEO, president and director.

“We’ll continue to bring our own hotels to market, either one at a time or all at once, depending on demand,” van Paasschen said. “It’s important also to note that after generating all that cash, we’re left with a global high-end fee business, which is an investor’s dream as the business model.

“The fee business is built on long-term contracts, low variable costs, but absent the capital needs and volatility of owned real estate.”

Compared with three to six months ago, “We have more [properties] on the market and we’re having more discussions than we were prior to that. And that reflects a greater confidence among buyers and presumably some better financing conditions among buyers than we’ve seen for some time,” van Paasschen said.

While Starwood may be poised to sell more hotels, it could pull back if the company doesn’t feel it’s getting the appropriate price for the asset, he said.

Strong Second Half of Year Expected

Jon Bortz, chairman, president and CEO of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB), one of the most active hotel buyers in recent years, predicts stronger overall investment activity in the second half of 2012.

“I think what we can say is that the activity level in the second half for the industry and hopefully for us will be significantly higher than it was in the first half,” Bortz said in an investor call. “We’ve seen a very positive momentum in the number and quality of assets in the major gateway markets that we have an interest in, and we believe that we will continue to get at least our share in both on-market and off-market transactions.”

“Right now we continue to be excited about making acquisitions. We think it’s still very early in the recovery. We think in almost all markets except for select service in a couple of major cities, we are a long way from replacement cost, and capital availability for new construction, particularly in urban markets outside of New York, is very, very limited.”

Earlier in the year, there was an anticipation that the second half of 2012 would be somewhat like the first half of 2011’s very high level of activity, noted W. Edward Walter, CEO and president of Host Hotels Resorts.

“I’d say expectations have moderated a bit. But clearly, we’re seeing more activity, more opportunity right now than we did in the beginning of the year, and I think that doesn’t surprise me in some ways. I think conditions are better,” Walter said.

“We certainly still are looking to be active,” said Walter, adding he’s very confident Host will be a net acquirer of properties in the near term, depending on how asset pricing plays out.

In the last buying cycle in 2006 and 2007, Host Hotels started to see pricing that “was so strong that under the assumptions under which we were comfortable underwriting assets, we started to find that we just weren’t competitive as the buyer,” Walter noted.

“Not because we didn’t have a low cost of capital, but I think others were just being very aggressive,” Walter said. “We made a decision at that point that we were better off being a seller than a buyer. I clearly anticipate that we will find the same sort of dynamic happen at some point in this cycle.

“I don’t see any real signs of it yet, so I suspect that even as we look at [2013] we would still be active on the acquisition front, but it’s hard to predict beyond that right now.”

At least one other major chain doesn’t expect to see much acquisition activity in the next six months. Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt Hotel Corp (NYSE: H), said the company is more focused on development and isn’t actively marketing any properties via third-party brokers. But Hyatt will likely sell “a property” before the end of the year, though it’s not likely to be a large transaction, Hoplamazian said.

Hotel business sees improvements

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Southern Oregon hotel and innkeepers have seen modest improvements in room rates and revenue, but haven’t experienced the general jolt felt by northern counterparts this year.

“What we are seeing in urban and Central Oregon is partly the return of business travel,” said Carolyn Hill, regional tourism marketing chief executive officer. “We never attracted a large business travel segment anyway because we don’t have a convention center.”

Room rates in the seven counties under Travel Southern Oregon’s umbrella edged up 2.5 percent to an average of $76.81 during the first seven months of 2012. Revenue per available room climbed 1.6 percent. Total room revenue for the region is up 1.5 percent, based on data compiled by Smith Travel Research of Hendersonville, Tenn.

Statewide numbers in these categories were superior. The statewide room rates grew 4 percent, revenue per available room rose 5.1 percent and total revenue soared 5.7 percent. Actual dollar figures are compiled when the state’s 1 percent lodging tax is distributed to regional marketing groups.

“We would love to see the August numbers come in strong,” Hill said. “We’re not hearing about record-breaking years, but we’re hearing August has been a strong month and the weather has been absolutely perfect. We’ve been lucky in that fires haven’t affected travel in our area, which is always a risk in the late summer.”

— Greg Stiles

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Hotel Shangri-La, ZOA find common ground

August 29, 2012


The entrance to the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica. Photo by Jonah Lowenfeld

On Aug. 21, on the heels of a jury decision that found the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, along with one of its part-owners, had discriminated against a group of Jews during an incident in 2010, the Western Region of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) sent out a notice that it was planning a protest in front of the Hotel Shangri-La on Aug. 26, to “express outrage.”

Then, on Aug. 24, the ZOA announced that it had canceled the rally after coming to an agreement with the hotel and its owner.

In a statement released on Aug. 24, Hotel Shangri-La President, CEO and part-owner Tehmina Adaya condemned anti-Semitism and declared her support for Israel, even as she reaffirmed her intent to appeal the jury’s decision and maintained that she had never made any discriminatory comments to any of the plaintiffs who had brought the lawsuit.

[For more on the Hotel Shangri-La case, visit jewishjournal.com/thenon-prophet]

In the case in question, Adaya and the hotel were found to have violated the civil rights of 18 Jewish and non-Jewish plaintiffs when members of the hotel’s staff, allegedly acting on Adaya’s instructions, disrupted a pool party that had been organized by a pro-Israel group.

At the conclusion of their deliberations, the jury in California Superior Court ordered the hotel and Adaya to pay the plaintiffs a combined $1.65 million in damages, statutory payments and punitive damages.

The hotel’s press release — which made no mention of the ZOA’s planned protest — also announced donations from Adaya of $3,600 each to two Israeli foundations, the Koby Mandell Foundation, which supports Israeli victims of terror, and the Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization, which supports wounded Israeli soldiers.

The ZOA announced the cancellation of the protest in a separate release, circulated just moments after the hotel’s statement was sent out.

“The mere fear of a protest evoked these concessions,” Steve Goldberg, chairman of the ZOA’s Los Angeles region and its national vice chair, said in an interview. “We actually got something tangible, as opposed to a group of people walking in front of a hotel.”

“I care deeply about the hurt, anger and misunderstanding that has resulted and I want the Jewish and pro-Israel community to know I condemn anti-Semitism,” Adaya is quoted as saying in Friday’s statement. “I welcome diversity and never made disparaging comments to anyone who attended an event here.”

However, one point in the hotel’s statement — an invitation from Adaya to “leaders of the Jewish and pro-Israel community” to attend a private event sometime in the next 12 months to be coordinated with the ZOA and hosted by the Shangri-La — has provoked criticism from one of the plaintiffs in the suit.

Lou Sokolovskiy, who was awarded more than $115,000 by the jury, said in an interview that while he hadn’t intended to attend the canceled ZOA’s protest, he was “quite disappointed” that ZOA had agreed to host a pro-Israel event at the Shangri-La and had not demanded that Adaya apologize for her actions.

“That’s basically playing along with a public relations campaign that Ms. Adaya is trying to build and becoming a puppet in her hand,” Sokolovskiy said. 

ZOA’s Goldberg countered that the “vast majority of feedback” his group had received about the agreement with the hotel had been positive, and he called Sokolovskiy “one of fewer than a handful of malcontents.”

“We’re not giving her [Adaya] any cover,” Goldberg said. “We’re simply taking her money and giving it to pro-Israel charities.”

James Turken, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in their successful lawsuit, declined to comment specifically on the hotel’s agreement with ZOA, but called the hotel’s statement “clearly an effort at damage control” and “spin control.”

As an example, Turken pointed to the statement’s interpretation of the jury’s verdict. “While the jury found that the hotel did not have proper business protocols in place,” the statement read, “they did not claim or believe she made discriminatory comments to any of the plaintiffs.”

Yet the jury unanimously decided in the cases of each of the 18 plaintiffs that the hotel and Adaya had violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and further found that in most cases, the hotel and its owner had acted maliciously.

The verdict made no comment about the hotel’s business protocols, Turken said, and he called the hotel’s portrayal, “100 percent false.”

“There’s no way to spin the verdict as anything other than what it was,” Turken said. “All that one needs to do is look at the court record. This isn’t something you can hide.”

Asked how the hotel had come to that interpretation of the verdict, Miles Lozano, the hotel’s director of PR/Marketing, wrote in an e-mail, “None of the plaintiffs claimed to have heard any discriminatory comments, it was based on hearsay from a former disgruntled employee who did not show up in court to testify.”

Sworn testimony from a deposition of that former employee, Nathan Codrey, was read into the court record for the jury during the trial. In addition, a number of plaintiffs who testified during the trial said under oath that while they had not heard Adaya make discriminatory comments, Codrey had reported to them on the day of the event in 2010 that Adaya had instructed him to “Get the [expletive] Jews out of the hotel.” At the time, Codrey was serving as the hotel’s assistant food and beverage manager. He was terminated from his position shortly after the event.


The complete text of both statements is below.

The Hotel Shangri-La’s:

Hotel Shangri-­La Owner Reaches Out to Jewish Community Makes Donation and Invites Pro-Israel Groups to Hotel

August 24, 2012, Santa Monica, CA -­‐-­‐-­‐ Tehmina Adaya, owner of the Hotel Shangri‐La, today publicly voiced her sensitivity to Jewish groups and Israel by announcing a plan that supports Israel, condemns anti-Semitism and embraces cultural understanding.

Ms. Adaya, who has always supported diversity, announced an equal donation of $3,600
to both the Koby Mandell Foundation (www.kobymandell.org) and Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization (www.zdvo.org) to reinforce her commitment to supporting Israel and appreciating diversity.

In addition, she extended a personal invitation to leaders of the Jewish and pro-Israel community to attend a private event, hosted by the Shangri‐La, to be led by and coordinated with the Zionist Organization of America in Los Angeles within the next 12 months.

Ms. Adaya, a longtime Santa Monica resident and board member of the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, is eager to clarify misinformation and improve relationships with Jewish leaders following a recent jury decision alleging discriminatory remarks.

“I care deeply about the hurt, anger and misunderstanding that has resulted and I want the Jewish and pro‐Israel community to know I condemn anti-Semitism. I welcome diversity and never made disparaging comments to anyone who attended an event here,” said Ms. Adaya. “I pride myself on having close Jewish friends and senior staff, employees representing 12 countries, and we welcome guests from around the world. While I regret I didn’t publicly address this sooner given my belief in my innocence, I support Israel and seek to enhance relationships with people of all backgrounds.”

Ms. Adaya plans to appeal the jury decision based on plaintiffs who attended an event for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, comprised of Jewish and non-Jewish supporters. She believes the claims were based on false information from a disgruntled former employee who did not show up in court to testify. While the jury found that the hotel did not have proper business protocols in place, they did not claim or believe she made discriminatory comments to any of the plaintiffs.

Opened in 1939, the 70-room oceanfront Hotel Shangri-­‐La has been a destination for international visitors throughout its long history.

###

The ZOA’s:

Protest in front of Hotel Shangri La CANCELLED!

August 24, 2012 – In response to Ms. Tehmina Adaya’s public statement today condemning anti-Semitism and expressing support for Israel, the ZOA is cancelling the community-wide protest that it had planned for Sunday, August 26, 2012, 11 am. Please alert everyone you know who was planning to attend the protest.

The ZOA has made this decision in light of a public statement (which can be found here) in which Ms. Adaya and Hotel Shangri La have expressed support for Israel and a condemnation of anti-Semitism; a pledge to give to charities that assist Israeli victims of terror and IDF war veterans; and a pledge to host an event for the Jewish and pro-Israel community of Los Angeles to be coordinated with the ZOA.

In the wake of the ZOA’s announcement on August 20, 2012 that it was leading a community-wide protest with regard to the civil rights violations against a group of Jewish young professionals at Hotel Shangri La, the ZOA was approached by Hotel Shangri La to achieve reconciliation.

Although, based on a finding of clear and convincing evidence, the jury held that Ms. Adaya and the Hotel acted with malicious intent in evicting the group of Jewish young professionals, we believe that her statement exhibits the Jewish value of teshuva, repentance. Thus, the main purpose of the protest, which was to express outrage at anti-Semitism as well as Jewish pride, has been sufficiently addressed. We look forward to working with the Hotel to hold a Jewish community event that also expresses Jewish pride and support for Israel.

We at the ZOA greatly admire the 18 plaintiffs, “the Santa Monica Chai,” who refused to be victims of anti-Semitism and who had the courage and determination to seek justice. They are true Jewish heroes. We at the ZOA are also grateful to all those whose willingness to join the ZOA in the planned protest led to the satisfying resolution we have reached with Hotel Shangri La. We are proud to have demonstrated that Jewish activism is alive and kicking on the West Coast and that anti-Semitism will never again be quietly tolerated.

Shabbat Shalom to the entire House of Israel,

THE ZOA WESTERN REGION

Building the Right Hotel for Your Market

(JCN) –
Kevin Wallace, President Chief Executive Officer, Jebel Ali International Hotels, a speaker at the marcus evans Hospitality Summit EMEA 2012, on identifying and building for a hotel’s target market.

With hospitality developments, the choice of location remains fundamental to success, according to Kevin Wallace, President Chief Executive Officer, Jebel Ali International Hotels. Picking the right location is about knowing one’s customer and analysing the market with feasibility studies, he adds.

A speaker at the upcoming marcus evans Hospitality Summit EMEA 2012, in Istanbul, Turkey, 29 – 31 October, Wallace points out strategies for building a hotel that caters to its customers’ needs.

– Why is the choice of location fundamental to the long-term success of a hotel?

When it comes to any real estate development, it is always about location, location and location. It does not matter what you build or how much you spend, if you get the location wrong, you significantly decrease the chance of success.

– What about the new developments that have put entire towns on the tourist map?

If you analyse those cases closely, they were pretty high risk. In the majority of them, only the second or third person in actually made money.

– In fast-developing and evolving markets, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, how can the choice of location be made? What should hoteliers look for?

The lessons have been learnt about the dangers of rushing into things, in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and all over the world. Taking the time to analyse the market and doing feasibility and market studies helps hoteliers avoid picking the wrong location.

Once the location has been decided, it is then about understanding the client market, and including the amenities, experience, rooms, cuisine and activities that they look for. You can get the location right and build a beautiful resort, but if you do not have the right amenities, the project can fail.

– What is driving the growth of this sector in the region?

In spite of the global financial crisis, we have had pretty buoyant international travel markets, driven primarily by Asian travellers, from China, Korea and the BRIC countries, who tend to travel in large groups.

As the Gulf countries continue to build quality airports, ease visa requirements and so on, we will see the region becoming a more globally competitive tourist destination. However, the higher up one goes in the luxury sector, the higher customers’ expectations are in terms of perfection.

– How can luxury hotels differentiate themselves from each other?

At the end of the day, it is about value. Five-star luxury hotels might look similar on paper, but a lot of the times they are not. They might have different types of client, more guests from particular countries, be more or less family-oriented, and different price packages. What the customer gets for his money will differ. To succeed in this industry, hoteliers have to know their customers and deliver on their promises.

About the Hospitality Summit EMEA 2012

This unique forum will take place at the Ceylan InterContinental, Istanbul, Turkey, 29 – 31 October 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on capturing a hotel’s target market, upgrading properties, and integrating green systems and solutions. For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website at www.hospitalitysummit.com/KevinWallaceInterview

marcus evans group – general business portal – http://bit.ly/PM6yLW

Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com.

– Twitter: www.twitter.com/meSummitsGlobal
– YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/MarcusEvansGroup
– SlideShare: www.slideshare.net/MarcusEvansSummits

Source: marcus evans Summits

Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian
Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
Email: press@marcusevanscy.com

Copyright 2012 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

Hotel Chain Starwood Names Ukraine Key Emerging Market

KYIV, Ukraine, August 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

Ukraine is one of the key emerging markets for hotel business development, as stated in the recent press release by the international hotel chain Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide Inc. Due to the upcoming economic boost, the company plans to expand its operations in CIS countries and open the Sheraton Kyiv Olympiysky hotel in Ukraine’s capital in 2013.  

Starwood named Ukraine a key emerging market together with Russia and Tajikistan. The company stated that in the next couple of years more than 70 percent of economic growth in the world will be associated with the fast-growing emerging markets. Starwood would be focusing on expanding its operations in such countries.

In November, 2013 the company plans to open its first hotel in Kyiv – Sheraton Kyiv Olympiysky. The new 196 rooms venue will be located on Troyitska Square in front of the central sports arena of Ukraine – Olympiysky stadium, which recently hosted the EURO 2012 football championship. Notably, the first high-end hotel opened by Starwood in Ukraine was the Four Points by Sheraton Zaporizhzhia.

It’s been reported earlier that in preparation for the EURO 2012, Ukraine opened and renewed more than 290 hotels in four host-cities: Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv and Lviv. One of Europe’s most important sporting events has attracted more than 1 million foreign visitors to Ukraine. Reportedly, fans have spent nearly $1 billion on hotels, transportation, food, entertainment and clothing. The country’s hotel industry saw an increase in business of nearly 30 percent with total revenues estimated at $4.5 million, reported China Daily.

Furthermore, the experts of the Knight Frank consulting company as well as global (43 countries) commercial and residential property provider predicted that by the end of 2012 the Kyiv hotel market would include such widely recognized international brands as Hilton, Renaissance Marriott  Radisson Blue Hotel. The overall amount of guest rooms and suites in the new hotels is expected to reach almost 600.

Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,112 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees. Starwood owns, operates and franchises hotels, resorts and residences under the brands St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM.

Media Hotel and Towers Jakarta Appoints New Director of Marketing …

The Media Hotel and Towers Jakarta, located at
Jl. Gunung Sahari Raya No. 3 Jakarta, has appointed Mohammad Iqbal
as Director of Marketing Communications.

 After graduating from Udayana University
Denpasar Bali, majoring marketing in tourism and hospitality
industry, Mohammad commenced his career as a restaurant and
banquet waiter at Fort Canning Lodge, Dhoby Ghout Singapore and continued as a Public Relations Officer of Bali Tourism Board in
Denpasar, Bali. He then worked in various sales and marketing
positions in several hotels for more than 10 years.

Prior
to joining The Media Hotel Towers, Mohammad gained a wealth of
managerial experiences in international hotel companies like Accor,
Marriott, Starwood and InterContinental Hotels Group in
various countries such as Bahrain, Dubai, Singapore, Australia and
Indonesia.

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Bank releases deed, hotel goes back on the market

The aged hotel at the eastern-most edge of Davenport’s downtown has succumbed to vandals, but the people looking for a buyer for it say the riverfront land makes it highly valuable, despite damage to the building.

Alderman Gene Meeker, at-large, has been trying to get someone interested in the 48-year-old hotel, located at 227 LeClaire St., since the owner abandoned renovation plans several years ago.

But attempts to shop the property to a new developer could not get too serious, given no one had a clear title to it.

That changed last week.

“We just got word from the bank in Chicago that controls it that the deed is now available,” said John Ruhl, the commercial Realtor who now is handling the sale. “Late last week, we got it on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).”

He said he submitted a marketing plan to the bank several months ago, and that plan now is unfolding.

“We feel the highest and best use would be a land parcel or a redevelopment,” he said.

Meeker agreed, saying the best bet for the old hotel now is to tear it down and take advantage of the riverfront property.

“The building inside is just trashed,” he said. “Every mirror in the place has been broken. I don’t like to go in there, anymore.”

Although there is no doubt the building has been a target for vandals and the homeless as it has languished the past several years, there also has been progress.

The parking lot on the Mississippi River side of the hotel has been expanded, and River Drive has been resurfaced. The water and sewer infrastructure under River Drive has been replaced, and its prior condition was blamed for frequent water problems at the hotel.

Just as desirable to a developer, Meeker predicted, is the creation of the riverfront park across the street, which replaced a dusty agricultural enterprise.

“Now that there’s a clear title, I’m excited about it,” he said. “It’s a valuable piece of property, I think.”

Built as the Clayton House in 1964, the hotel’s last identity was Riverside Plaza. It also was briefly a Howard Johnson’s. It was purchased in 2008 for $4.65 million, went into bankruptcy in 2010 and now is on the market for $1.1 million.

“The improvements in the area show reinvestment on the part of the community,” Ruhl said of the new park, road, lot expansion and infrastructure.

Besides the poor conditions, he said, the hotel’s dated floor plan likely would be difficult to adapt to today’s hotel models. With about 79,000 square feet of building and another 76,000 square feet in land, Ruhl said, it also is too small for a land-based casino.

“I think it’s a very prominent site as an entry to the downtown,” he said. “The potential river views could be a key to a new hotel or other development. There are city incentives out there, and it could be that demolition is a TIF-eligible expense.”

Meeker has said for several years that city officials are open to the idea of offering incentives to a developer.

“Something needs to happen there,” he said. “Let’s get it torn down or renovated. I’d say it’s time for it to go.”