Hospitality Breaking News

Best Western Hotels & Resorts acquires WorldHotels

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Best Western Hotels & Resorts has acquired renowned global hotel brand, WorldHotels representing a collection of approximately 300 unique and special hotels and resorts in premier destinations around the world. The WorldHotels brand will play a critical role in enhancing Best Western’s portfolio of offerings to include the upper upscale and luxury segments. “There is tremendous synergy between Best Western and WorldHotels. By joining forces in this new partnership, we will create competitive advantages for both companies,” said David Kong, President and CEO, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. WorldHotels will maintain its distinctive personality and individuality while benefiting from Best Western’s robust and scalable e-commerce platform, strong partnerships, award-winning loyalty programme, effective sales and marketing support, global distribution network and powerful revenue engines. “As we join forces, the combined power of our brands sets the stage for a bright future for both Best Western and WorldHotels. Through its established senior leadership team and regional presence in each market, Best Western brings a new level of expertise that will undoubtedly help grow the WorldHotels brand in key markets,” said Geoff Andrew, CEO, WorldHotels. In the last year alone, Best Western was named one of the world’s most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, expanded its portfolio to 13 dynamic brands reaching new guests in new segments, and won a record number of industry awards and accolades. The acquisition is a testament to Best Western’s commitment to growth, modernisation and continued progression, bolstering the company’s position as a trusted leader in the global hospitality industry.

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Fourteen DoubleTree by Hilton to open across Asia-Pacific this year


Sustaining its growth into 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton will expand its footprint around the world, with nearly half of its 200 planned hotels located in the Asia Pacific region. Fourteen new DoubleTree by Hilton properties are slated to open this year across China, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, adding to the close to 560 existing DoubleTree by Hilton properties currently in its global portfolio that spans across 45 countries. To accommodate the region’s thriving economic centers and growing tourism industries, DoubleTree by Hilton looks to provide an upscale solution to those in or traveling to the region with innovative, comfortable hotels and its signature, warm DoubleTree Cookie welcome. “As DoubleTree by Hilton celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019, we are eager to continue providing guests in the Asia Pacific region and around the world with our outstanding DoubleTree hospitality,” said Shawn McAteer, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “By opening hotels such as DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort, our first property in Sri Lanka, our brand continues to maintain its commitment to innovation and the gold standard for hospitality for guests around the world.” From exploring the vibrant cultural hub of Perth, Australia at DoubleTree by Hilton Perth – Northbridge, to experiencing the eclectic metropolis of Surabaya, Indonesia at DoubleTree by Hilton Surabaya, each DoubleTree property will provide both leisure and business travelers access to key cultural and business centers across the Asia Pacific. “Hilton is leading the hotel construction pipeline in China, with DoubleTree by Hilton being our second fastest-growing brand in the region with more than 100 planned projects and an aggregate of close to 27,000 rooms,” said Sean Wooden, vice …

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Renaissance Hotels debuts in Mexico


Renaissance Hotels has announced the opening of Renaissance Cancún Resort & Marina, the brand’s first hotel to open in Mexico. “We have been on a journey to evolve our hotels’ design to reflect what the Renaissance brand offers today: a sense of clever theatricality and an open invitation to experience something a little unexpected during our guests’ travels,” said George Fleck, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing & Management, Renaissance Hotels. “We are thrilled to celebrate Renaissance Cancún Resort & Marina and its spontaneous high-low design that embraces the DNA of the locale and gives guests a new sense of the destination.”

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OYO reacts to Hotel Owners’ Association of Mysuru blocking OYO inventory


Since December of 2018, several hotels across the country have voiced concerns and in some cases stopped conducting business with the erring Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs) and Oyo. In a latest development, the Hotel Owners’ Association (HOA) of Mysuru has decided that after 15th of the month, 400 of its hotel members will block their inventory to GoIbibo and MakeMyTrip (Go-MMT) unless the OTAs agree to the terms put forth by the Association. Speaking on the same, an OYO spokesperson said, “As a respectable hospitality brand that focuses on corporate governance, asset owner success and elevated customer experience, we continue to resolve any issues with asset owners on a one to one basis as appropriate. We are happy to share with you that over 90% of our asset owners are extremely happy franchising with OYO and have seen over 50% growth in their occupancy in their first few months of joining us. Like any valued relationship, we discuss and resolve any concerns as required. Unfortunately, some vested interest groups resort to unsubstantiated claims. As a testament to the tenacity and resolve of our young, innovative hospitality company, we have seen less than 1% assets leave or be asked to leave annually, which is almost 2X better than what you would see for a competing player in the same segment. Despite certain attempts by vested interest groups to discredit our years of hard work with malicious and inaccurate claims, our 8700+ asset owners in India continue to stand by us as we remain committed to delivering benefits to the customer and asset owner.”

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Preferred adds two hotels in its portfolio in India

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Preferred Hotels & Resorts has announced the growth of its global portfolio with the addition of 15 new member hotels in the last quarter, between October 1 and December 31, 2018. These newly included member properties strive to deliver authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences that speak to the spirit of independent hotels and encapsulate #ThePreferredLife across prominent destinations including Jaipur, Bengaluru, New York, Lisbon, the Yucatan Peninsula and more. In India, Preferred Hotels & Resorts has also added of 2 hotels in its member portfolio – Hotel Clarks Amer (Jaipur, India) and Clarks Exotica – Convention Resort & Spa (Bangalore, India).

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Lemon Tree Premier, Udaipur, to open with 139 rooms by October


Lemon Tree Hotels has robust growth plans for 2019. The brand is expected to add 1,240 rooms by 2021. Commenting on this, Patanjali Keswani, Chairman & Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels says, “Our capacity addition plans are tracking well. We have added ~300 owned rooms during the last quarter, 91 rooms at Red Fox Hotel in Dehradun which was commissioned in Oct’18 and 201 rooms at Lemon Tree Premier, City Centre, in Pune was opened in Dec’18. We are enthused by the performance of both the properties in the short period of time since their opening. Further, our 303 room. Lemon Tree Premier hotel at Andheri East in Mumbai is complete and we are in the last leg of approvals and expect to launch soon. We have a large supply of high value inventory getting operational in demand dense regions, which coupled with anticipated price hikes and our operational cost efficiencies will drive strong cash flows in the coming years. We will also be launching a property in Udaipur by October with 139 rooms.”

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Marriott opens Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark


Marriott International opens Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark, expanding the brand into Kerala, India. Commenting on the launch, Neeraj Govil- Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark, the twelfth hotel in the Four Points by Sheraton’s India portfolio. Business travellers to Kochi are assured of a seamless stay, the hotel’s spaces and facilities are smart and flexible, ensuring every aspect of the guest experience reflects the brand’s emphasis on uncomplicated comfort and simple sophistication”. 218 spacious and well-appointed guestrooms including 23 suites, reflect the brand’s promise of integrating timeless classics with modern details. The rooms feature the brand’s signature comfortable bed for a deep and restful sleep. Dining options include The Eatery, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant with an international spread, local specialties and an enticing dessert selection. All Spice is a casual destination to unwind and escape the nuances of the everyday life and indulge in coastal delicacies from Maharashtra, Goa, Karwar and Kerala. Deli is the Grab and Go – pastry and confectionery shop, along with Caper the high-energy lounge bar. “Thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of today’s traveller, our hotel has immense opportunity to deliver an unparalleled guest experience backed by comfort, great service and the amenities they need to stay productive on the road,” said Dinesh Rai, General Manager, Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark. Four Points by Sheraton Kochi Infopark also features 5,000 sqft of dedicated meeting space ideal for conferences, weddings and social gatherings. In addition to the smart and flexible design, the hotel also features a 24-hour gym, a spa and an infinity pool.

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Hotel Owners’ Association of Mysuru blocks GO-MMT and OYO’s inventory

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Since December of 2018, several hotels across the country have voiced concerns and in some cases stopped conducting business with the erring Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs) and Oyo. In a latest development, the Hotel Owners’ Association (HOA) of Mysuru has decided that after 15th of the month, 400 of its hotel members will block their inventory to GoIbibo and MakeMyTrip (Go-MMT) unless the OTAs agree to the terms put forth by the Association. The Association had recently convened a meeting of its members in the city to regulate terms of operation with the OTAs and hotel aggregators, to put an end to exorbitant commissioning and deep discounting tactics. Last month, hotels in Sikkim under the Sikkim Hotels & Restaurants Association (SHRA) terminated their contracts with Go-MMT after the OTAs did not meet the terms outlined by the Association. “The OTAs and Oyo are destroying the very fabric of hospitality under the guise of disruption. They are literally bullying hoteliers, flexing their muscles with seemingly unlimited funds, access to technology and consumer data. Hotels took their bait of increased revenues and rates which today has given them a free hand at employing predatory pricing policies. The indiscriminate discounts offered to customers, outlandish commissions and Performance Linked Bonuses (PLBs) demanded from hotels, hijacking their online and offline brand and business resources, misrepresenting the actual rate received from guests, pitting one hotel against another and other below the belt tactics have left many hoteliers desolate,” says Mr. Sooryah P, President, Association of Indian Hotels and Serviced Apartments, Bangalore.

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Radisson announces the signing of six hotels in Egypt


Radisson Hotel Group has announced the signing of six new hotels in Egypt as part of a portfolio deal across a number of its brands. The agreement was signed with existing business partner Zaghloul Holdings, a Cairo-based business conglomerateoperating in real estate, contracting, tourism, commercial retail, entertainment and sports investment industries. The six hotels: Radisson Collection Hotel Cairo Heliopolis, Radisson Blu Serviced Apartments Cairo Heliopolis, Radisson Blu Hotel Cairo Golf City, Radisson Hotel New Cairo, Radisson Hotel & Resort Ain Sokhna and Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Makadi Bay, Hurghada will mean Radisson Hotel Group becomes one of the largest international operators in the country and will also cement Radisson Blu’s position as the leading brand in the city in the coming years. Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “It is great to expand our footprint in Egypt with six new hotels. Egypt has historically been one of the most visited countries in North Africa and we strongly believe in its tourism industry in the long run. These hotels will make a great contribution to the local employment and we thank our partner Zaghloul Holdings for their continued trust and for their contribution towards promoting tourism in the country. We are further pleased to introduce two new brands to Egypt, Radisson Collection, positioned as the premium lifestyle and affordable luxury brand and Radisson as an upscale hotel brand”. Hazem Zaghloul, owner of Zaghloul Holdings, said: “We have ambitious investment plans for the tourism sector in Egypt. We are confident in the future outlook for the sector with positive forecasts of increased visitor numbers and the significant investment in the tourism infrastructure of Egypt. …

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W debuts in Dubai with 350 rooms

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W Hotels, part of Marriott International has announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions. “Much like W has redefined modern luxury, Dubai is a city that is firmly in charge of writing its own narrative, fearlessly embracing the future through design, technology and global culture,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The energy and marvel of this incredible city make it the perfect destination for a W Escape – our unique take on a resort holiday – where the bold style, iconic service and signature scene of a W come to play.”

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