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NEWS| Banyan Tree full year operating profit up 10% to S$122.5 milion


- FY2007 Revenue up 26% to S$421.9 million
- 4Q07 Revenue up 33% to S$151.4 million
- 4Q07 Operating profits up 22% to S$51.4 million
- Strong performance by hotel operations
- Increased contribution from property sales segments

Banyan Tree Holdings Limited ("Banyan Tree" or the "Group"), a leading manager and developer of premium resorts, hotels, spas and galleries, announced its full year result. Driven by its hotel operations and property sales segments, coupled with a one-off negative goodwill exceptional gain arising from its subsidiary's rights issue in July 2007, the Group posted a 142% increase in profit after taxation to S$102.4 million on the back of a 26% increase in revenue to S$421.9 million.

Mr Ho KwonPing, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree said, "We are pleased with the strong growth of our businesses while we continue to enlarge our global footprint as part of our strategy to grow our revenue base and diversify geographically. Our financial results for 2007, especially in the fourth quarter, underscore our accelerated growth as most business segments performed better than the previous year. We are hopeful that the positive trend will continue into 2008, supported by the strong pipeline of new hotel projects and encouraging responses to property and hotel residences sales".

The Group's total operating expenses increased 34% largely due to higher operating supplies, administrative costs, and sales and marketing expenses, which is in line with increased revenue. There were also increases in staff strength as the Group expanded its' new hotel operations (Banyan Tree Lijiang) and other new spa operations.

AWARDS| Accolades continues for JW Marriott hotels & resorts

March was a very good month for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, the luxury brand of Marriott International (NYSE:MAR). In Business Week's annual customer service survey, JW Marriott Hotels made the magazine's list of top 25 companies for customer service, receiving an A+ for process and an A+ for people.

Also in March, and for the second year in a row, travel buyers in the 2008 Business Travel News U.S. Hotel Chain Survey voted JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts the top upscale brand, giving it the highest satisfaction ratings in eight of 13 categories, including physical appearance and business amenities. With fewer locations than other upscale or luxury brands, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, "...consistently has gained favor with buyers during the past three years, with buyer satisfaction ratings for the brand constantly rising in the survey," said BTN. There are currently 36 JW Marriott hotels, with 24 operating outside the continental U.S.

In the J.D. Power and Associates' 2007 North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study,

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts edged out Four Seasons hotels to become the second-highest rated lodging brand in the luxury tier, right behind first-place Ritz-Carlton.

Specific JW Marriott hotels and resorts also took top honors in 2007, including the following:

*Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List: JW Marriott hotels and resorts in Hawaii, Cancun, Mexico City, Bucharest, Capri, Lima, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Phuket, Dubai and Cairo

*Conde Nast Traveler's Hot Hotels: JW Marriott Capri Tiberio Palace Resort & Spa

*Conde Nast Traveler's Hot Spas: Quan Spa, JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai

*Latin Trade's Reader's Choice Awards: JW Marriott hotels Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas, Lima and Quito

*Travel & Leisure's (U.S. and South Asia editions) World's Best Hotels: JW Marriott hotels and resorts in Phuket, Bangkok and Shanghai

*Korea Times Best Business Hotel in Seoul: JW Marriott Seoul

*American Automobile Association: JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

* Insider Select List: JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa

*Thailand Department of Labor Best Employer: JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

*Great Place to Work International: JW Marriott Mexico City

NEWS| Intl| Carlson's tasteful new menu choices

CarlsonIn an effort to provide guests with superb dining options and support those that are committed to maintaining a healthful lifestyle while traveling - this is a new menu to suit.

Radisson Hotels & Resorts today announced its enhanced “Tasteful Choices” menu, which will be available at participating hotels in the United States beginning May 2008. The enhanced Tasteful Choices menu will double the number of breakfast, lunch and dinner options currently available for hotels to choose to feature.

In refining the menu, Carlson again turned to its guests and top Radisson chefs to find out which foods appeal most to their unique lifestyles, appetites and special needs. Additionally, Radisson partnered with The Culinary Institute of America to develop Tasteful Choices recipes that range from healthy and low-fat options for the health conscious traveler to and rich, decadent options for the traveler wanting to indulge.

Each hotel and resort will feature between eight to15 Tasteful Choices items on restaurant, room service and/or catering menus, based on the property’s location.

“A growing number of travelers want healthy dining options when they travel, whether they are dieting or not,” said Nancy Johnson, executive vice president of franchise operations for Radisson Hotels & Resorts. “Still others view dining out as an opportunity to treat themselves to gourmet meals that still fit into their dietary lifestyle.”

“The Tasteful Choices menu was first introduced two years ago. Guest satisfaction among those who tasted the menu items in 2007 versus guests who rated other hotel food and beverage offerings have since increased by more than 7 percent. Furthermore, 87 percent of guests who sampled from the menu said they intended to order from it again.”

“The program supports Radisson’s brand positioning that invites guests to ‘Stay Your Own Way’ and control their experience at our hotels,” noted Johnson. “we also offer our guests increased comfort to meet their individual needs with the custom-designed Sleep Number bed by Select ComfortTM and Express Yourself, the industry’s first online check-in system.”

Some of the new Tasteful Choices entrees include:
Radisson Breakfast Traveler
Continental Breakfast Traveler
Bananas Foster French Toast
Tuscan Frittata
Savory Turkey Quiche
Omelet Ole
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Choice Prime Rib
Crispy Sea Bass
Grilled Vegetables and Warm Goat Cheese on Romesco
Prosciutto Wrapped Savory Cod
Rotisserie Roast Chicken Salad
Southwest Chicken
Spicy Chicken Sesame Salad

Victor Gielisse, CMC, associate vice president of the Culinary Institute of America, said, “Food tastes best, and is best for us, when it is prepared in its simplest form with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Our collaboration with the Tasteful Choices menu recipe collection honors this basic cooking principal."

Gielisse added that the Tasteful Choices menu is built on four basic nutrition platforms: 1) overall healthy and light, with each entrée consisting of no more than 800 total calories, 50-55 percent carbohydrates, 12-15 percent protein, and 25-30 percent fat; 2) low carbohydrate offering a restricted amount of carbs, as well as healthy types of protein and dietary fats; 3) low fat, using the most nutrient-dense ingredients and healthy ratios of fatty acids; and 4) rich and flavorful, in which recipes are that are not fat-laden, but rather prepared using healthy ingredients and solid cooking techniques.

Recent guest comments include:
“I was extremely pleased with the Tasteful Choices menu. It is great to have healthy choices while away from home.” “I thoroughly enjoyed my healthy breakfast. I had the frittata, an egg omelet with water cress and shredded apple on the side for breakfast for two days. It was just enough to get me going without feeling like I had over eaten. I have given up buffets which make you eat more food.”

Bananas Foster (most popular new item tested): “Hotel food is usually not this good and healthy! It’s hard to eat like this on the road, great service too!”

Savory Cod: ‘It’s very nice to be able to order something healthful and tastes wonderful as well. I really enjoyed this meal. Wow, delicious combination, plus healthy -- how great. It was a wonderful meal.

Southwest Chicken: “The dish was fantastic – actually if I could, I would make this at home. I loved the combination of ingredients.”

“We know that our guests will enjoy the enhancements we have made to our Tasteful Choices program, coupled with knowing that many of their favorite entrees can be found whenever they visit a Radisson hotel,” said Johnson.\

Source : Radisson Hotels & Resorts